The RMT union has charted an independent path ever since it was disaffiliated from the Labour Party in 2004, dismissing the occasional rumours that suggest it might return to the Labour fold. Under its General Secretary Mick Cash, it has continued that independent approach forged under the leadership of the late Bob Crow. So it was no surprise when the RMT decided to oppose Britain’s continued membership of the EU.
Arron Banks and thirsty friend
And this was when they got into bed with a seriously dodgy individual, as recently released details from the Electoral Commission (EC) show. The RMT donated considerable sums - at least £30,000 - to an organisation called Trade Unionists Against The European Union (the EC entries for those donations can be seen HERE and HERE). The website for Trade Unionists Against the EU can still be viewed HERE.
The EC lists just one further donor to Trade Unionists Against the EU, and that is an organisation called Better For The Country Limited. This company has also made donations to UKIP and Grassroots Out. Its donations to Trade Unionists Against the EU include a tranche of six donations totalling £54,000 which can be seen HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. And there is rather more.
There appears to be another tranche of donations from Better For The Country to Trade Unionists Against the EU, also totalling £54,000, which can be seen HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE. That’s £108,000, and when the RMT money is added, a total of £138,000. As to who might be behind Better For The Country, we can see that information at the Companies House website, where a very familiar name is revealed.
As well as Leave.EU stalwarts Elizabeth Bilney and Andy Wigmore, we see that the major shareholder in Better For The Country, with a holding of over 75%, is a man called Arron Fraser Andrew Banks. The same Arron Banks that is pals with Nigel “Thirsty” Farage. The same Arron Banks whose name came up in the Panama Papers data leak. Banks, let me put this directly, is an intolerant bigot with a shaky grasp of macroeconomics.
He is also an unrepentant smearer of refugees and migrants, as witness his prize observation on the Austrian referendum, which produced a result that incurred his displeasure: “You can't always get it right - I suppose they haven't suffered enough rape and murder yet” he sneered after being informed that his pal Mr Thirsty had called the vote the wrong way. He was characteristically unrepentant when challenged. Banks’ view on migration is that these ghastly brown people have to be kept out.
After all, we have a way of life to preserve from these barbarians, dontcha know? All of which makes one wonder how an ostensibly respectable Trades Union like the RMT came to be mixed up with Arron Banks. It would be interesting to hear from Mick Cash why he felt it necessary to get into bed with someone so lacking in the tolerance and compassion that one might expect to find exhibited by the leaders of the Union movement.
So why the dodgy bedfellows, RMT people? Don’t all shout at once.