Monday, 18 March 2013

Chinese Whispers & Unite the Union Election

Jerry Hicks Cries Foul in Statement to Supporters:
'I did not call this election. All I have done is stand for the position of General Secretary so that Len MCluskey would not be unopposed, for that would have marked an historic low point in the history of our union and it’s predecessors. I have pointed out that Len McCluskey’s strategy with the Labour Party is bankrupt politically, of massive cost to us financially and worthless in returns as Labour fails to promise to reverse the Con-Dem cuts. And I stand to offer Unite members an alternative.

'And for that, myself and many of those who support me are pilloried

'We knew that we were the outsider in this two horse race. We knew we would not match Len McCluskey’s machine or his spending power. But we did not know just how vile his campaign would become in his and his supporters increasingly desperate bid to cling on to power.

'Over the last few days I have been made aware of unsolicited correspondence to members all over the country, quite possibly in every region and every sector. More often than not, it appears to have been paid out of members pockets by using the union’s resources, in clear contravention of the election guidelines. If you have been sent such a thing please send it to me [Jerry Hicks 10 York Road, Montpelier, Bristol BS6 5QE]

'These letters and emails promote one candidate and make scandalous remarks about the other. Can you guess which way round it is?

'The attacks upon myself are without foundation and completely unwarranted, while the level of abuse is unprecedented.

'One of the rabid remarks is that I am a political opportunist? That’s rich given that it was McCluskey who called the election 3 years before it was due. Having planned it all during the summer of 2012, sprung it on 1.5 million members last December and fast tracked the process. All in an attempt to remain in power and extend his time in office to beyond his normal retirement age.

'Another claim is that I would ‘wreck’ the union? If, as I suspect, he means that I would support unofficial action where necessary, isn’t it ironic then that as General Secretary, Len McCluskey made a speech in Hyde Park calling for a General Strike, which would in its execution be illegal. As General Secretary Len McCluskey echoed the TUC calls for ‘civil disobedience’. Therefore, either McCluskey did not mean a word of what he said or he would be prepared to ‘wreck the union’ as they see it, in some illegal action.

'It wasn’t me who invited political "left" groups including the Socialist Workers Party [SWP], to meetings to offer cash support for their causes in return for support in the General Secretary election. The SWP only became an enemy when they refused the offer.

'If any of the statements against me were true, the easiest [and cheapest] way to make members aware would be for Unite to hold a ‘Husting’ where both candidates could be subjected to full scrutiny on all matters and televised and published on Unite’s web site, so that every member can make their own minds up. So why is it Len McCluskey embarks on his ‘Grand Tour’ yet fails to reply to every request for a ‘Hustings’. While I am willing to meet anytime, any where, any place.

'It’s not me that as I write is spending pot loads of members’ money directly contacting them to promote Len McCluskey whilst besmirching my good name. Never mentioning that I, when an elected convener was unlawfully sacked by Rolls Royce in 2005 for ‘trade union activities’. Or that I am illegally blacklisted by the employers [blacklist file obtained in 2012]

'Nor that I have twice stood for General Secretary both times coming runner up. “2009 with 40,000 votes and again in 2010 with 52,527 votes

'It isn’t me that has overseen as General Secretary £millions of members money spent on ‘paying off’ officials to leave the union, nearly a quarter of a million to a failed candidate in the last election.

'It wasn’t me who has offered jobs to people and promoted others. Indeed I could not, nor ever would do, as I believe in members electing their officials.

'Let’s see how many appointments are made and to whom after this election?! Should I not win.

'I make one prediction, that should Len McCluskey win the election, up to £10 million will be funnelled into the coffers of the Labour Party before the 2015 General Election.

'So there alone is £10 million reasons to vote for me. Along with the chance to have not less - not the same – but more. More democracy, more say and more member control.

'After all it’s only the little clique who presently control the union who have anything to lose! While the majority, currently disconnected have everything to gain.

'Ballot papers will begin arriving at the homes of 1.5 million members on Monday 18th [last date to be returned by 12th April] Two candidates: One vote: Our chance:

'To quote the Queen [not Liz] “ We will rock you”!'

Solidarity, Jerry Hicks [078 178 279 12]

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