Won’t supporting Ian Allinson “split the vote”?

Supporters of both McCluskey and Coyne are trying to prop up their candidate’s support by warning that a vote for Ian Allinson could “let in” the candidate they least want. This article argues that fear of Coyne – clearly the worst candidate on offer – does not justify a vote for McCluskey.

Unable to put forward positive reasons why McCluskey is a better candidate than Ian Allinson in this eleciton, his supporters are resorting to Project Fear – vote for McCluskey or you’ll get Coyne. This has some traction because Coyne is an almost pantomime villain candidate – promoted by union-buster Rupert Murdoch’s Sun and Labour right-wingers who spend more time attacking Corbyn than the Tories. But it isn’t an argument that should decide your vote.

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Unite General Secretary candidate Ian Allinson to join #ourNHS demonstration on Saturday

Tens of thousands will march on Saturday in defence of our National Health Service. With them will be Ian Allinson, the only Ian speaking on microphone on picketworkplace activist standing for Unite General Secretary.

Allinson said:

“I’m proud to be marching. And I’m proud Unite are backing this demo. Our NHS is a precious public service. Theresa May and the Tories have promised Donald Trump that the NHS is for sale to US multinational companies. We can’t let that happen.”

“As Unite general secretary I will escalate the campaign to defend the NHS. Unite is a union of 1.4 million members. All of us, whether health workers or not, have a stake in the provision of decent health care – we have to fight back”

“Junior doctors were absolutely right to fight against Hunt’s contract: we will need more strikes and more solidarity. There should have been nationwide demonstrations of support, but McCluskey left them to fight alone.”

“There’s another message that I want to bring on Saturday: immigrants built our NHS and it wouldn’t survive a day without them. In every hospital the compassion and expertise comes from all over the world. We cannot give an inch to arguments that say migrants are to blame for its failures. Underfunding and privatisation are responsible.”

“Many people know the Aneurin Bevan quote that the NHS will last as long as there are folk left with faith to fight for it. Fewer people know that Bevan railed against the right using the notion of health tourism to argue against the NHS. In 1952 he said that the Tories were trying to exploit the most disreputable emotions in order to discredit socialised medicine. We need to remember that today. We need unity, not scapegoating, if we are to successfully defend our NHS”.

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Unite leadership candidate Ian Allinson says “This is a three horse race”

Candidates in the Unite General Secretary election campaign have today received official confirmation of branches and workplaces that nominated them.Photo of Ian Allinson

Ian Allinson, the only grassroots candidate in the election, received a total of 97 nominations including 21 workplace nominations.

Allinson said:

“This election is clearly a three horse race. The number of nominations I have is very impressive for a grassroots candidate”.

“The other two candidates are well placed in the union machine, Len McCluskey is the incumbent General Secretary and Gerard Coyne has been West Midlands Regional Secretary for fifteen years. Their campaigns have funding and resources to match.”

“We live in an era of political upsets – we should rule nothing out in this election. Gerard Coyne doesn’t seem to be quite the right wing threat that the press have been talking up.”

“My nominations have come from members who want to see a more serious fightback and workplace issues brought forward in the union. They come from members who want brave leadership on issues they care about, green jobs, defending of refugees and migrants, and improving equality and diversity within Unite itself”.

Yesterday Ian Allinson was on the picket line at his own workplace, Fujitsu in Manchester, as part of a national strike over job cuts, union recognition, pay and pensions.

On Saturday Allinson will join the #ourNHS demonstration in central London.

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Ian Allinson accepts nomination and issues new leaflet

After a vibrant campaign meeting on Saturday I have now submitted my acceptance of nomination for Unite General Secretary.

I discussing with members

Now nominations are behind us, we’ve produced a new campaign leaflet, which you’ll find on the Resources page of this web site. It’s being printed up this week and bundles will be available on Saturday’s NHS demo, where I hope to see many supporters. If you can’t make it please email ian4unite@gmail.com and we can get a bundle to you.

We also need a big push on fundraising. We will be spending thousands of pounds on printing and postage. Having used annual leave for the nomination period I’ve requested some unpaid leave from work. There will be travel costs, meeting rooms and much more. The other candidates are well-paid from our subs and have rich backers. In contrast, I’m on strike again tomorrow at Fujitsu as one of thousands whose jobs are on the line and who are fighting to extend union recognition.

If you want to shake up Unite and make it a stronger union, get involved!

Thank you card from Bristol Health reps/members showing names

The only union funds which I can accept are from branches which have nominated me. Otherwise it’s down to individual donations and collections. Members at Bristol Health branch took a collection which they sent me along with this lovely card. If you want to do something similar there’s a collection sheet on the resources page too. You can donate online or send a cheque payable to Ian Allinson to me at 11 Germain Close, Higher Blackley, Manchester, M9 0SQ. All donations are receipted and any member can inspect the campaign finances.