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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Labour face dissent from within

Labour leader, Ed Miliband faces huge problems in establishing himself with the public as a potential Prime Minister. The irony of course is that having got himself into the job of leading his party due to union support, his attempts at improving his electability are alienating that very constituency.

Yesterday's Independent underlines that point. They say that one of the biggest union affiliates to Labour is set to debate its future links with the party after an "unprecedented" number of branches raised concerns:

The GMB said a quarter of motions to its annual conference in June related to the union's political stance in the wake of anger over statements by Labour leader Ed Miliband and shadow chancellor Ed Balls in support of some of the Government's austerity measures.

The two made speeches and gave interviews backing the cap on public sector pay in mid-January, two weeks before the closing date for motions to be submitted by GMB branches.

All of this is posturing of course as the union seeks to reassert influence within the Labour Party. It would be unthinkable that a major union such as the GMB would cut its ties with Labour. However, the level of dissatisfaction contained in those motions sums up the problems faced by Miliband the younger.

He cannot face both ways. At some stage he is going to have to choose between electability and his paymasters and, whichever choice he makes, there will be consequences.
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