Labour funded by trades unions ? I wonder why ?
There’ve been a lot of slurs thrown about in the Tory blogosphere & press regarding the union “Unite”, and its funding of the Labour Party election campaign.
Who would have thought a trades union would give money to the Labour Party ?
Well anyone who’d studied the history of the Labour movement I guess.
The Labour Party was founded in the late 19th Century at the behest of … that’s right – the Trades Union Congress – which was responding to calls from member unions, to provide a means to unite the efforts of all broadly socialist groups into a single entity to challenge more effectively as a force in parliamentary elections.
The Labour movement is an amalgam of many organisations and groups – of a fairly diverse range of political opinion, influenced for instance by the Temperance movement, Non-Conformist Christian groups, but all united by their dedication to democratic socialism. Many groups – for instance the Fabian Society are very clearly part of this movement – although it is not necessary to be part of the Labour Party to be part of the Fabians.
The Labour Party itself can clearly be seen to be a child of the trades union movement – and not the other way round. Not that it really matters – they arose out of the same schools of thought.
It follows that it’s only natural that a trades union should raise funds to elect a Labour Government. It’s not secret, it’s perfectly transparent, and it’s exactly what one would expect.
Personally I’m quite proud that the contributions of workers, working collectively, are used to fund the Labour Party.
I think it’s much more fitting than having a sugar daddy.
There’s more on this here Luke’s Blog: Shock, horror! Labour linked to unions! ; and here Bob Piper : An amazing discovery