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If Len McCluskey’s death grip on Unite is allowed to continue, the consequences will be terminal

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and the General Secretary of the trade union UNITE Len McCluskey celebrate at a pub in Westminster.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Len McCluskey celebrate at a pub in Westminster Credit: David Dyson /CAMERA PRESS

There is more than one reason why the hard Left – Marxist, Trotskyist, Stalinist, take your pick – has never taken off in Britain, why its adherents have had to resort either to impotent street protest or to camouflaging themselves in the stolen respectability of a larger, more mainstream, more popular party.

The first, of course, is the unattractiveness of their core message to a largely materialistic audience that is sceptical, at best, of claims that exact economic equality is achievable, let alone desirable.

And the second is their stupidity, the gross incompetence and unforced errors they expose whenever they attempt to enforce their hold over an organisation or to seize it in the first place. Even the most significant political achievement of those so memorably dubbed “Toytown Revolutionaries” by Neil Kinnock – the elevation of one of their number to the leadership of Britain’s biggest...

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