For the credibility of the party Labour is right to take strong action over Falkirk

It's become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the Conservative Party is looking for anything it can with which to smear the Labour Party link with the trade unions.

Unite union

It’s become increasingly clear in recent weeks that the Conservative Party is looking for anything it can with which to smear the Labour Party link with the trade unions.

Even before the Falkirk selection scandal Cameron’s friends in the media had been turning their fire more and more on the trade unions – and in the process taking the heat off the far more serious issue of parliamentary lobbying by private firms looking for favours.

It is vital, then, that the Labour Party and Unite don’t give the Tories and their friends in the media anything that can be used to make out that the biggest issue in politics right now is the Labour link with the unions. It isn’t; and far from being a problem, it’s something which should be maintained and strengthened.

But growing union and Labour membership should be done by individuals not by cheques from organisations

In recent years the Labour Party has changed, with reforms made to party democracy, an increasing emphasis on community organising rather than top-down dictats, and zero tolerance for selection stitch-ups.

It’s time for the unions to do the same.

Both the party and the trade unions should work towards growing their respective memberships, but not at the expensive of democratic credibility. In responding to Falkirk Labour was right to scrap the ‘Union Join’ scheme which, regardless of the truth of the allegations, was quite clearly open to abuse.

Unite maintain that they had nothing to do with the alleged attempt to sign 100 or more members to the constituency party in Falkirk and pay their subscriptions.

They should, however, accept the gravity of the charge and the need for the Labour Party to carry out an inquiry and sanction those responsible.

It is vital, for the credibility of both the Labour Party, Unite and the wider trade union movement that strong action is seen to be taken to ensure that something like this can never happen again.

4 Responses to “For the credibility of the party Labour is right to take strong action over Falkirk”

  1. Selohesra

    Police now called in – sit back – pass the popcorn – enjoy 🙂

  2. NT86

    Why don’t Labour and the unions simply agree to let local constituencies have open selections for candidates? It encourages localism and is good for participatory democracy. Sarah Wollaston is proof of what such a system can produce. Top-down selections from either side has never been my cup of tea.

    Also, if Labour wishes to reach out to more working class voters, what of those working class people who aren’t union members? E.g. in private sector jobs. There needs to be a broad church appeal and I’m afraid to say that over the decades, working class communities which aren’t in the north have gradually less unionised. Time to recognise them too.

  3. blarg1987

    I think on your second point we are going through the stage of self interest, how many times have we been you do not need a union, you can get greater pay by yourself then through collective barganing. Also remember in alot of jobs divide and rule is being imposed where 10 people will be promised a pay rise but only one recieves it.

    Untill people recognise this and the value of trade unions (throuhg setting up new ones for new employers etc) then it will be difficult for alot of people.

  4. Cole

    Let’s hope that the result of this fiasco is that there will be a move to more open primaries. It’s clearly ludicrous that small groups of party hacks can select parliamentary candidates (and this happens in all parties).

    The Tories did experiment will open primaries but seem to have backed off after it produced independent minded MPs like Sarah Woolaston and Zac Goldsmith,

Leave a Reply