“The People’s Pledge” is an all-party campaign that seeks a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union by asking voters to promise to only back MP's who support a referendum. The Rail, Maritime and Transport workers’ union (RMT) has become the first union to formally back the campaign. RMT leader Bob Crow was already an individual supporter.
By supporting The People’s Pledge, unions enter into a deal with the devil. Backing the campaign, which is focused exclusively on the single issue of the referendum, means getting into bed with some very unsavoury characters. Let’s look at some of our new "partners":
• Rich-boy Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, who inherited somewhere between £200 million and £300 million of the family fortune when his late father died. Last year a Channel 4 investigation raised questions over his election expenses.
• Daniel Hannan, Tory MEP. Hannan slagged off the NHS during a visit to the USA and has praised Enoch Powell as "somebody who understood the importance of national democracy".
• Nigel Dodds OBE, and Democratic Unionist Party MP, who claimed the highest expenses of any Northern Ireland MP. The RMT’s involvement in a campaign backed by DUP MPs may not be to the liking of the union’s Irish members, who have a Republican traditions.
• Robert Hiscox, Chairman of the Board of one of the biggest insurance firms in the world.
• Charles Moore. Former editor of the Daily Telegraph.
Is the RMT also planning to ally with prominent Europhobe Joan Collins, who, when asked about Margaret Thatcher states “I loved her to bits”? Maybe the unions could meet up with Miss Collins at one of her three homes, in Belgravia, Hollywood or the South of France, to enlist her support?
Nick Griffin of the BNP is also anti-EU; are there any plans to get him on board too?
We should be building alliances with workers across Europe, not uniting with right-wingers and capitalists!