The shame of the RMT

RMT logo

The RMT likes to pose as Britain’s most “left-wing” (and/or “militant”) union. There is some factual justification for that pose, based upon strike statistics and an uncompromising opposition to all the anti-union laws.

But there has long been a less attractive side to this stance: anti-EU nationalism (an inheritance from former general secretary, the late Bob Crow), an ignorant, neo-Stalinism as the political norm for anyone hoping to “get on” within the union, a macho, anti-feminist culture amongst at least a section of its leading members and a willingness to close ranks around members of the leading clique even when they come out with some very dodgy stuff.

The response to clique-member Eddie Dempsey’s notorious speech at the “Full Brexit” rally held in London on 26 March, has been typical. Dempsey spoke from the platform to denounce the ‘betrayal’ of Leave voters by a ‘left-liberal elite’. He said that the key issue was the abandonment of the working class. He said: “too many in the Labour Party have made a calculation that there’s a certain section at the top end of the working class, in alliance with people, they calculate, from ethnic minorities and liberals, that’s enough to get them into power.”

He went on to say “whatever you think of people that turn up for those Tommy Robinson demos or any other march like that – the one thing that unites those people, whatever other bigotry is going on, is their hatred of the liberal left and they are right to hate them.”

Dempsey’s speech was immediately denounced in a powerful statement from Clive Lewis MP.

The Morning Star reported (with obvious approval) from the union’s AGM last week:

CLIVE LEWIS has been expelled from the RMT’s parliamentary group after having made a “false and defamatory attack” on a railway worker.

Conference delegates at the union’s annual conference in Manchester said that the Norwich South MP was “unfit” to represent the RMT after he compared member Eddie Dempsey to fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley in a tweet several months ago.

Mr Dempsey was also called a “Tommy Robinson apologist” by Mr Lewis, who recently threatened Jeremy Corbyn that his position as leader is “in peril” if he does not commit to an anti-Brexit position.

Delegates condemned Mr Lewis’s attack on Mr Dempsey, a former RMT national executive committee member.

…Or, as one observer has commented, with bitter irony:

“Eddie Dempsey’s views aren’t racist! Now let’s drive out the black man who says otherwise!”

P.S: the AGM also passed a resolution supporting Chris Williamson. Surpise, surpise …


29 thoughts on “The shame of the RMT

  1. Amazing that Tommy Robinson who has campaigned to expose Islamic fascists and child abuse gets a bad press. Such is the perverted mindset of the left.


  2. Ahhh, but if the FBU are shameful for dismissing him then that is irrelevant. What man, or woman, with an ounce of self-respect would stay in an organisation which did not believe in freedom of speech?


    1. As a matter of fact I don’t agree with what the FBU did re the loathsome Embery but I wouldn’t equate a reactionary nationalist like him with a progressive anti-racist and internationalist like Clive Lewis.


      1. Again with the straw-man arguments. Whether you equate them or not is irrelevant. It still does not excuse the behaviour of the FBU towards Embery.


    1. Not by anyone who considers themselves to be on the left or who has a shred of common decency. Btw: he was invited to a debate at the AWL’s recent ‘Ideas for Freedom’ event and -to his credit – turned up. The AWL’s Ruth Cashman wiped the floor with him. He wouldn’t /couldn’t answer even basic questions about his “vision” for Brexit. A pity a few Brexiteers like you, Steven, didn’t turn up to support him.


      1. More straw men arguments. None of this matters, anyone with a shred of decency should support his right to free speech.


      2. Answering basic questions about brexit is irrelevant. Who sets the basic questions? The British voted to leave this corrupt EU bunch of Mafia threatening mobsters who now want an army to spread their economic and military might. Britain did not shed the Empire to be part of another.


    1. Glad to read it as what the FBU did to him was disgraceful. As were the smears he had to endure.

      He wouldn’t /couldn’t answer even basic questions about his “vision” for Brexit.

      Well then, lets turn the tables, lets here the AWLs “vision” for the UK staying in the EU.

      How many extra potatoes are going to be on my plate, if the UK stays in the EU?


  3. I’m not paying for it! I found out for free, online or at a library, by reading Marx and Engels, that capitalism cannot be reformed to work in the interests of the working class. Any attempts are futile and doomed to failure. Best to replace it with socialism. Now, if you disagree, fair enough. But don’t ask me to pay for reformist literature. But why don’t you send a copy to all those progressive Labour MPs?


      1. I must be if I reject the UK staying in the EU!
        But life is too short to read reformist ball & locks.


  4. More straw men arguments and insults. Do you ever wonder why your side “lost” the argument?

    Are you saying it’s ignorant to agree with Marx & Engels, that capitalism cannot be reformed to work in the interests of the working class?


    1. One final piece of advice to you (despite the fact that you evidently don’t like reading – or thinking): read the Communist Manifesto and especially the section on Socialist Literature.


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