Sunday, December 17, 2006

Keep the Labour-union link!

Over the past week, that dishonest, congenital liar Blair has been interviewed by the police over 'cash for honours', and - it seems- once again slithered his way out of the situation by claiming (quite falsely), that the honours in question were given for "services to the Labour Party" - which, according to "Downing Street sources" means (to quote the Independent on Sunday of 17 December 2006), "'their willingness to serve as Labour Party peers'. A party spokesman said: "I am not going to get into how may leaflets they have delivered"'. None of the businessmen in question have any record of party activism (beyond large donations/loans), and at least one - Sir David Garrard- is not even a member of the Party. All the businessmen involved, say (quite believably) that they thought they were being put forward for the Lords because of their "contribution to British society", not because of their (non-existant) "services" to the Labour Party.

Obviously, this disgusting business, and the equally neauseating supression of the Serious Fraud Office's's investigation into BAe's dealings with Saudi Arabia, have grabbed the headlines in the bourgeois media, and been the plainest examples of the extraordinary -pathological- dishonesty of Mr Tony "purer than pure" Blair.

However, for working-class socialists, all that is of secondary importance: what is much more significant (but less exciting), is the Hayden Phillips proposal for a £50,000 'cap' on all donations, whether from individuals or organisations, to political parties.

This proposal - vigorously supported by David Cameron- would allow rich individuals to continue to send cheques of up to £50,000 to the Tories, but require the Labour Party to write each year to political levy-payers, asking them if they wish to continue to remain a contributor to party funds. It is, quite clearly, a means of breaking the link between the Labour Party and the unions. It fits in with the plan that the Blairites forged in the 1990's, to break Labour's link with the unions, and to switch over to state funding of political parties. They never followed through on this plan, for two reasons:
1/ They (the Blairites) under-estimated the degree of public hostility there would be towards the idea of state funding of political parties;
2/They (the Blairites) over-estimated the degree of opposition they would receive from the trade union leadership.

...But now, it seems, Blair and his anti-working class clique are going for bust. According to the Guardian, "Sir John McTernan, the prime minister's political secretary, met Sir Hayden last week. It was claimed that he had told him that Tony Blair would support these proposals. Mr McTernan could not be contacted last night".

The Guardian (of December 12 2006), continued:

"Critics believe Tony Blair is intent on seeking a dramatic restructuring of the relationship between Labour and the trade unions, as part of his "legacy". In his first months as Labour leader, Mr Blair stamped his authority on the party by announcing his plan to scap Clause 4 of the Labour Party's constitution":

In reality, the "Clause 4" battle was a phoney war, that Blair and his 'advisers' (ex-student union ballot-riggers) knew they were bound to win. It wasn't a significant matter in terms of working class representation: the present busines - although much less dramatic - is: that's why some of us are calling a meeting at O'Neil's on Broad Street, Birmingham at about 5.00pm (after the T&G special conference on amalgamation with Amicus), with John McDonnell MP and various T&G Executive members, to discuss these matters. If you're in the Birmingham area on tuesday evening, come along!


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