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

Monday, 8 July 2013

Know your history - Opting in to political funds would be a Labour own goal

Throughout the various all-party attempts to review party political funding (including in the latest Kelly review) the Labour Party has stood firm on the issue of opting out of, rather than in to, political fund membership. For very good reason - last time around this resulted in a halving of political funds: http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/nov/22/party-funding-shakeup-rejection-promises

Now that Ed Miliband is gearing up to reform the Union Labour link, considerable pressure is being applied to reverse the current opt out arrangements:

This would be a serious mistake and betrays a serious ignorance of labour movement history:

'In 1927, in the immediate aftermath of the defeat of the General Strike, the Conservative government under Stanley Baldwin turned the requirement around to individual members having to actively opt in to paying the political levy, and apathy cut the combined union political fund by around 50%. In response, one of the first acts of the Labour government of 1945 was to restore opting out.'