A Britain run along the lines of the Olympics would not be the traditional worker’s paradise. In fact, it would be more akin to a totalitarian corporate state.

Hugo Rifkind wonders whether unions boss Brendan Barber really wants to rescue the economy with an “Olympics-style national crusade”

Unite plans its coup of the Labour Party | Philip Collins

We became disengaged – spectators while New Labour dominated…Now we are back.

Who said that? David Cameron? William Hague? No, it was Steve Hart, of course. That’s Steve Hart, the political strategy director for the Unite union.

Unite, you will recall, is in the midst of a bizarre attempt to have Progress, the New Labour pressure group, expelled from the Labour Party. A recently leaked document shows what they are really up to.

Unite plans to recruit 5,000 new Labour Party members. How generous, you might think.

Not so fast. The explicit plan is that the 5,000 will all be fed Unite lines. They will control local constituency parties. They will be marshalled as a bloc and governed by the structures of the union. It will all be in place by the end of the year.

Time for the leadership to wake up.

Twitter: @PCollinsTimes

(Document c/o Labour Uncut)

Read more: Unions take on Blairites in fight for Labour’s heart

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

Nobody likes the puerile unions | Philip Collins

The unions are showing just what they think about Ed Miliband. At the weekend, the Labour leader said: “I’m in favour of more people in our party, not excluding people.”

After the puerile suggestion from the GMB that it would bring a motion to ban the New Labour pressure group Progress, Dave Prentis, the General Secretary of Unison, said that his union would back it.

Last month, Unison refused to allow Progress to host an event at its Reading office. What was the controversial topic? “Labour winning in the South”.

On Labour’s Left, Compass is the equivalent to Progress on the Right. Compass’s chief, Neal Lawson, has sensibly emailed his members: “Progress have as much right as the GMB to organise for their politics.”

The unions are being circled. Nobody likes them but they don’t care.

Twitter: @PCollinsTimes

Read more: Mandelson hits out at unions for leading Labour down a blind alley

Philip Collins wrote yesterday about the GMB union’s plan to outlaw Progress, the New Labour pressure group. Progress has responded to the GMB and its statement is up on LabourList.

Outlawing Progress | Philip Collins

On Monday, the GMB union passed a motion to outlaw progress. Oh sorry, that’s a typo. On Monday the GMB union passed a motion to outlaw Progress. A resolution will now proceed to the Labour party conference to that effect.

Progress is a New Labour pressure group. It publishes a magazine and holds seminars and conferences. Lord Adonis is its current chair and Stephen Twigg its Honorary President.

A few weeks ago Progress held its annual conference. The keynote speaker was Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party. So, clearly, this is an organisation infested with hardcore neo-liberals that needs to be rooted out.

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