Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

UNITE Beckett: maintaining his candidacy.

with 6 comments


Beckett says his Candidacy ‘Outstrips others.”

Dear comrades,

Firstly, I want to thank you, the supporters of my campaign, for all your amazing, hard work and continued dedication to our values and the vision that I have for Unite going forward.This ongoing commitment has resulted in the most vibrant and exciting campaign ever seen in our union. The grassroots engagement is overwhelming. Activism like this has not been seen before. We have stunning member support throughout this union.

Today, I accepted nominations for the role of General Secretary. Those nominations are a credit to you and our positive campaign. My ambition is to do more for you, not to gain a position for myself. But clearly, I believe in my candidacy for General Secretary. Leadership demands that the wishes of the collective are always put first. It is on this basis that I felt it necessary to initiate dialogue with other candidates who present as left candidates. This meeting was convened today and was conducted with complete integrity.

At today’s meeting my campaign made the case as to why our candidacy far outstrips others and is best placed to win the election. We were the only team to present proposals at today’s meeting with the aim of conducting a transparent and fair process, in order to agree one left candidate – as I want to ensure that our programme for improving the working lives of our members remains paramount after this election.

I have, as yet, not had a formal response to those proposals and discussion will continue. In the meantime, we remain absolutely focused. Our mobilising strategy involving every member and every workplace will continue. I look forward to seeing you all on the campaign trail and getting out the vote!

Unite is a great union. It is paramount that it remains a force for good in our communities, workplaces and society, standing against the establishment and for workers.

Yours in solidarity,

Howard Beckett.

Hat-Tip Jim.

See Shiraz: Unite election: the Beckett File

This would appear to confirm that Beckett intends to continue in the race, despite garnering fewer nominations than the other two left candidates and having nominations very largely from Scotland and Community branches.

In the light of this, Shiraz as decided to release the dossier that some comrades we know in Unite have drawn up on Beckett and invite readers to draw their own conclusions:

Howard Beckett has positioned himself on the far-left – the tenacious left-winger, a veritable champion of the people and the scourge of Starmer and all his works. Under this banner he’s gained support from a wide range of political radicals. But how much of this is real, and how much posturing in his quest to become GS?

This briefing is produced by activists who consider he’s a 100% poseur, making him qualitatively different from our other candidates, who have 100% commitment to the movement. For that commitment Beckett substitutes boundless ambition and relentless self-promotion. To give substance to his ambition he has to play down his past.

Update: The Skwawking one is up to his old tricks today:

Union rep and ‘occasional contributor’ to Jacobin and Tribune, Robert Maisey decided to attack Howard Beckett – and sparked a furious reaction to his snide comments about the left’s favourite in the Unite leadership contest.

Written by Andrew Coates

June 11, 2021 at 10:36 am

Posted in Uncategorized

6 Responses

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  1. The Monty Python analogies write themselves.

  2. “I felt it necessary to initiate dialogue with other candidates who present as left candidates.”

    It was McCluskey who initiated the meeting and the ‘dialogue’.

    Beckett was only obeying orders.

    Jim Denham

    June 11, 2021 at 5:05 pm

    • Meanwhile Socialist Worker publishes this gobshite,

      Don’t trust Steve Turner as ‘left candidate’ in Unite union leadership race

      “So, the argument goes, as Turner won the most nominations Graham and Beckett must stand down. It’s wrong.

      This emerges as an issue only because Unite has an outdated first past the post system that favours incumbents and candidates from the union apparatus. The argument against a genuine left candidate is always “unite against the right”.”

      “But Turner offers nothing radical. He is continuity, not a new road.”

      “Socialist Worker supports Sharon Graham for Unite general secretary. We are pleased she has won so many nominations on the basis of saying, “Our power is rooted in the workplace. That’s how we win.”

      It’s important to have candidate who says, “Strongly worded press releases will not be enough. We must demand and install a fighting mindset throughout our union.”

      She has won the backing of branches with a combined membership of a quarter of a million.

      We have criticisms of some of her approach, and her reluctance systematically to take up wider political issues. But we think she should stay in the race and that her message of change from the left can defeat Coyne.”


      Andrew Coates

      June 11, 2021 at 6:35 pm

      • Unite leadership: Three-way battle to be left’s candidate
        By Iain Watson
        Political correspondent, BBC News

        Published1 hour ago..

        A struggle is under way within the left of the Unite union in the race to succeed Len McCluskey as general secretary.

        On Monday, there is likely to be a crunch meeting between the three left-wing hopefuls to determine whether they can unite behind a single candidate.

        Mr McCluskey believes a failure to do so could hand victory to the fourth candidate, Gerard Coyne.

        Mr Coyne was narrowly defeated for the top post of general secretary by Mr McCluskey in 2017, and he is seen as the candidate closest to the Labour leadership under Sir Keir Starmer.

        Ballot papers are due to be printed next week, so time for reaching agreement is short.


        some insiders are questioning whether there will even be enough agreement for Monday’s scheduled meeting to go ahead.

        Howard Beckett says his has been the only team to table proposals, which are thought to include a suggestion that the left candidates should undertake a new round of hustings.

        But if Monday’s meeting is either called off or ends in stalemate, then there is potentially a huge prize for Mr Coyne – and Sir Keir Starmer.

        Two other big Labour supporting unions – UNISON and the GMB – have elected general secretaries recently who are more convivial to the Labour leadership.

        Sir Keir Starmer’s supporters now think it’s at least possible that Unite could follow that trend.


        Andrew Coates

        June 11, 2021 at 6:45 pm

      • ““Socialist Worker supports Sharon Graham for Unite general secretary”

        Kiss of Death for her candidacy then


        June 13, 2021 at 4:01 pm

  3. A comrade said to me:

    “In his statement Beckett writes: “We were the only team to present proposals at today’s meeting with the aim of conducting a transparent and fair process in order to agree one left candidate.”

    What were those proposals?

    As stated by people at the meeting – and I kid you not – it was: the three names should be put in a hat and the name pulled out would stand as the left candidate for GS.

    Personally, I’m increasingly coming round to the position that the left candidate be selected on the basis of a game of Russian roulette.”

    Jim Denham

    June 11, 2021 at 10:34 pm

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