Friday 26 November 2010 by Alex Marsh

Labour fury as Wagner elected General Secretary of ‘Unite’


The Labour movement found itself shocked and confused last night, after 54 year-old Dudley man Wagner Carrilho was elected General Secretary of the UK’s biggest trade union.

With favourites Len McCluskey and Les Bayliss polling a mere 150,000 votes between them, the way was clear for the Brazilian-born unknown to land one of the most powerful jobs in the union movement.

“It’s a joke, right?” commented Ed Miliband, whose recent Labour leadership victory was secured by the union’s block vote.

“The man’s got no political background and no track record in challenging the economic orthodoxy of neoliberalism and free-market rule. But people – for reason or reasons unknown – seem to have thought it appropriate to vote for him.”

Wagner Victory

Union members, however, appeared unbothered by the election.

“I don’t know what that orthodox neoliberalism load of cock was all about,” said Dave Gooch, a bus driver and Unite member.

“I just joined the union ‘cos they’ll give us free legals if we get under a grievance, like. They send me a ballot paper and it nearly went in the bin. Then I saw the funny bloke with long hair was standing.”

“And the lockers for our jackets and stuff,” added Ian Price, his colleague.

When asked if they had concerns that their new leader might be unable to push through resolutions calling for the equitable and progressive redistribution of state assets based on a new model of public and stakeholder ownership, they dismissed the idea.

“We’re not really bothered,” said Ian.

Following a turnout of just 15% of the union’s 1.5 million members, Wagner’s leadership comes at a difficult time for the organisation. Meanwhile, the Labour Party will seek to build bridges with the Dudley man.

“It’s totally unfair, as there were some genuinely talented angry-looking shouty men who deserved this job,” said Miliband. “Whereas it seems there’s been a plot that has spoilt the whole thing, on that Internet.”

“But I suppose he’s entertaining in a way, and he can always come and play the bongos, at Conference.”

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