What do you do if you are Len McCluskey, or on his campaign team, and things have been going so badly even your own supporters are losing confidence?
It seems one of the answers is: bypass the union’s rules in your effort to get you campaign back on track.
Unite’s rules are crystal clear. The union’s central resources cannot be used to promote a candidate and nor can any candidate use the union’s corporate identity in their promotional material.
But Team McCluskey seem to think that the rules are for other people.
Here are two full time employees of Unite using social media channels clearly marked as Unite accounts promoting Len McCluskey:
Possibly these two – a regional secretary and a deputy general secretary – might claim they were posting on their personal accounts. But if they are personal accounts why are they called @jennieunite and @steveT_unite?
But, in any case, when it comes to believing they are outside the rules, they are amateurs compared to Len McCluskey’s own account … where every other tweet seems to feature Unite’s corporate identity…
There is a serious point here: trade unions are member run organisations, run for the members. We give ourselves rules so that all of us operate on an equal basis. I am sure I am not the only member who thinks it not acceptable that Len McCluskey can appear to get away with breaking them because he is at the top of the pile. Every day this goes on is a day when all of us who pay our subs to Unite are being taken for granted.
So, come on Len McCluskey. Delete the tweets and promise not to repeat this behaviour.
Update: Ian Allinson is also complaining about a breach of the rules, but in a different way: