Unions have united for Labour victory. The party must respond to union concerns

Ed at TUC marchAll the signs are that Labour can form a majority government in 2015. Lord Ashcroft’s larger opinion polls all indicate that the Tories and Lib Dems are going to lose a lot of seats to Labour.

David Cameron seems to agree. This realisation forced him into a large Cabinet reshuffle in an attempt to find more presentable faces for the Tories. This will fail, as the faces aren’t the problem, it’s the policies.

This realisation is also dawning upon establishment forces in the media. We can expect many more of the character assassination attempts against Ed Miliband that we’ve witnessed recently. Our opponents will fight dirty because that is their character. Continue reading

What is the future of the Labour-union link?

CLPD logoAfter Collins, what of the future? Of the collective link between the Labour Party and the trade unions as organisations representing the organised working class? The composition of the implementation committee is quite encouraging, and its actions may avert our worst fears in the immediate future. For example, Labour Uncut have suggested that the implementation committee  might change the basis of the London mayoral primary, and any early leadership election so that union members can be fully involved. They, of course. wish to prevent that. So the battle continues to preserve effective union involvement in party decision-making. Continue reading

Why one union wasn’t convinced by Labour’s reform package

Ray CollinsOn Saturday March 1st, the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) opposed a proposal supposedly geared towards transparency and democracy in relation to the link between trade unions and the Labour party. We were one of the only unions to do so.

We opposed it for a number of reasons. Had I been given an opportunity to speak at the conference where the ultimate debate and vote took place, I would have outlined these reasons to everybody present. However, despite trying to get called throughout the debate, I was denied the chance to put the BFAWU’s case forward. I find that both frustrating and extremely undemocratic – especially as I was sat merely a few rows from the front of the stage. Continue reading

The return of the Whig Party

Miliband the WhigLord Andrew Adonis, former SDP councillor, turned Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate, former speechwriter to Paddy Ashdown and latterly a New Labour Minister has told The Observer that he is right behind Ed Miliband’s ‘party reform plans’.  Lord Adonis is conincidentally heavily involved with Lord Sainsburys’ militant tendency, Progress organisation. Well, to paraphrase Mandy Rice Davies; “he would say all of that, wouldn’t he!

Lord Adonis, who is also keen to become Labour’s mayoral candidate in London, thinks that Ed’s plans could massively increase Labour’s membership on the ground, totally outgunning what ever the decayed old Tory machine can offer. The Primary system, progenitor of pork barrelled American Tammany Hall politics is to be foisted on the London Labour Party for good measure. Continue reading

Shock as Young Labour rejects Collins reforms and votes to defend the link

Labour General SecretaryYoung Labour conference today delivered a damning verdict on the Collins Review of the Labour-union link – voting to mandate its delegates to vote against the proposals at the upcoming special conference on 1st March.

The party’s youth wing’s two-strong delegation carries 25,000 votes in the affiliates section of annual and special conferences. Though this is fairly small compared to larger affiliates such as the “big four” unions, today’s decision represents the biggest vote declared so far against the proposals. The reforms have been criticised for their potential to drastically reduce party funding and compromise the historic link between the party and the trade unions, through moving from “opt-in” to “opt-out” affiliation of union members. Party executive member Ann Black has questioned the levels of support claimed by party chiefs for moving away from the status quo. Continue reading