Thursday, 11 February 2010

Unions Intend to Seize Control of Labour

Bullying unions bosses have launched a £75 million plot to seize control of the Labour party. The giant super-union UNITE, which handed the party £2.7m in the past year, is at the heart of the resurgence.

Union activists have drawn up a five-year plan to storm back to the centre stage of politics after 25 years in the wilderness.

An insider gloated: "We hold all the aces. Brown needs our money to fight what will be a massively expensive campaign. But whoever gets into No 10, there will only be one real winner - the trade union movement."

Cash from wealthy private donors has dried up, leaving Labour no option but to hold out the begging bowl. In 1997 only 40p in the pound of the party's funding came from the unions. Now it's almost double that.

Unite is now pumping huge sums into a 'key seat' strategy to bolster Labour candidates in marginals and to counter the thousands being poured in by billionaire tory donor Lord Ashcroft.

Meanwhile George Osborne has held 'routine' talks with TUC boss Brendan Barber. Simpson (Unite) has made it clear they are in no mood to join this dialogue with the Tories.

It can't be much of a surprise to many that the Unions are pulling the strings of the Labour party these days. I can only hope David Cameron, should the tories win the election, has a strategy to counteract their plans.


Quiet_Man said...

I think Unite have just sounded the death knell of the Labour party, everywhere save the West of Scotland.

Frugal Dougal said...

More proof that Labour is heading for its natural home on the opposition benches, where there will be a war that will prevent them acting as an efficient opposing force. Cue the Liberal Democrats as the official opposition?

Oldrightie said...

Cue the Liberal Democrats as the official opposition?

Would that were to come about. I could die happy!

subrosa said...

You're right I think QM, they have nowhere left but the west of Scotland.

subrosa said...

I don't think the libdems, much as I respect some of their policies and people, have the necessary sinister character to handle labour. We have the same problem here with the SNP Dougal.

subrosa said...

Auch OR you'll die happy anyway, because neither of us has long enough left to see result of our present efforts.

The lib dems need to up their game too though, like the SNP.

Dean MacKinnon-Thomson said...

Typical, its the Tories who have to solve the TU issue.

I just hope Cameron doesn't fall victim to their shocking and sickeningly anti-democratic militancy like Edward Heath did.

A good article Subrosa. Well done.

Anonymous said...

This is how they will get round the ban on donations larger than £50,000 which Cameron intends to bring in.

The top of the Labour Party have not got it yet. They still expect CLPs to take money from them, with strings attached, in the same way they have run the country.

In opposition and with a cap on donations, the unions will donate direct to CLPs or even candidates, but will only back, "their people".

I doubt this is good for Labour and the ferrett/sack fest which will ensue will make the TB-GBs of the noughties look like a tea party!

Vronsky said...

The unions in fact exercise very little control over Labour - the jackboot is on the other foot. A union consists of its members and its paid officials. The paid officials are all hoping for a fast track to the deep feeding trough known as parliament, and they are easily manipulated by the Labour Party through patronage and preference. Try to argue with the party and your career will top out very suddenly.

The rank and file members, of course, can go fuck themselves. Nobody cares about them - most of them don't even know that they're giving money to a political party. I speak as a former shop steward.

subrosa said...

Thanks Dean. TUs aren't my cup of tea and my experience of them hasn't been positive.

subrosa said...

Morning John. It's certainly not good for labour but I expect they will tolerate it. After all, seems like the unions are the only show in town.

subrosa said...

I always thought you had a touch of militancy about you Vronsky! Don't you think the unions have more control today than they have in the past 10 years? I would have thought so.

Strathturret said...

The Unions only have the public service left I would have thought.

One can see a Labour/Union campaign against Tory cuts. Gordon Brown will feel like he's back in the 70s again.

subrosa said...

Plus BA Strathturret. Have just been listening to a phone in about BA on Radio 5 Live.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Could the unions control Labour?

Well yes. In this day and age whoever holds the purse strings controls any party at Westminster.

It's the American model to smother ideology and principles with cash and turn democracy into the basket joke it has become.

Problem's for the unions is they haven't enough cash to outgun the global conglomerates. And their own failure to fight for their members have degraded a large proportion of the working class into the underclass.

For balance we need a left and right in politics, but that means nothing if neither are competent and committed to fundamental principles.

subrosa said...

Very well said RA. Let's not forget the unions are the feeder of the labour party. Doesn't the present labour party show us the dreadful standard of union leadership these days?

Allan said...

"I can only hope David Cameron, should the tories win the election, has a strategy to counteract their plans."

I wouldn't think so. After all isn't Comedy Dave funded by the Tory equivilant to "bullying" unions. Oh and his tax avoiding chum Mr Ashcroft. In any case the more precise description you can use for a union nowadays is chocolate fireguard. As in about as much use as.

subrosa said...

I live in hope Allan, as we all do I suppose but you're right. Dave's so ineffective he'll make no difference.

Such a pity we can't have right and left parties.

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