To me as long-term trade unionist there was a certain inevitability to this very public war between Labour and its biggest trade union backer. It goes back to comments I have made before about the trade union movement not knowing how to respond effectively to austerity and the fact that with the next election being only a couple of years away Labour is starting to reposition itself to the right.
Trade union barons are almost always on the hard left these days and they thought that having put Ed Miliband in as Labour Leader he needed more hard left Labour Parliamentary candidates in place to keep him honest with them. Ed, of course, knows that left wing views don’t win British general elections as Tony Blair showed with his Christian/Social Democrat approach.
The trade union movement has spent generations trying to grasp the Labour Party and keep it where it wants it to be as an openly common ownership socialist party. When Labour is in opposition they always start off saying things that fit with the left but as each general election approaches they shunt over to a more right wing agenda. The trouble is that both the trade union movement and Labour Party know this dance around happens on a regular cycle but each thinks they will win next time. The trade unions are, of course, the ones who are always disappointed.
Talking of Unite, they may have had influences in/over the Sefton Central Labour Party if leaks from within this troubled constituency Labour Party are to be believed. Maybe Labour would care to enlarge on the extent of Unite’s influence in this constituency?