Casino Politics: An unprecedented political gamble

Published on Labour List.org, by Ian Lavery, July 13, 2013.

… The goal of the party, as always must be to win the general election. Only by removing this government can we resoundingly put a stop to their monstrous actions. Only by working together as a unified body, Labour and Unions together, do we have any hope of achieving our goals. We have to get them out in 2015, we simply cannot afford, as a country, to leave the Tories with their hands on the levers of power. Does this week’s announcement leave this goal as uncertain?   

One thing is for certain, the current relationship between the Trade Unions and the Labour Party is not what it seems. Had the Len McCluskey’s, Paul Kenny’s and Billy Hayes’s of this world held anywhere near as much sway with the Labour leadership as the Tories and the right wing press would have us believe, then the fundamental changes being explored would not have been thought of, never mind considered.

The Labour Party was founded by the Trade Unions as a voice for ordinary people to improve the lives of the majority in this country. Ordinary people needed a voice in Westminster to go hand in hand with their Union’s voice in the mines, shipyards and factories that they worked in. Though the workplaces have changed, this remains true today and we need to re build and re-strengthen that bond.

The Collins review could be just what we need to build a stronger Labour movement and to establish a new relationship between the party and the trade unions. We need to clearly define the roles of both the party and the unions, understanding each other’s role in the industrial and the political spheres in which they naturally operate and importantly where their roles converge and interact.

We need to work together, to leave no stone unturned in order to build a functioning modern link for the 21st century. A link in which each partner understands their role and the role of their counterpart. A link where, through cooperation, we defend what the Labour movement has built during the 20th century, the NHS, universal education, the welfare state. A link where, through cooperation, we build the national institutions of the 21st century, meeting the aspirations of millions of ordinary people.

The link between the Trade Unions and Labour is the link which connects the party, with a membership of 200,000, to millions of ordinary working people across Britain. Millions of people, paying literally pennies a week to the political fund which in turn funds the party.

If we are going to examine the cleanest money in politics, surely it’s time some of the murkiest came under scrutiny too?

As a party we are indebted and should be immensely proud that the contributions of ordinary men and women fund us.  It is the donations of doctors, nurses, cleaners, crossing guards, teachers and others that are the lifeblood of our party. With funding from ordinary working people, who pay pennies a week to the Labour Party and who already have the opportunity to “opt out”, if they wish, it seems ironic that we are the target of attacks on funding … //

… The scandal at the heart of British politics is not in the trade union and Labour Party relationship. The real scandal is hidden away from public view, in the corners of Tory HQ, where donations lead to their benefactors becoming enriched at the expense of the very people who pay pennies a week to fund the Labour Party.
(full text and links to rrelated articles).

(Ian Lavery is the Labour MP for Wansbeck, chair of the Parliamentary Trade Union group and former President of the NUM).

Links:

Trade Union Group of Labour MPs on en.wikipedia … is a British group representing all Labour Members of Parliament who are members of trade unions that are affiliated to the British Labour Party (UK) …;

National Union of Mineworkers NUM: on it’s Homepage, and on en.wikipedia;

Edward Snowden’s Asylum Quest: Press Conference in Moscow Airport, on Global Research-ca, by Stephen Lendman, July 14, 2013;

The millions of people who don’t give a damn about us matter most, onHopi Sen, by blog owner, July 7, 2013;

When it comes to government, we’re still being lied to, on rabble.ca, by Gerry Caplan, July 15, 2013.

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