Does it matter that the unions have influence over Labour?

Does it matter that the unions have influence over Labour?

Won’t whoever funds parties have influence?

The ever energetic tweeters at Tory party HQ were out this morning flagging the comments by ex-LAB gen sec, Peter Watt, that the trade unions do have an influence over party policy.

It was, surely, ever thus. The Labour party, as reflected in its name, was founded by the union movement precisely for that very purpose and inevitably has always had a huge say in the way the party operates and what its policy goals are.

    Aren’t we being naive to think that funders, particularly the big ones, of all political bodies are doing it without wanting some influence in what the party is seeking to achieve?

    The important thing is that everything is transparent so we know where the cash is coming from.

Even if we move to greater taxpayer funding of the political process then won’t the parties be in hock to the state? The government of the day could determine that, say, certain policy positions could rule a party out of tax payer handouts.

Whoever pays the piper calls the tune.

I’m for a cap on the size of each donation, greater controls on spending in the run up to elections and more robust policing of the system.


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