Len McCluskey’s unreported speech – A working class politics for the 21st Century.


Len McCluskeys full lecture at the LSE on January 15th on video:

The Labour Movement and Protest – A working class politics for the 21st Century.

Re-posted from Tony Burke’s website ‘Power in a Union’

The full text of Len Mccluskey’s speech can be read in a previous post on the same website but it is well worth listening to the discussion following Len’s speech for his insights into the Occupy movement, on Ed Miliband, implementation of cuts by Labour councils, and his concerns about the training of candidates and organisers by the blairite  Progress movement within the Labour Party.  However, none of these insights or the main thrust of the speech were reported by the mainstream media.

Hopi Sen, whilst disagreeing with Len McCluskey’s position, writes:

Despite Unite’s size and influence, there were few big names from the Labour party in attendance and the speech has achieved little media coverage, not even making any of the endless lists of top British political stories.

Indeed, the only references to the speech I found on Google news were articles for Iran’s Press TV and the Belfast Telegraph. Perhaps this demonstrates Len McCluskey’s point about the exclusion of the representatives of the working class from British political life. The Trade Unions are still being treated like the “Mad Aunt in the Attic”.

Yet if I had to choose which discussion was likely to have a lasting practical impact on the direction of the Labour party over the next two years I’d make the Union leader’s speech the favourite. Why?

‘Why?’ is certainly a question that we should all be asking, not just of the Labour Party leadership but also the mainstream media.  The so-called ‘free press’ justifies its powerful position as contributing to democracy by keeping the public informed.  However, in this and in so many instances, it signally fails to do so.