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March 26, 2012

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william

Well yes, but the donation+influence makes sure that Tory policy will be slanted to help your particular business, in your particular economic sector, not just any old business.

Mil

I'm getting to the point where I am so suspicious of everything that happens that I'm even capable of seeing this all being taken advantage of as a diversionary tactic to the recent NHS and Legal Aid legislation.

Short-term pain whose waters are easy to muddy anyway; long-term gain in relation to an obfuscation of and distraction from important pieces of privatising process.

Jim

Because everyone knows the unions have no influence over Labour party policy making whatsoever...............

Account Deleted

Everyone knows the unions have influence with Labour because the relationship is completely open.

The point about Tory funding (and funding of the Lib Dems and non-union funding of Labour) is that it is essentially covert. This is what gives rise to the suspicion that the influence sought is a conspiracy against democracy.

The brazen way that Cruddas discussed the quid pro quo for a donation implies a systemic problem rather than a rogue operator. Either the Tories are conning the gullible rich or they are genuinely open to pecuniary influence.

SIPP investment

No different than what Blair did. The reality is, politics in this country are completely corrupted.

Luke

On the union influence point, I agree (a) it exists and (b) it's open. But have we lost something in that it now tends to represent the public sector? So the non-managerial public sector worker has someone looking out for her, the boss/capitalist class can and does pay for lobbyists and access, but there's no one really looking out for private sector, non-managerial workers. That group has not seen much wage increase and has lost its pensions over the last, say, 20 years. Does lack of lobbying/political clout have anything to do with this?

Jim

"Everyone knows the unions have influence with Labour because the relationship is completely open."

Really?

I await the minutes of those meetings with interest.

Account Deleted

@Luke, there is a general correlation across advanced economies between union representation and wage growth / pension provision. This should not be surprising, as achieving these things is the purpose of unions.

Even the right does not dispute this correlation, it merely explains it as unions seizing an excess share of profit, leading to under-investment and misery for all.

In the UK, unions do represent more public sector than private sector workers, though this is because of a fall in unionisation among the latter rather than a growth in the former. See page 22 of http://www.bis.gov.uk/assets/biscore/employment-matters/docs/t/11-p77-trade-union-membership-2010.pdf

Account Deleted

@Jim, you can find the minutes of the TUC conference at http://www.tuc.org.uk/the_tuc/tuc-20074-f0.cfm. The Labour Party conference is usually reported by a wide variety of media outlets, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, though they can be a bit selective.

As for the secret "beer and sandwich" meetings, where union leaders and the Labour NEC stitch up policy with the Freemasons and the Illuminati, you may have to join either an affiliated union or the party to get in on these.

Luke

@fromarsetoelbow - thanks for the link. For avoidance of doubt, I'm not having a go at unions/labour party as being public sector lackeys, just wondering if private sector workers have a voice - maybe it was better in the much maligned 70s when union representation was more widespread.

You ask whether the Tories are selling influence or conning the gullible rich. I think there's a reasonable chance of the latter. I can't remember the name, but I read about a (Democratic I think) us politician who was asked about accepting funding from two completely opposed interest groups. "If you can't take people's money and then screw them, you shouldn't be in politics" was his response.

Odd that that now sounds comforting.

Leigh Caldwell

The thing about paying for it is that you don't have to pretend to care about the other person's happiness any more. Liberating.

Leigh Caldwell

(I'm talking about politics here by the way)

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