not so Red Ed?

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  • not so Red Ed?
  • Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    No matter what your political leanings, the union block vote is a pretty indefensible, totally undemocratic way to take decisions. Even Bob Crowe must know that.

    If Millibean manages to reform this, then he neuters one of the Tories (and their right wing friends in the press) main areas of attack! And then he can rightfully start shining a light on where they’re getting their funding from. An unsavoury bunch of non-taxpaying non-doms, hedge fund managers, corporate vested interests like American private healthcare firms, and the uber-rich with dubiously obtained fortunes. Even Bob Crowe should be able to see that too

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Bit puzzled by the whole thing.

    So the opt-out is removed and the £10 a month goes to the union instead of the [chosen political party]. What stops the union taking (membership * £10) and using it as a one-off donation? In fact, it gives them more clout because they can easily chose to withhold it depending on their agenda, and those members who did disapprove of the whole political donation thing now have no opt-out at all.

    So in fact, the party is even more in the grip of the unions than before.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    Maybe so, but if he can’t afford the billboard for the attack ad, will it be much good to him in the long run?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
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    does this mean he actually formed one whole opinion 🙂

    Bet DC is quaking

    Premier Icon kimbers
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    mikewsmith – Member

    Bet DC is quaking

    think hes still sulking over cocking up the syria vote thing

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    The unions are one of the few voices for normal working people to influence politics. This is just about pandering to the right wing press and city bankers who now own labour just as much as they do the tories.

    The biggest surprise to me is that the unions haven’t withdrawn their financial support for labour a long time ago.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    I would prefer opt-ins and greater transparency in general but still find the angst over funding slightly bizarre. So the Labour Party which is broadly speaking there to support workers rather than the owners of capital, are funded, Influenced and aligned to unions – shock horror! And the Tories being there to represent the owners of capital receive funding, are influenced and aligned to business – shock horror! What should we expect?

    More troubling for me is the fact that Milliband is prepared to show such little gratitude for those who put him in power. Well at least he stepped back from the “utter, utter disgrace” (!?!) that needed a transparent police investigation of Falkirk. So perhaps he doEs recognise his rightful place after all!!

    Is his speech on tv?

    bokonon
    Member

    No matter what your political leanings, the union block vote is a pretty indefensible, totally undemocratic way to take decisions.

    The union block vote for leadership elections was abolished a long time ago, the only “block vote” they get is as delegates to conference, and then there it’s a delegate system anyway, they don’t wield millions of votes on the basis of union membership.

    It’s as democratic, or undemocratic in fact, as any other representative democracy process – like MP’s voting on behalf of their constituents – 50% of the voting and delegates and CLP’s carry 50% of the voting. Given it was the unions who set up the Labour party to provide a political voice for trade unions, it seems pretty reasonable…

    Even Bob Crowe must know that.

    Given that he is general secretary of a trade union which is not affiliated to Labour, and has precisely no votes what so ever in the Labour party, his opinion seems moot. (The RMT are however pumping funding back into the ill fated No2EU party for next years Euro elections.)

    I’m continually surprised by trade unionists I meet who still support the Labour party, and given the alegation that unions have so much control of Labour, it seems odd that it enacted over a decade of neo-liberal, anti-working people legislation, much of which was opposed by trade unions, not supported, and there was no repeal or even reform of the most restrictive anti-trade union laws in the developed world – which remain on the UK statutes.

    wrecker
    Member

    Itd be nice if this was the start of a genuine reform of all party funding

    +1. It’s sorely needed.

    The unions are one of the few voices for normal working people to influence politics.

    Not for me, nor the vast majority of people I know. In fact, the only people I know who are union members are in the public sector. Hardly representative of the majority of working people.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    fair play mr milliband

    I dont imagine the trade union crowd are going to give him a warm reception

    Itd be nice if this was the start of a genuine reform of all party funding

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    If you want undemocratic have a look at Corporation Votes in the City of London.

    PJM1974
    Member

    Itd be nice if this was the start of a genuine reform of all party funding

    Definitely this.

    The Labour party is utterly irrelevant these days, although I’m vehemently anti-Tory, there’s no way I can in all conscience give Labour my vote. They’ve learned nothing from their 2010 defeat, blaming the whole debacle on their immigration policy is an utter sham.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    bokonon – is it one member, one vote? Hardly. How can you possibly defend a system as democratic when you automatically affiliate your members to a political party then effectively use that vote on their behalf

    Until the system is reformed to one member, one vote, then the unions can shout until they’re blue in the face that its democratic, but nobody believes them.

    And approaching an election, it provides an open goal for a rabidly hostile right wing press to deflect attention away from the Tories ridiculously bent funding.

    In any right-thinking world, the Tories shouldn’t be in any position to lecture anyone on funding, and its effect on decision making and policy FFS! But they are getting away with it, and will continue to do so until the labour party makes the process truly transparent

    Anyway.. the next election is in the bag

    Premier Icon Lifer
    Subscriber

    wrecker – Member
    Not for me, nor the vast majority of people I know. In fact, the only people I know who are union members are in the public sector. Hardly representative of the majority of working people.

    Join a Union then.

    6 million ish union members, just under half are in the private sector.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Politics by birth or by job is finished, vote for those that represent you best.

    The only positive thing to come out of the Oz election was to see that the green party actually moved from a single issue (stop everything) to having opinions on other policies)

    A labour party that represents unions that are formed from people who do not share it’s views but whose votes/support is carried by a leadership who are stuck in the past doesn’t really work.

    Support who you want donate if you want. Don’t vote for a party because you feel you ought to.

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    its always struck me as odd/ shortsighted that the unions slavishly support the labour party.

    surely they could get much better leverage/ return on thier investment if they ‘donated’ to which ever party was in power..

    big buisness donate to the govt of the day to garner favour.. why not labour after all donating to the opposition changes nothing donating to the govt gets results..

    bokonon
    Member

    bokonon – is it one member, one vote? Hardly. How can you possibly defend a system as democratic when you automatically affiliate your members to a political party then effectively use that vote on their behalf

    Is parliament one member one vote? No, it’s not – it’s one delegate one vote.

    I’m not defending it as democratic, I’m suggesting that as a country we remove the plank from our eye – the hilariously undemocratic parliament system we use, and as for the lords…before we need to address the mote in the eye of the Labour party – which the Labour party has decided to use, on it’s own, for itself. If you don’t like it, perhaps you should join and then you can have a say in it. Personally, I’m not a member, and couldn’t give a stuff how decrepit their internal democracy is – the political party I am a member of only operates on a one member one vote system for everything.

    None the less, if we’re talking internal party democracy, at least in Labour CLP delegates get 50% of the votes – in the Conservative party, they don’t even get a chance to vote, not on the leader, or on policies – so Labour is a paragon of virtue by comparison.

    wrecker
    Member

    Join a Union then.

    Why would I do that? Doesn’t really have a point. I’ll vote for whoever I damn please, and if I wanted to donate to a political party (hell would need to freeze over); I’d donate to whoever I damn pleased, not give money indirectly to a union nominated favorite through a trade membership.
    As kimbers said, party funding needs to be sorted. We have two main parties who are in the pockets of organisations whos priority is not the majority of the population. This needs to change.

    redpanda
    Member

    “If you want undemocratic have a look at Corporation Votes in the City of London.”

    Or the ability to vote on parliamentary matters by Lords Spiritual.

    Personally, I find it very sad that unions have become so demonised in this country, that they are no longer seen as organisations which can (and have) actually stand up for ordinary workers. And even more worrying, that many ordinary people seem willing to see the backs of those same unions which fought for many of the rights we all enjoy today. When they’re gone, then maybe people will finaly appreciate them.

    Without unions, how will ordinary workers be able to temper the greedy demands of coproations and companies with nothing other than the generation of profit (for a very few) at heart?

    Miliband has shown his true tory hand. Or rather, the hand of Capitalism that’s been rammed so far up his arse, every time he opens his mouth, you can see it’s fingers waggling.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Miliband has shown his true tory hand. Or rather, the hand of Capitalism that’s been rammed so far up his arse, every time he opens his mouth, you can see it’s fingers waggling.

    I think its more a reaction to the right wing press and the whole red ed thing
    which ultimately is controlled by the capitalist wright wing press corporations and their tory puppets

    Premier Icon andytherocketeer
    Subscriber

    Unions won’t be gone though. They may work in a different way, and be independent of political parties.

    If I want to be represented by and be entitled to services provided by a union, I’ll join one.

    If I want to support a political party, I’ll donate to or join one.

    My voice in Parliament is represented by the guy who accrued the most X’s regardless if it’s the one who got my X.

    And I’ll never pay a penny to RMT after they got me an initial disciplinary warning in my first job, purely as a result of their greed, and protected status in law. Sure they were representing their members, but holding half the nation to ransom.

    ohnohesback
    Member

    It’s easier for Moribund to attack the unions than it is for him to attack the tories. That is a bitterly sad commentary both on him personally, and of the state of british politics in general.

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    I agree that we need unions more than ever

    And to be fair to Millibean, at the same time as reforming the union links, he’s also talking about the scandal of zero hours contracts, and a living wage (75% per cent of the jobs created in ‘George’s Economic Miracle’ pay less than £7.50 an hour). So that looks promising, until you realise thats all it is. Talking.

    The trouble with the present cowardly, pathetic leadership of the labour party is that they’ll whimper about the injustice of these things, without coming up with a single proposal as to what they’d do about it.

    Do I think that they would actually do a single solitary thing to address these very real problems? Not a chance! They’ll just carry on being Tory-lite. The same policies to suit the rich, and punish the poor, just not obviously looking like they’re actively enjoying the nastiness of it all, like the present lot

    jp-t853
    Member

    I am sure this is the best move for the Labour party and the political landscape in general.

    The Unions represent a small and distinct section of society. The unions need a political voice more than a political party needs the unions.

    Hopefully the funding of parties will become regulated and controlled more fairly.

    Long term this will be a good decision.

    wobbliscott
    Member

    Unions are stifling business in this county to such an extent that few companies would expand in this country anymore – certainly not the British company I work for who, in the last 5 or so years has set up about 6 or 7 new facility employing thousands of people and investing hundreds of millions of pounds in high tech, high value Manufacturing – none of it in the UK, and our UK operations and presence in the UK is reducing. Want to look for one of the key reasons big Manufacturing has declined in this country? look to the Unions. The sorts of tactics the Unions employ are not in the interests of the workforce or the company. For example, after negotiating more flexible working shift patters that ultimately reduced overtime, the Unions advised the workforce to ‘go slow’ such that the backlog of work built up over time and we had to re-introduce overtime to clear it. It is dispicable tactics such as this that prevents me from joining a Union, even though I see a place for them and would like to be represented, but I just don’t agree with their approach. Also I don’t want to fund the Laour Party.

    Some don’t understand why Unions are demonised? I don’t know why hard working honest people are demonised in this country, where success and the desire to work and get on to improve yours and your families circumstances are frowned upon. We really are doomed in this country aren’t we.

    grum
    Member

    I don’t know why hard working honest people are demonised in this country, where success and the desire to work and get on to improve yours and your families circumstances are frowned upon. We really are doomed in this country aren’t we.

    😆

    Eh? Yeah the press is full of stories slagging off hard working honest people isn’t it. WTF are you on about?

    ohnohesback
    Member

    Wobbliscot: A turkey that did vote for christmas.

    grum
    Member

    What have the unions ever done for us? They only look out for their own members right?

    Anti-discrimination rules at work
    Overtime pay
    Occupational health and safety
    40 hour work week
    Worker’s compensation
    Employment Insurance
    Pensions
    Public education
    Collective bargaining rights for employees
    Wrongful termination laws
    Whistleblower protection laws
    Anti-sexual harassment laws
    Holiday pay

    Oh….

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Unions are stifling business in this county to such an extent that few companies would expand in this country anymore

    Yes… you’re absolutely right!

    I don’t know why hard working honest people are demonised in this country

    They’re not! They’re deified!!! If you can find me a single example of a front-bench politician, of any colour, who’s managed to get more than 2 sentences out of their gobs without referencing ‘hard-working families‘ I’d be interested to see it.

    Have you been living in a cave?

    I was listening to a recent radio interview with Theresa May, the Home Secretary. In 90 seconds she used the phrase ‘hard working families’ no less than six times. I was in danger of throwing something at the radio

    Premier Icon MSP
    Subscriber

    I don’t know why hard working honest people are demonised in this country, where success and the desire to work and get on to improve yours and your families circumstances are frowned upon.

    It’s like the “american dream” everyone’s sold a dream that hard work and individualism will bring the rewards, but it only does for a small percentage. The vast majority of the country would be better off sticking together. But the right wing press keeps feeding the stories to blame each other, rather than turning attention to those who feed of our lives.

    CountZero
    Member

    I was forced to join a union, the NGA, back in the bad old days of closed-shops, and, despite having one of the highest subs* of any union, when I was threatened with redundancy, they were utterly useless and offered virtually no help to me at all.
    My opinion of unions has been somewhat poisoned as a result, it always seemed that union officials were happy to live off the earnings of their members, but actually cared little for them, just using them as cannon-fodder in their battles with the government of the day.
    *At the time I was getting around £10/week, and my sub was £1.50, a fairly high percentage of my weekly wage.

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Look, isn’t it time to leave poor Ed alone. Its almost bullying.

    He has already had to back down/hide on the “utter, utter disgrace” that was (apparently) nothing of the sort and he has Chuka Umunna and others breathing down his neck to get his job who is/are in favour of zero-hour contracts which he will dis-own today. Then Syria. Oh and the economy is recovering so that line of attack has to be watered down to the more nebulous and hard-to-define “living standards.”

    Poor guy – he will be turning grey soon (oops) or adopting George Osbourne’s new “teenage/one direction” haircut!!! 😉

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    Oh and the economy is recovering

    the continued rise in food bank use belies that statement

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    The economy is recovering. That’s indisputable. About bloody time too! We’re still way below where we were before 2008 though. And will be for some time

    The benefits and proceeds of any ‘recovery’ are all going to a very small minority of people though, adding to the massive inequality in this country, as most people’s living standards and real incomes have plummeted

    So that’s back-slaps all round for the Tories then. Job done!

    Premier Icon teamhurtmore
    Subscriber

    Hence, the new Labour focus on “living standards”*. No doubt that economy has started to recover and that this is broadening out. But true, this is not reflected in real wages or equality of income. But neither are exclusive to the UK or to the Tories. They are global trends.

    * which will be interesting come election from a psychology PoV – if absolute wages/incomes recover by 2015 will this be more important than relative wages/equality? Ed will have to hope not otherwise the Tories “joker” card just may become a “trump” one?!?

    Flanders did a good summary of this in the BBC last night – interesting to see how she covers her old mate!! Pretty well last night IMO.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    wobbliscott is Ed Milliband and I claim my £5.

    I haven’t a clue what this is all about. Has Ed decided he’s too useless to fight the tories so he’d rather beat himself up? When David Cameron was standing opposite him saying “Yar boo, you take money from the unions”, in what possible world was it not his job to stand up and say “Yes I do, we’re funded by workers, but you’re funded by investment bankers, so sit down and shut up, you bought and paid for ****”?

    Premier Icon dazh
    Subscriber

    “Yes I do, we’re funded by workers, but you’re funded by investment bankers, so sit down and shut up, you bought and paid for ****”?

    Exactly. I find it amazing that labour party goes to such lengths to deny and obfuscate it’s union funding in response to attacks from the tories, rather than going on the attack about the tories own funding. At least the unions are democratic organisations, which is not something you can say about Ashcroft and the City of London.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    well is it me or did he not really mention funding?

    good stuff on 0-hr contracts (and some good tough uestions) and ensuring government contracts offer living wage

    redpanda
    Member

    “Want to look for one of the key reasons big Manufacturing has declined in this country? “

    It’s cheaper to produce stuff abroad, where standards of living are lower, and companies don’t have to worry about such inconveneinces and obstacles to rampant profiteering as workers unions.

    So, if strong unions which campaign for better conditions and rights for workers are a disincentive for companies to invest, does that mean the unions are at fault, or the greed of those who put profit before people? Should we give up our employment rights, as fought for and won by many of our trade unions, just so companies will invest in the UK? Should we just roll over and become a sweatshop, where workers have little or no rights and will scarbble for any scraps the elite throw us?

    Bollocks to that.

    dannyh
    Member

    “Want to look for one of the key reasons big Manufacturing has declined in this country? “

    It’s cheaper to produce stuff abroad, where standards of living are lower, and companies don’t have to worry about such inconveneinces and obstacles to rampant profiteering as workers unions.

    So, if strong unions which campaign for better conditions and rights for workers are a disincentive for companies to invest, does that mean the unions are at fault, or the greed of those who put profit before people? Should we give up our employment rights, as fought for and won by many of our trade unions, just so companies will invest in the UK? Should we just roll over and become a sweatshop, where workers have little or no rights and will scarbble for any scraps the elite throw us?

    Bollocks to that.

    Quite right, but what’s the alternative?

    Nationalise industries we wish to protect and subsidise them to the hilt? Been there, done that, the unions killed their own golden geese by seeking to extort outlandish concessions from various governments, and in some cases, trying to bring said government down in the process.

    Seek to differentiate ourselves by having the very highest standards of training and education in order to be at the top of the list for high-end manufacturing? This would be my preferred option, but the frankly dumbed down ‘comprehensive’ education system mitigates against excellence on a large scale.

    Suck it up and take a hit on living standards to be able to compete? Undesirable, but will probably be the default result we get.

    Subsidise foreign companies to base themselves here? Less extreme than nationalisation, but still has many of the same problems.

    The problem is, a lot of people in this country have a sense of entitlement that is misplaced. They rant on about lack of jobs etc, but then steadfastly refuse to countenance anything that means they have to work harder.

    “You mean I will only get two tea breaks instead of three? Well, I’m not doing it then”.

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