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McCluskey: Labour has no “God given” right to exist

our lenLen McCluskey (right) the leader of Britain’s largest union Unite has declared that Labour’s “variations of austerity” was not good enough to win the next election. Saying “I believe the British electorate are of a mind that unless there is a real alternative to say, ‘We’d best stick with the devil we know.'”

McCluskey added “Can I ever envisage a rules conference voting to disaffiliate from Labour? I can, I can, and that’s a challenge to Ed Miliband because I believe the Labour Party is at a crossroads, this is a watershed… Unless Ed and Labour leadership demonstrate they are on our side … then I can envision a debate taking place. If Labour lost the election next May I fear for the future of the Labour Party.”

He added that if Labour wanted to win the next election “Miliband has got to give hope to people. He has got to demonstrate he will do something different in power. If he does that with a passion, if he does that with some conviction. Then in my view the polls will begin to alter. He will begin to be seen as a genuine alternative.”

The Independent headlined the news as a threat to launch a rival party to Labour, although we’ll be unlikely to see for some time and these comments should be seen as more of a warning shot than a declaration of war, but in the context of radically reducing the union’s donations to Labour it’s one the party’s leaders would do well to notice.

McCluskey admitted that he rarely saw Ed Miliband, despite the millions of pounds the party takes from the union in donations. Miliband may have a choice to make if he wants to avoid this kind of story popping up in the press in the future – at least try to ensure the unions feel like their getting value for money, after all without their support the Labour Party is dead.

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