How to suppress turnout

The election for Unite General Secretary is now generating an unprecedented amount of coverage for an internal trade union contest.

Gerard Coyne launched his manifesto today:

And managed to get positive coverage from journalists working for both left-wing and right-wing newspapers:

All of this is very bad news for Len McCluskey – because Len McCluskey needs one thing not to happen in the forthcoming Unite General Secretary election – and that is for you and other Unite members to vote. On turnout: the lower, the better, as far as Len is concerned.

And his supporters are doing their very best to stir up apathy and keep the turnout down.

This has just been posted on the website of the Housing Workers branch of Unite:

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You can search in vain for anything that suggests that this is not an election to the Supreme Soviet with only one candidate – Good Old Uncle Len – standing. There are no links to any of the other candidates’ websites or even a reference to their existence. It’s an attempt at a stitch-up, pure and simple.

Trade unions are democratic organisations but when branch officers behave in this way you begin to wonder how serious some are about trade unions’ democratic values and heritage.