Friday, December 14, 2007

Mandelson Sides with Cameron, not Labour on Party Funding

There was an interesting interview with Peter Mandelson on today's Daily Politics in which he was asked about the funding of political parties. He appeared to side with the Tory stance whereby they argue that the trade unions should be subjected to the same cap as businesses...
We should reform and the report that was drawn up and presented by Hayden Phillips after a great deal of thought and inquiry and consultation with the parties I thought was right, and I'm sorry that it hasn't been followed through by the government, and I would like to see the opposition parties engaging with it. Of course their complaint will be that if they accept caps on donations, they will want some alteration of the rules as they apply to trade unions. Without calling into question the historical link between the trade unions and Labour, I think it is reasonable for other parties to say there has to be some revision, some adjustment to the rules which apply to trade unions, if you are not going to do that you are not going to get buy-in from the parties into other changes in the rules which you certainly need... I'm not going to sign up to a specific cap because I really do not know enough about the issue. The principle that I'm describing I think is right - that is that if we are going to ask other parties for changes in rules and revisions which are going to have an impact on their funding, then we in the Labour party have got to accept that there will be some impact on the trade unions.

That should win him a few more enemies in the Labour Party.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mandelson and Blair were never Labour - they are soft-right Tories drafted in by big business to orchestrate politics in Britain so that unions will not be represented properly. This has worked; labour conditions have worsened at the low-paid area and casualisation in the economy has boomed, along with rising consumer debt. All that is left now is the big depression which further enriches the already-very-rich, and impoverishes everyone else. Mandelson is ideal material since his father was always a semi-detached labourite plus he leads a louche lifestyle and is an egomaniac. His conduct in Brussels is all of a piece, with his constant campaigns on behalf of big business to manipulate the international trade agenda in their favour.

With these people in charge though it begs the question - who needs the Conservative Party when the Tories are already in office the last ten years?

sniper said...

"I really do not know enough about the issue"

Stone me, a stepford mandelson. Of course, there are so many aspects of finance he does not understand. Mortgages, for instance.

John M Ward said...

Yes, Iain -- I was surprised at this stance. I thought: what has changed this fellow, or is this perhaps merely personal spin for his own credibility, in the knowledge that it will almost certainly never happen under a Labour government?

I do not know the answer to this, but I have never trusted Mandelson and I don't yet feel inclined to change my stance

Anonymous said...

I don't know, but can I just say how much I miss John Prescott and his love affair with Mandie? Thanks.

Chris Paul said...

But he has not signed up for parity Iain. You are misrepresenting Peter Mandelson! There are 45 Unions of which just 16 are affiliated and there are 4.5 million businesses. 100,000 times as many. Why should the cap be the same? Unlike Cameron Mandelson does not say it should be. He just suggests that change is needed re both groups.Here's the arithmetic.

tapestry said...

once all politicians agree that the public must pay for them, be afraid, and not only for your wallet.

Vienna Woods said...

Chris Paul,

What is wrong with the proposal for a 50,000 quid cap on all donations, whether they be from unions or business. As we have witnessed recently, many, many companies donate to NuLab, so why should a union be treated differently. A 50,000 cap is a 50,000 cap whichever way you look at it!

Tim Swift said...

Iain, you must be really desperate to try to justify Cameron's attempt to destroy the traditional foundations of the Labour party. As Chris Paul has already said, Mandelson is NOT siding with Cameron. There are a number of ways in which the trade union link can be reformed which continues to rightly allow individual trade unionist donations to go to the party through the political levy in a way that is entirely consistent with a cap on big individual, company and corporate donations.