Nominations have closed in the election for general secretary of Amicus/joint general secretary of Unite. The choices are not inspiring:
• Incumbent Derek Simpson, who has been a mainstay of support for New Labour, selling out his members and witch-hunting left activists. But Simpson has received only 40 percent of the nominations from branches and workplace reps.
• The even more right-wing Kevin Coyne, the current North West Region regional secretary, who is second in terms of nominations.
• Laurence Faircloth, the South West regional secretary, who is officially backed by the Unity Gazette left caucus, despite having previously been identified with the right of the union.
• National Officer Paul Reuter, the bland candidate.
• Jerry Hicks, sacked convenor of Rolls Royce in Bristol, who was in the SWP until he left to back George Galloway’s Respect Renewal. Hicks has more nominations than Faircloth.
Hicks is the only one anything like a left candidate. However, his decision to go to the government’s union Certification Officer, which is what triggered the election, his failure to attend the Unity Gazette nomination meeting to seek support, and his backing of Galloway are hardly very encouraging.