UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Tories smell blood on Union Labour Link

The Conservative reaction to Ed Miliband’s concession on party funding yesterday brought to mind what the late Mick McGahey once said of a previous Tory Government - "they will only stop chasing when we stop running." Even though Miliband conceded that his proposed £5,000 donation cap would apply to trade union donations (provided that political levy contributions were treated as individual rather than collective donations), the Tories are still not happy – demanding that trade unionists must opt in to the political levy rather than opt out as has been the case since 1945.

No doubt the Tories and Liberal Democrats are delighted that Labour is marginalising affiliated unions in financial terms in the same way our collective input into Labour's democracy has been eroded since John Smith's OMOV ended the block vote in 1993.

But opting in of individual trade unionists has been a bottom line of both Coalition Government partners throughout the long running saga of party political funding reform – and every unilateral concession from Labour nudges the process towards that outcome.

For more on the history of trade union political levy contributions read: