September 14, 2009

STRANGE DEATH OF LABOUR ENGLAND:

Unions fearful of pay freezes but still prefer Brown to Cameron (Peter Riddell, 9/14/09, Times of London)

The main unions know that, before the election, their leverage is limited, even though they are Labour’s largest funders (far larger than during the Blair years because of the decline in donations from wealthy businessmen). If the unions threaten to hold back funds, or engage in confrontation, they risk weakening Labour even more.

All they can hope for is the postponement of controversial policies such as the part- privatisation of the Royal Mail, though this is likely to be brought in by the Tories. Their main influence over Labour will come after an election, when their votes will have a big say in the choice of a new party leader.

Brendan Barber, the TUC General Secretary, has had a couple of meetings with Mr Cameron. The unions hope they will have contacts with a Tory government, unlike their lack of access after 1979 when the Thatcher administration came to power. But that is a reflection of the unions’ weakness now, not their strength. Mr Cameron is happy to talk to the unions because they are no longer a serious threat.


You'd think Progressives would be prepared when progress comes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 14, 2009 6:33 AM
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