Wednesday, August 11, 2010

TULO campaign to Save the Labour Link

I got this email this morning from TULO on defending the link between the affiliated trade unions and the Party – the Labour Movement family.

I don’t suppose any of the leadership candidates will not sign the pledge but it is right that TULO and the rest of us should be campaigning on this issue and making people aware of the real threat.

“Dear John,

Where would the Labour Party be without us?

It's almost impossible to imagine. For over a hundred years, trade union members have been at the heart of the Party. Together, we have fought for the rights of working people and their families - and built a better society as a result.

Now, with the Labour leadership election approaching, we find ourselves in a precarious situation. The Tory and Liberal Democrat Coalition wants to change the way political parties are funded. This would threaten the way unions currently affiliate to the Labour Party and represent their members.

It's crucial for union members that we have a Labour Leader who will defend the strong relationship between the Party and the unions. Ask the candidates to pledge their support for a strong link between the Party and the trade union movement:

Labour was founded on the principle of being a voice for the people of Britain; the voices of millions of working people are brought to the centre of the Party through collective representation by the affiliated trade unions.

Now with the Coalition government looking to change how political parties are funded, working people's voice could be silenced....”

I think that the Party and the trades unions are pretty shell shocked at the moment with all that has gone on under the LIBCONS (and the far, far worse to come) so this should also be a good time to build a better relationship in the future between the wider Labour movement and its political arm.


Tony C said...

A very timely initiative John particularly with Jack Straw's impending retirement from the shadow cabinet.

For more on who's driving this threat see here:


John Gray said...

Hi Tony

Good link. The Tories hypocrisy over this issue is just disgraceful.

Anonymous said...

To be fair there are other alternatives to Labour and the time to remove the link has come. Other parties, supported by activists who want to fight, should be supported morally and financially. Ourunion 'Leadership' has sold us down the river for years. Time for real change! We should learn from the example in Lambeth where the membership has taken over and follow their example. They want nothing to do with New Labour and they are in control of the Branch wanting to fight!

Anonymous said...

Anon 20.42 what drivel. What you don't understand is that the tories want to stop all trade union political affiliations. So if you want any unions to support your tiny bunch of unrepresentative odd balls and freaks this needs to be defeated.

Frankly, the idea that "the membership" has taken over and want nothing to do with New (or old) Labour is laughable.

Local government members in Labour authorities know when they are lucky. Ask those who work for Tory/Lib Dem boroughs.

As john has said in the past if you lot are true revolutionaries you ought to go out and work in the private sector where unions are needed the most and not play wolfie in local government.

Bill said...

It would be a good thing to break the link between unions and political parties, their membership, functions and methods are irreconcilable - as a non-Labour member of Unison I know that even if I opted to pay the non-affiliated fund it would find its way into back door support for the Labour party (I've tried to exercise my right to opt out of paying the political levy, but can never be certain that union officials have carried out my wishes - I also take opt-out forms to branch meetings).

But it should be we who do the breaking, not the state.

Anonymous said...

Bill is right most of the money collected from the APF and the GPF ends up supporting the right wing Labour party. Activists in Lambeth Unison have proposed motions before which will mean other parties with true socialist policies will benefit. The link with Labour must be broken and to be fair I don't know of any real activists who support Labour policies apart from the odd branch secretary. The activists in Lambeth have taken control and will push for these reforms. Its time things have changed, enough of corrupt leaders and over paid regional officers telling us what to do! We now have more shop stewards than any other branch and the fight will start!

Paul T Horgan, England said...

The main feature of the Labour leadership election is that the male candidates appear indistinguishable from each other in so many ways.

So, given the above, a mixture of any two of the candidates would suffice to lead the party.

But what kind of mixture?

Using the latest morphing technologies, I have determined that the best candidate would be 80% David Miliband with 20% Ed Balls.

Want to see how?

Watch the video of the candidates morphing seamlessly into each other here.

John Gray said...

Anon 00.38 pretty much answers your points

Hi Bill

The link has proved mutually attractive and fairly successful for the past 100 years so I don’t see why it is now “irreconcilable”? There are a number of trade unionists who don’t support Labour yet recognise that the link provides benefits to members and support it because of that. They famously “leave their own Party beliefs” behind them went they go into work. These are not only on the “left” but I have even met a Tory Party activist who is a trade union branch Chair who recognises its worth with regard to rights at work.

However, to opt for the non-affiliated link is your choice and I think it is good that unison offers members the option of 2 funds. I think you are being a bit paranoid about the opt out. I am more than happy that non-labour supporters opt out. Around 95% of the members I recruit join the labour party link. If you work in public services it is really a no brainer IMO.

I agree that the state should not interfere – it is our choice. However, yet another argument for having a link:)

Hi Lambeth anon

Yes, I do understand where you come from as regards to “odd” branch secretaries (myself included of course). Isn’t about time you guys moved on? Father Christmas does not exist and you should understand by now that the pseudo scientific gobbledygook of dead Russian psychopath is just similar stuff and nonsense and there is a real world out there....

Hi Paul

Nice vid – love the music :) Wrong brother for the 80%!

Actually there are significant differences. I think Ed M’s view on the role of the market is quite profound.