Most of the discussion in the media covering the unions and the Labour Party is wrong-headed. The impression given is that there is the entity known as the “Labour Party” and that the “unions” are somehow outside and merely link up to the party.
In fact our Party is not a singular body, it is a federation. An NEC document written in 1960 spells this out:
“The Labour Party was established as a federation and remains a federation.”
It then goes on to quote the first line of the 1906 Labour Party Constitution.
“The Labour Party is a federation consisting of trade unions, trade councils, socialist societies and local Labour associations.”
Later the 1960 document sums up as follows:
“Throughout all the changes in affiliations and membership The Party has remained predominantly an association of trade unionists.”
The Party is a federation with two main wings: the political wing and the industrial wing and nothing has changed in this regard. This was the case in 1906, it was the case in 1960, and it remains the case today. Ed needs to appreciate that if one wing disappears, The Party will go round in circles.