Money versus people

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

THEY’RE at it again; the ruling class of this country are trying to use their own level of corruption to break the bond between the trade unions and the Labour Party. And their persistent attempts to do so underline the potential importance of that bond for the working class.

Few people were surprised to learn that the Tory party had been raising funds on the basis of offering direct access to the Prime Minister with the influence that would bring to the highest bidder. Hundreds of thousands of pounds will guarantee the PM’s ear — no chance for low paid workers, the unemployed, pensioners and all of the general population who are suffering under the Con-Dem Coalition cuts. Power is directly and blatantly for sale; money carries more weight than people.

And as usual the ruling class media, pundits and commentators are clamouring for a total change in the way political parties are funded. They claim a moral equivalence between filthy rich individuals funding the Tory party and millions of trade union affiliated members funding the Labour Party with their modest political funds tariff. What the bourgeoisie most object to is that the trade unions’ members use their political subscriptions in an organised way. They debate the issues at union conferences, vote on them and then use their small individual contributions together to have maximum impact. This is how the Labour Party was created — by trade union subscriptions. This is the working class using its only strength — its numbers — in an organised way for the benefit of the class as a whole.

And the ruling class hates this because ultimately the working class far outnumber them and through using their organised strength the workers can, and will eventually, bring down the ruling class and create a workers’ state to replace the state of the bankers, landlords and capitalists.

This is not a new argument but it is one we have to return to over and over again because the ruling class attacks that bond between Labour and the unions over and over again.

And it shows how misguided some socialists are to write off the bond between Labour and the unions on the basis of New Labour’s treachery.

If the ruling class have their way and bring in state funding of political parties it will be the end of the low level of democracy we have. If members of the party — including union affiliated members, are not allowed to use their collective strength democratically to influence party policy, what is the purpose of being a member? Or having a party at all? If the state funds political parties it will set the parameters of their policies. They will all become just another propaganda mouthpiece of the status quo — funded by reluctant taxpayers.

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