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

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Nothing 'bold and brave' about Miliband's mess

Following Ed Miliband's announcement that individual trade unionists will be required to opt in to Labour Party contributions various journalists (FT gossip columnist Jim Pickard) and union leaders (Len McCluskey) are spinning that all is intact with union political funds and that opting out will remain. Nothing could be further from the truth. Miliband's unilateral announcement and its aftermath not only demonstrated the subordinate position of affiliated unions. It also paved the way for implementation of the Sir Christopher Kelly review (notably titled 'ending the big donor culture' as per Coalition Agreement) - of which legislation to introduce opting out of union political funds was the major sticking point to the extent that Margaret Becket produced a dissenting report.
    As GMB's Paul Kenny has correctly indicated, following yesterday's panic measure Labour is set to lose the lion's share of union funding. Now it will have no alternative but to sign up to the Kelly recommendations - having sold the pass on the principle of opting out how could it do otherwise when the Con Dem’s decide to legislate? State funding is the ultimate aim of yesterday’s statement. Everyone needs to face up to that fact and the historic implications for unions being pushed out to the margins of party politics as in the USA.