Hayden Phillips, Trade Unions and Party Funding: a contribution to the debate

Submitted by Janine on Wed, 01/03/2007 - 21:49

A group called 'Unlock Democracy' - a project of Charter 88 and the New Politics Network - made a submission to the Hayden Phillips review of party funding. They interviewed various trade unionists, one of whom was yours truly.

I've attached their report (you have to be logged in to this website to look at attachments) as a contribution to the debate around Hayden Phillips, which has been discussed in depth elsewhere on the Workers' Liberty website.

I am not posting it because I endorse its contents. For example, it argues that the right of trade union members to opt out of their union's political fund should be given more publicity. I disagree: the law gives union members no such right to opt out of any other part of their union subs (eg. the part that goes to benefits, or to conferences, or to education and training, or to officers' salaries), so is explicitly aimed at weakening the unions' political voice. In fact, the mere existence of a legal distinction between a union's political fund and its general fund is a false distinction between unions' 'political' activities and their 'general', or industrial, activities. For example, RMT and TSSA are currently campaigning against East London Line privatisation. Is that industrial, or political?!

This report is not yet available on the Unlock Democracy website. I thought that by posting it here, it would give you something to think/talk/comment about, and you might have a laugh trying to guess which of the quoted comments are from me.

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TU&PartyFunding.pdf159.73 KB 159.73 KB
Trade Unions