David Blackburn

Simpson and Bayliss are reading the Miliband creed

Simpson and Bayliss are reading the Miliband creed
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Derek Simpson has had a Damascene conversion. The gnarled bruiser, famous for telling Alistair Darling to ‘tax the bankers out of existence’, has backed Les Bayliss, the moderate candidate in the race to lead Unite. According to Sophy Ridge at the News of the World, Simpson added:

'Ranting and raving from the side lines will only keep Labour in opposition for a generation. The cuts announced this week are the tip of a very nasty iceberg but the task of opposing them will be complex. Only one candidate standing in the Unite general secretary election has in my mind the skills for this difficult job.  Les Bayliss has the skills and the courage to unite the labour movement and build support in the general public for an alternative economic strategy to bring the country our of recession without the pain that will be imposed by the Tories on every family in this country.'  

Bayliss recognises that strikes only serve to drive public opinion into the arms of the government. He has openly rejected the lunatic militant fringe represented by Comrade Crow, as well as having condemned the BA strikes. There is obviously some common ground between the support behind Bayliss and Ed Miliband’s vow to condemn irresponsible strikes, hardly a suprise as Simpson is a long-term backer of Miliband's. At the popular level, their tactical estimation is sound: the political narrative has to be about government savagery, not union militancy. However, the coalition still has plenty of unwitting allies dreaming of donkey-jackets and the corn fields of Russia.