Monday, 11 January 2010

Dept for International Development Funding the TUC



Consider this as a plot line in a novel. The book is about British politics.

The Department for International Development, overseen by that prominent politician, let's call him Douglas Alexander, and set up to support dedicated aid charities such as Oxfam or Action Aid, decides to syphon off a few million to the Trades Union Congress in the hope the taxpayer won't notice the sleight of hand.

The money involved is from three grants given since 2003 totals £3.6m.

The first two grants were 'intended to raise awareness within the British union movement of international development issues' and the third specifically aimed at 'activities to build support for development in the United Kingdom that are likely to contribute to a reduction in poverty in other countries.'

A good plot isn't it, especially since the arrangement has continued without question for 7 years.

However, as you've guessed it's no plot, it's reality. The behaviour of this corrupt labour government to give aid money to a union which in turn hands it to the labour party to fund their political base.

They were rumbled today by the International Policy Network which published a report on the TUC's relationship with the DfID A Closer Union.

When asked why the government was using money earmarked for aid to developing countries to pay British trade unions, a DfID spokesman said:

The TUC performs vital work in protecting workers in the developing world from exploitation and improving their often hazardous working conditions.” The spokesman added that the grant would be used “largely for development assistance”

More corruption, more scandal and more misuse of public funds. People still vote for these crooks. I'll never understand why.


Many thanks to Old Holborn for bringing this to my notice.


25 comments:

Quiet_Man said...

Bit like the Union Modernisation Fund scam

Labour laundering your taxes since...............oh God knows when.

Observer said...

If this were true it would have been front page news all over the right wing red tops. They hate trade unions and never miss an opportunity to have a go at them.

It's a government grant, it's therefore been assessed by civil servants, are they all corrupt too?

I don't know the ins and outs of this particular issue, but I do know that trade unions being very large associations (my own has a million members) are very involved in wider action, it's not just about higher wages and better working conditions, we do a lot of other stuff too.

And money given to the Labour Party has to come from the members, and you can opt out of the political fund and give to a general fund for political activity. It's controlled.

The idea that the government gives money to the TU's who then give it to the Labour Party is ludicrous. There are checks and balances, and as I said at the outset if this were true it would be all over the right wing media.

It isn't. Nuff said.

subrosa said...

Exactly QM.

subrosa said...

Observer, the publication only came out today seemingly. Are you saying the Times is lying? Seems like it.

They appear to have a great deal of details about the grants and their uses.

I'm afraid that any money which should go to developing countries being filtered through any trade union stinks to me.

Observer said...

The grant may be a waste of money, as I don't know anything about it I can't form an opinion, but it sure as hell isn't being used as a vehicle to channel money to Labour.

That really is a conspiracy theory.

Fitaloon said...

Stunning, in any other line of business this would be straightforward fraud and the perpetrators would be off to spend some time at the pleasure of Her Majesty. Instead this type of corruption is rife to try and stop the steady march to oblivion of the Labour party and it's Lap dogs.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Observer: No-one is saying it is being used as a vehicle specifically for channelling money into the Labour party. But ...

DfID is paying the TUC god knows why. TUC gives an amount to Labour dependent on its finances. The more expendable income it can afford, the larger the donation can be to Labour.

There's no reason why they should be getting the money in the first place and it shouldn't have been given. The upshot is that they are more able to donate to the Labour party as a result.

Not a conspiracy theory, but a misuse of funds, without doubt.

The referral should have been this one by those who looked into it fully.

Delphius1 said...

The DfID is a rich source of waste, as I've pointed out before. All you have to do is go onto their website and read their press releses. They really do make the mind boggle.

The majority of funding they squander can be cut without any drama or ill effects at all.

subrosa said...

I'm sure there are more of these types of scams going on Fitaloon. Unfortunately we'll not find out about them until it's too late.

subrosa said...

Thanks for the link Dick. I did look for something but didn't find that one. I'll put it on the post.

subrosa said...

I purposely didn't link to DfID Del because it would even make the most left-winged person shudder.

Apogee said...

Hi SR
Sounds like a union version of the government's own consolidated revenue. Once the money is in the cookie jar, who knows where it came from!!
Seems like the usual suspects as well!


D.

Apogee said...

And remind me again, what are we in Afghanistan for? oh yes, to teach them that corruption is naughty.We are setting a good example.
As for voting for this shower, - you can't fix STUPID.
And in the blue corner.......
Ground Hog Day?

D.

Ted Foan said...

Actually Janet this is not a new story. I first came across it a coupe of years ago.

I am afraid that Observer is at best naive but more likely stupid (and a Labour Party supporter to boot!) if he/she believes that "the idea that the government gives money to the TU's (sic) who then give it to the Labour Party is ludicrous."

He/she has absolutely no idea how corrupt this Labour lot are and the lengths they will go to defraud the public.

Where has this money gone? Which financial accounts can we examine to prove it was spent on the purposes for which it was designated? How do we know it has not been channelled back into the Labour Party? Which organisations bankroll the Labour Party?

subrosa said...

You don't need me to tell you why we're in Afghanistan Apogee, nor Gordon Brown. We all know the main reason and it's not to keep the army busy.

subrosa said...

Ted, I apologise then. I hadn't read about it before and I didn't have this singing dancing computer then so I did little browsing.

Observer is female and very supportive of unions.

Gedguy said...

I used to be a fireman with Merseyside county council in the 80s and asked my FBU representative, for months, to get the form off them so that I didn't have to pay the political levy to a political party (Labour) that I had never voted for. They ignored my requests for that form. So, for 'Observer' to state that: "And money given to the Labour Party has to come from the members, and you can opt out of the political fund and give to a general fund for political activity. It's controlled." is total nonsense.
Also, I remember when the 'Militant faction' of the Labour party used to divert council funds from the local taxpayers to fill the pockets of the 'Militants' war chests for their own left wing agendas. It cost Neil Kinnock his career dealing with them but it seems to me that Labour got rid of the 'Militants' but kept their fund raising activities. So much for Labour being a party of the people. If this had not been a well known British political party then I suspect that these people would have been charged with fraud. Normally I would say c'est la vie to this but these types of people are ripping us off to further their own political aims.

Vronsky said...

@observer

That really is a conspiracy theory.

There ought to be some equivalent to Godwin's Law, such that anyone resorting to use of the term 'conspiracy theory' automatically loses the argument. Conspiracies happen, dear - it's impossible to understand history without them.

Bugger said...

This is of course the same Douglas Alexander who was in charge of the Scottish GE and local elections one voting page and automatic counting fiasco and who is central to rolling out extended postal voting?

Slippery wee bastard?

Observer, I think this is only the tip of the iceberg. The Trades Unions have been getting grants to aid training and education as well as other purposes. I wish I could be ersed to go dig up the totals.

This money goes in to the big Union pot and elsewhere out pops a donation to the Labour Party, albeit from members dues. Aha you say but big business does the same taking Guimint money for training and investment aid but soe of these companies in receipt donate to the Tories. That doesn't make it right either.

T Unions have a historic connection with Labour and, arguably, without them Labour would not exist nor would a lot of worker's rights and our wealth wither. Just compare and contrast the rights and earnings of workers in countries where TUs are hunted (joke in there).

However the TUs (their aristocratic hierarchy)have largely become subserved by the system of wealth and patronage that the Labour Party has been become, to those who serve it that is. It is to my mind rotten to the core and the Tories are no different as will be revealed slowly over the coming years. It is only a question of style and degree.

If the Tories stop organisations contributing to political parties above say £10,000 assuming no curvy ones the Labour Party would collapse. The Tories would find ways round it somehow.

If, for historical reasons the T Unions really want to contribute to Labour I favour a secret opt in rather than public opt out and to any political party or to to a general political fund. The funds would need to be administered by some "untouchable" bunch of political buddhist monks though.

Bugger said...

Reading closer to the source I see that, as was stated by SubR the monies were given to the TUC and not individual TUs.

My points vis a vis re the corruption of TUs and the politcial levy still stand.

The original report published by the "Inernational Policy Network" builds on earlier work with Quangos and the suggestion (my words) that they are a useful and distanced front for pushing Government agendas. That to e is the real story here and the TUC angle is just opportunism at GE time.

However, any excuse to give this Labour a good kicking helps me through the day

Strathturret said...

Yes its not right.

Another example might be big lawfirms and accountancy boys put money into Tory party. Tories introduce PPP/PFI and guess who gets lucrative work to do all red-tape associated with these projects; big 5 number cruchers and top law firms.

Its a corrupt circle!

subrosa said...

Gedguy, had a similar experience myself. My opinion was it was all about personal egos and nothing about members. Many times the word members was spoken with disdain.

Observer said...

Ted I don't think that I am being either stupid or naive.

Contrary to some people's opinions this is not Soviet Russia, we have a ''free press'' who kick trade unions all the time, and a quick recce of the more right wing press doesn't show headline coverage of this, which as I said earlier it most certainly would if the statement made that this was a corrupt scandal and a misuse of public funds were true.

The strategic agreement between the TUC and the DFID is here;

http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/tucdfidsga.pdf

Now we may be able to question the effectiveness of the grant and the services it pays for, but that is all that can be said.

Gedguy said...

I don't know about Observer's "Free press", especially in Scotland. If the press was indeed free then there should have been something said about this; which is probably why the 'Times' mentioned this but not to the extent that they were willing to 'underline' what was happening.
I suspect that there is an 'understanding' between Labour and the Tories. Labour can use quangos like this to fund their war chests and the Tories can use government contracts and receive backhanders this way for their own war chest. This way the two governments of the UK can happily rip off the electorate's taxes with impunity. We have already seen the contempt that MPs, from most parties, have towards their constituents by the way that they have had their snouts deep in the trough of expenses. What makes the Labour party more the hypocrit is that they came into being to look after the needs of the working man. They are looking after their own needs now.

subrosa said...

Gedguy, the Scottish press wouldn't touch this with a bargepole. They protect their labour masters.

Yes it's so sad that labour have turned out to be the Tartan tories here in Scotland - a name they called the SNP for years.

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