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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Trade Unions are in charge

The publication of donations to political parties for the second quarter of this year is as enlightening as ever, not least for the lady who left £520,000 to the Government of the day. The money was split 80-20 between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats.

The Telegraph though focusses on the money received by the Labour Party, three quarters of which has come from the Trade Unions. Labour was given £2.4million by the unions between April and June this year. The Unite union gave £772,195, GMB gave £485,830 and Unison £458,080.

This starkly illustrates how dependent Labour are on the unions and what Ed Miliband risks by promoting reform. The question is of course, what do the Union barons get for their money? It is a question for which Labour need to provide a convincing answer.

Trade unions might be "in charge" Peter, but trade unionists definitely aren't! What is actually happening is that we're being taken for a ride.
That doesn't seem like a balanced argument. It's true that the Labour Party was began by the combination of a number of smaller groups and the radical wing of the Union movement. It's true to say that historically, Unions have supported the Labour Party financially and philosophically. That, however, is only one half of the political coin.
The other half is that the Conservative party is funded by Corporate donations. Are not the Labour and Conservative Parties in the pockets of their backers? The Conservatives are no less at the mercy of Large corporations than Labour is at the hands of the Unions.
The pity here, it seems to me, is that the Liberal Democrats are unable to present themselves as independent in thought and deed while they are in bed with the Tories.
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