Unite boss Len McCluskey misquotes Lenin | Daniel Finkelstein

Yesterday Len McCluskey, leader of the Unite union, decided to quote Lenin to advance his cause. Explaining the advantages of his new £25 million fighting fund to back strikes, he pointed out:

Lenin said finance is the sinews of war.

This seemed very odd, for three reasons.

The first is that Lenin was a murderous individual whose idea of war went further than shutting down the lost luggage desk in Luton airport. It seems extraordinary to quote from him. But there you go.

The second is that, while it is possible that Mr McCluskey was translating from the original Russian, the grammar of Lenin’s pearl of wisdom is not its greatest advertisement.

But the third, more important reason it struck as odd is that the quote was originally from Cicero, not Lenin.

Twitter: @Dannythefink

Read more: Union prepares for ‘trouble ahead’ with £25m strike fund

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