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The GMB's Favours for Ed Miliband: Spiritual Hypocrisy

GMB (trade union)

The GMB: All's fair when it's for a brother

So it seems the GMB may have played fast and loose with the rules governing promotion of candidates in Labour’s leadership election.

The Observer reports (h/t ConHome):

Mark Wickham-Jones, professor of politics at Bristol University, was worried by the GMB’s mailout. Speaking before the result, he said: “The GMB appear to have broken the spirit of the rules guiding the conduct of the Labour party leadership election by sending out a strong recommendation for Ed Miliband together with the ballot paper for political levy payers.

Ah, so they’ve broken the spirit of the rules, but not the rules themselves. So we can assume, in the minds of the GMB’s leadership, that that’s alright then.

Hang on though, is this the same GMB who issued this press release recently:

End Tax dodging says GMB

GMB RESOLUTION TO LABOUR PARTY CONFERENCE CALL FOR ACTION TO END TAX DODGING COSTING THE ECONOMY £50 BILLION PER YEAR

[…]

Four resolutions from trades unions and four from Constituency Labour Parties are voted on to be debated at the Conference. This year the selected contemporary resolution will voted on at the full Conference to become party policy….

The GMB resolution calls for action on tax avoidance schemes cost the economy more than £50 billion a year.

Tax avoidance eh?. Well let’s see: the popular definition of tax avoidance (as opposed to tax evasion) is following the letter but not necessarily the spirit of the law. You, me, HMRC and the likes of Richard Murphy may each have different ideas of where the “spirit” lies, but here we have a union being quite clear about what they think of the whole practice of following the letter of the law rather than what the drafters of the rules may have intended.

As clear, in fact, as the GMB were being when they observed the letter and not the spirit of the rules when it involved getting their man, Red Ed Miliband, elected as Labour leader.

Never mind, I’m sure that when the motion is being debated at Labour’s conference, them being in the vanguard of the fight for equality and all, someone will point out the GMB’s hypocrisy over observing the letter and not the spirit of the rules!

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