Jeannie Trueman writes
Patrick Harrington, who serves on the National Executive of both Third Way and the newly formed Solidarity Union, has condemned an article published by the Independent newspaper. Patrick said:-
“Our Union is being condemned even before it has started. Vested interests are clearly worried by our bold and historic move in forming a radical Union. They are using ‘guilt by association’ techniques by saying that because we don’t politically vet our members we are a ‘front’ for the BNP. The truth is that Solidarity is open to all. We are interested in ‘bread and butter’ issues not diversions and side-shows. The Independent article was more or less a straight lift from an article produced by the ‘Searchlight’ website. ‘Searchlight’ has a long history of collaboration with the Secret State and appears to have based its article on a ‘leak’ from within the Certification Office. Solidarity was never given the opportunity to comment on any of the serious allegations made.”
The following letter was sent to the Independent in response to their irresponsible, poorly researched and defamatory article but (in line with their biased approach) not published. Further representations will be made to the Independent regarding the attack on the Solidarity Union. It is noteworthy that after the article was published on the web and the above letter was e-mailed to the Independent the article was amended. Originally the article stated that the Political Fund of Solidarity “seemed” to be intended to fund the BNP. The second version used the weasel words “It is alleged” although it was not stated who was making these unfounded allegations. Patrick commented:-
“This is the kind of McCarthy style tactics I expected would be used against our fighting Union. The reaction of those vested interests attacking our Union and the corrupt methods they employ demonstrate more eloquently than anything I could say the need for a Union like Solidarity.”
Letter the Independent failed to publish
I was disappointed to read your negative article on the formation of the new Union – Solidarity. I am a founder and Executive member of this Union. To describe it as a “front” for the BNP is wrong. Most of those who joined in making this bold and radical move were expelled on political grounds from established Unions. I myself was expelled from the RMT though I am a member of Third Way – not the BNP. The support of Third Way and others indicates that the formation of the Union is supported by a coalition of groups and individuals – not just the BNP. I do not believe that it is the proper function of a Union to politically vet its members. It is how people act as Union members, which should matter.
It is alleged that the political fund of the Union is aimed at providing support for the BNP. That is not the case. Most Unions have a political fund. Unlike them, however, Solidarity intends to allow the membership to directly decide where money from the political fund is spent. If they decide to support Communists, Socialists, Greens or even the tired establishment parties the money will be offered to them. Solidarity members will also be able to opt out of the fund in England, Scotland and Wales and would have to opt in if they live in Northern Ireland.
Solidarity is open to all workers. It is a Union for everyone. I will be happy to work alongside Communists, Socialists, and the apolitical (amongst others). I will even grit my teeth and tolerate members of New Labour!
The Union will develop its own identity and policies over time. Partisan groups such as ‘Searchlight’ (quoted in your article) are making assumptions and assertions without evidence. Our Union has just begun – it is premature and unwise to rush to judgement as to what it may or may not do.
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