John McTernan is part of the 4.5 percent of Labour members who voted for the Blairite candidate Liz Kendall in the Labour leadership election. Before that he ran the Scottish Labour general election campaign, in which all but one of the MPs were lost. He also used to be Prime Minister Tony Blair’s spin-doctor. He has an acute political mind and certainly the courage of his convictions, and that’s why he was invited to Sputnik this week.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the conservatives don't like trade unions very much. The old “Downton Abbeyites” preferred paternalistic relationships with their workers. Thatcherites took off the velvet gloves to reveal the iron fist. In the 1980s and 90s, after massive defeats for organized labour, New Labour had no appetite to reverse a series of earlier anti-union laws, leaving many unions outside the Labour party. Joining Sputnik this week to discuss these issues and Labour's new situation is the general secretary of the Fire Brigade Union, Matt Wrack.