Lesser evil wins

BILL MORRIS was last week re-elected leader of the Transport and General Workers Union. In the ballot for general secretary, he received 158,909 votes, as against 100,056 for Jack Dromey and 16,833 for Norman Davidson.

The contest received much more attention than is normally given to union elections because Dromey was standing openly on a ‘new Labour’, pro-Blair platform, causing the lesser-of-two-evils left to throw its weight behind Morris. In fact the differences between the two major candidates are those of nuance, rather than principle.

The left made much of the fact that Morris spoke up for Labour’s original worthless clause four, whereas Dromey was in favour of its meaningless replacement. But Morris was bound by his executive’s decision though he was known to privately prefer Blair’s version. Morris campaigns for his union policy of a minimum wage set at the pathetically low level of £4 an hour, but Dromey has said that he too will stand by thatpolicy.

The fact that Morris was the sitting candidate and enjoyed the support of most of the union’s bureaucratic machine played a more significant part in his re-election than any of the ‘revolutionary’ left’s propaganda.

After the result was declared, Morris described Tony Blair as “highly respected, valued and much loved”. This was no doubt an example of fighting talk to defend his members against Labour’s coming attacks.

Workers should not be encouraged to give their votes to any candidate who will not fight wholeheartedly for what we need.

Alan Fox