Unite’s all-alliterative advert, and more multimedia munificence

Hat-tip to The Times’ Sam Coates for spotting the story in Unite’s ad campaign against the Tories (left), which ran in the Guardian (full-page) and the Morning Star yesterday (not sure if it ran in Tribune).

Unite are already on shaky ground here, as the Tories aren’t the only party to take donations and generally be chummy with hedge fund managers who short-sell shares – an activity currently blamed for distorting the financial markets, if not actually helping the likes of HBOS collapse. As the FT’s Jim Pickard points out, Labour take money from short-sellers too.

But the other problem, for some, is whether Unite should be spending so much money (a full page newspaper ad probably costs well over £10,000) given to it by its members – some of whom are low-paid – on propping up Labour. Jerry Hicks, a former Unite who is challenging Derek Simpson for the post of single general secretary, is one such person. And given the rumours about Unite having two political policies, he’s probably not alone.

As I like to say though, we shouldn’t be surprised. Like Sam, I was at Unite’s Labour Party conference fringe meeting last week, where political director and Gordon chum Charlie Whelan effectively told me that Unite were going to write bigger cheques and work harder to help Labour win the next election. The £8 million political fund isn’t actually being increased till November.

Meanwhile, Hicks et al probably won’t be pleased at Unite’s next piece of publicity, this time commemorating the full merger of Amicus and the T&G. Tony Woodley, the other joint gen sec (T&G) has sent out a letter inviting people to the launch of a DVD commemorating the T&G’s history. Who knows, maybe Tribune will be selling it alongside our Soviet Propaganda DVDs (no, really) at our stand at conferences. Not that Unite does Soviet propaganda, of course. Labour propaganda, that’s another matter.

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