July 9th, 2013

Ed Flip-Flops on “Opt In”

“If Ed follows through with what’s being trailed, it will make Blair’s Clause 4 moment look like a resolution of the Tufty Club”, so says Dan Hodges. Miliband will today attempt to mend the financial link between Labour and the unions, requiring union members to positively opt-in to their political levy rather than opt-out. The problem? Convincing the union bosses themselves to agree to stop pulling the strings on labour leaders. Forcing the union bosses to accept something they see as weakening their personal power – McCluskey himself says as much in the Guardian – will be a huge test of  Ed’s resolve. McCluskey incomprehensibly argues that getting union members to positively opt-in is disengaging. Kinnock took on Militant, Blair took on Clause 4 and ignored the unions. Ed’s hope is that the unions go along with opt-in even though they hate it in the knowledge that, if they don’t, he’s done. He’ll be seen as too weak to lead the country if he can’t lead his party.

It will be something of a personal turnaround, the once union-backed leadership contender Ed Miliband is on the record as having explicitly opposed an opt-in as recently as last year. Only this weekend Tom Baldwin was briefing the Sunday papers that Labour had no intention of doing anything on the union front. This is either a weak panic move or the strong seizing of an opportunity presented by Unite’s fraud fiasco in Falkirk…

Guido wishes Miliband well. As with Nixon going to China, only he, a Labour leader made by the unions can break the union bosses control of the Labour Party. If he succeeds in genuinely breaking their financial stranglehold on the party he will be entitled to demand wider political funding reforms, a cap on donations to end millionaire donors bankrolling the Tories. He will do politics a service if all political parties have to rely on their supporters for money, parties will have to meaningfully engage with their grassroots,


  1. 1
    Tooth fairy says:

    You just know it is all going to end badly. UKIP’s rise will be astronomic with the LibLabCon collapsing before our eyes.

  2. 2
    Anonymous says:

    Got to give Ed credit if he achieves an opt in – may even increase Onion membership

  3. 3

    Unite means Divide.

    Very Hegelian.

  4. 4
    melvin says:

    Millionaire donors have subsidised Labour and LibDems, not just Tories – and if they support a Party’s policies why shouldn’t they be allowed to give as much as they want? Once you put a cap on donations, you will be encouraging precisely the kind of loophole-seeking shenanigans that we have seen with MP expenses.

  5. 5
    Mitch says:

    Economic stagnation and huge national debts. But all the political parties are talking about is a 10% pay rises for M.P.’s and state funding for yah-boo advertising campaigns.

    As the man said, they just don’t get it.

  6. 6
    Will the guardianistas let Ed succeeed? says:

    When Ed turned on Murdoch he pulled that one off and added a string to his independent bow.

    What he is proposing with the Unions is much the same. The boy could just do it.

    Fly in the ointment is that the BBC and Guardian press hate Murdoch, unlike their love affair with the trades Unions.

  7. 7

    Millions of jobs created under Dave “one term” Cameron
    charity shops , food banks ,immigration advise centers
    why you can even work for nothing in schools as classroom assistants , in our police as community plods , and now you can go and get killed for nothing , in our once great military
    Lots of jobs for such little outlay

  8. 8
    Anonymous says:

    “parties will have to meaningfully engage with their grassroots,”

    But to win, will still have to engage with the wider populace, and therefore will still end up with broadly the same positions as now.

    Back to the drawing board for the likes of you and Owen Jones…….

  9. 9

    European court of human shites has just ruled that Whole life sentences are unlawful
    What say you Dave ?

  10. 10
    Tax is a certainty says:

    Austerity can only go so far..the next stage is tax hikes. And despite what Labour say taxing banks and the very wealthy will not raise nearly enough so the little man will hacve to chip in eventually.

  11. 11
    Tony Blair says:

    A new day has dawned, yes?

  12. 12
    dai laughing says:

    thats about it

    a very important constitutional subject highlighted by ludicrous shenegans

    megaband’s great opportunity

    has he no record of what happened to Callaghan? – too weak, too vain, deluding himself that he could ‘deliver’ a deal

    and , yes a great opportunity to reduce the corruption of tory party financing

    go on ed – fluff that!

  13. 13
    I've got my society back. says:

    You mean Charities going back to being charities and volunteers allowed to volunteer?

    Then bring it on.

  14. 14
    Aaron D Highside says:

    I didn’t realise onions could join like other vegetables.

  15. 15
    Money is Power says:

    Not necessarily. You may encourage parties to widen their bases of support among ordinary people and smaller doners.

    I know of one branch of the LibDems which is basically run at the whim of one rather elderly gay gentleman who has for years been letting it be known that he’ll leave his estate to the local party. He does, to be fair, fork out cash from time to time, but it has killed the party: they hold no fundraisers in anticipation of his cash and none of the local councillors will do or say anything without his approval. Hardly a democratic party.

  16. 16
    The Grauniad says:

    Yes it is disgusting, just where will we get our FOC interns from?

  17. 17
    dai laughing says:

    ..that its about time those pretending to be concerned about the ECHR brought the subject of international law into parliament for open debate

    or are they scared that the electorate a) isn’t immediately interested but b) might suddenly panic if it realised the extent to which nation states have undermined their own ‘polities’?

  18. 18
    Len Geppetto says:

    Waiting with interest to watch Pinocchio’s nose and the don’t knows.

    I’ve got no strings
    To hold me down
    To make me fret, or make me frown
    I had strings, But now I’m free
    There are no strings on me
    Hi-ho the me-ri-o
    That’s the only way to go
    I want the world to know
    Nothing ever worries me
    Hi-ho the me-ri-o
    I’m as happy as can be
    I want the world to know
    Nothing ever worries me
    I’ve got no strings
    So I have fun
    I’m not tied up to anyone
    They’ve got strings
    But you can see
    There are no strings on me

  19. 19
    Tip for dave says:

    Quick fix for Dave

    abandon HS2

    New Build or expand Old into new world class airport. Preferably Boris Island as it can also be a major shipping port and gateway into Europe. (add some green frills to keep the ecoloons happy)

  20. 20
    Its all about trust says:

    Yes, there is a pattern emerging here of Ed biting the hand that feeds him and stabbing people who trust him in the back.

  21. 21
    B Boyd says:

    ‘a cap on donations to stop millionaire donors bankrolling the Tories’. Labour has got enough millionaires of its own. Why do they not stump up like Tory supporters? I give you Socialist Rich List examples: Hodge, Mandelson, Blair, Brown, Campbell, Robinson, Beeboids galore. Come on, get it out of the tax havens and into Party HQ to fund a leftward lurch.

  22. 22
    David Miliband says:

    You can say THAT again.

  23. 23
    Gary Gilmour's Eyes says:

    Bring back hanging. It is kinder in the end.

  24. 24
    Kangaroo Court says:

    You just now how insignificant UKIP is when a perfect opportunity for the Tories to smear them (Guido’s party conference that resulted in a hidden raype allegation) is reduced to a mini-column in the sunday telegraph.

    If UKIP’s kangaroo court is ignored while the SWP equivalent is made into a five week saga on the blogosphere, things are pretty much over for the UKIP gig. Insignificant side party.

    Once Murdoch and Guido have re-shaped the new Union-free image for Labour, they will flip support. Remember Blair?

  25. 25
    Gawd Help Us says:

    Or nick your savings as opposed to inflating them away. Bit of a dilemma.

  26. 26
    Plodders Ploddington says:

    It’s centres for Christ’s sake, centres.

  27. 27
    But? says:

    Are we allowed to do these things anymore without the say so of Brussels?

  28. 28
    B Boyd says:

    Doners and other kebabs?

  29. 29
    Anonymous says:

    I can only assume that Tooth Fairy is a satirist based on his name and UKIP forecast. The existing parties in parliament may be unsavoury but they look positively saintly compared with the representatives of La Farage – Wise/Mote jailed, Andreason spilling all the dirty UKIP secrets to the documentary makers, numerous councillors and candidates being found out as racists, criminals and ex BNP and La Farage himself boasting about scamming expenses.

  30. 30
    Anonymous says:

    Bamber and co have lost their appeal.

  31. 31
    Anonymous says:

    An opt in to all political parties – then the Onions distributing the money to the various parties.

    Which political party would the Onions refuse to put on their forms ?

  32. 32
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    Owen Jones @OwenJones84

    Simon Danczuk, the MP for Troll West, says Labour left no better than the B&P http://fw.to/eTGXgkl What an embarrassing disgrace of a man

    I agree with Owen.

    While both B&P and left are economic death, at least the B&P are not oikophobic too.

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    Any vegetable can be a cabinet member – remember the Spitting Image Thatcher sketch?

  34. 34
    The EU is croques monsieur says:

    But what is ‘austerity’? Someone earning 500k a year having to put up with the ordeal of getting only 497K a year? That isn’t even the case with public spending which is still RISING year on year.

  35. 35
    Politics 101 says:

    He has a point. The B&P are merely another rival brand of socialist.

  36. 36
    B Boyd says:

    And advice for Christ’s sake, advice.

  37. 37
    The EU is croques monsieur says:

    Confusing the Liblabcon mainstream media with the public over UKIP is a mistake made by many people. Thank goodness today we have other forms of media.

  38. 38

    Fuck off you lefty numpty twat.

  39. 39
    melvin says:

    They’ve ruled that there has to be the opportunity for review of the sentence. To be fair. For once.

  40. 40
    Tax my piss says:

    With both Labour and the Liberals proposing wealth taxes then spending ypur savings on things won’t work either. Probably best to piss, gamble and whore it all away.

  41. 41
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    Better fix.

    Allow expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton and Stansted.
    Then build Boris Island + Rail + Road(and Bus) + MSCPs

  42. 42
    melvin says:

    I thought the B&P were another brand of petrol?

  43. 43
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    B&P are national socialists.
    Labour are anti-British Socialists.

  44. 44
    Sir Barrington Minge says:

    I blame Ed Balls.

  45. 45
    lolwut says:

    “parties will have to meaningfully engage with their grassroots”

    Or it’ll just come down to who’s the best bullshitter leading up to the election.

    So basically, no change. Just less billboard adverts.

  46. 46
    Tasty says:

    You know the type- folk with a chip on their shoulder.

  47. 47
    Cameron is a liar says:

    “a cap on donations to end millionaire donors bankrolling the Tories”

    This is cloud cuckoo land.

    If rich donors want to help the Tories they can provide office space at a knockdown rate, get millions of leaflets printed up if they happen to own a print works, discount prices for ad space and so on.

  48. 48
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    That’s called appeal.

    Murderers should die in prison.

  49. 49
    Kangaroo Court says:

    Yes, thank goodness we have the silo’s on the internet, where ill feeling can be contained within an echo chamber.

    Most people do not have time for these sites.

  50. 50
    Judge Dreadful says:

    Isn’t that what the trial is supposed to be about?

  51. 51
    Carry Hole is a porcine homunculus says:

    Debt interest from the gordo the maniacs splurges, rewarding feckless likely labour voters with money looted from the productive.

  52. 52
    Anonymous says:

    Not only kinder but also a lot cheaper.

  53. 53
    Ed Milibler says:

    I believe in one-nation socialism.

  54. 54
    Anonymous says:

    Onion – multilayered vegetable

  55. 55
    A Pilgrim says:

    In other words, behave in exactly the same way as the office-space owning, print-shop running unions at the moment.

  56. 56
    'Baroness' Ashton says:

    The EU Commission wants a major new shipping port for the Czech Republic. Job creation or some such. The money for HS2 could be better spent on a high speed link for the final leg from the sea to the new Europort. I support it.

  57. 57
    Giant's Causeway says:

    I think they should build a railway from Scotland to Ireland, and screw every EU budget for every penny they can to get it built.

  58. 58
    mraemiller says:

    “If he succeeds in genuinely breaking their financial stranglehold on the party he will be entitled to demand wider political funding reforms, a cap on donations to end millionaire donors bankrolling the Tories.”

    Unfortunately no one will hear the message as Labour wont be able to afford to print any leaflets with the message on. The Tories already outspend Labour often by as much as 33% in marginal target seats in the short period alone. Giving up the Union link unilaterally will not create a sudden outbreak of “fairness” in party funding. When the Labour party is financially castrated the Conservatives are not going to suddenly turn round and agree to funding reforms.

    If you really wanted funding reforms why dont you just do it? Which of us is in government exactly?

  59. 59
    Peter R says:

    Labour and the Conservatives are as bad as each other with their Union and big business party funding. This fuss will all amount to nothing, becuase they both have vested interests in maintaining the status quo.

    As such they treat all voters with contempt and are only concerned in preserving the power of the LibLabCon, they do not care about the ordinary tax paying man or woman.

    It is no wonder UKIP are so attractive to former voters from all parties who are desperate for a change in the ethics of our political “elite” who are more concerned in their own gold plated pensions and future job prospects in the EU, than they are in protecting the UK’s soverignty.

    Traitors and quislings the lot of them.

    The sooner we leave the EU and regain control of own laws, our own borders, our own human rights, our own fishing grounds and our own rules on olive oil, the right to deport who we want, when we want, and who to allow in the country and what benefits they are can claim – the better.

  60. 60
    Fugly old munter says:

    And irreversible. Think less legal fees!

  61. 61
    Tanya Hyde says:

    I never fancied them in the first place!

  62. 62
    Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope he has a moment of conscience and leaves it to UKIP instead.

  63. 63
    Money is Power says:

    Do they have also have some cute young Asian men willing to stroke his ego?

  64. 64
    Sarge says:

    ‘Ed Miliband is to loosen the grip of trade union leaders over Labour policy-making as part of a sweeping modernisation drive that risks confrontation with the party’s traditional paymasters’

    Guardian – June 2011.

    ‘Miliband has been forced to defer plans to change the voting powers at the Labour conference, leaving unions to keep 50% of the vote. In practice, Unite, Unison and the GMB control 40% of the vote at conference, making it almost impossible for constituencies to defeat them.’

    Guardian, September 2011

    So, how much ‘sweeping modernisation’ will Ed manage then? Sweet FA based on his previous record.

    Making a headline is one thing,actually solving a problem another.The turkeys will never vote for Xmas.

    Ed creates the left wing version of UKIp – a vote splitting pain in the rear and loses funding into the bargain. Genius.

    I demand an enquiry into the effectiveness of Ed Miilliband.

  65. 65
    Anonymous says:

    I think your assuming that anybody gives a flying fcuk about Ed Milliband the traitorous UK hating marxist.

    The man is a dweeb, a nerd, a lily livered idiot that nobody would be glad if their daughter brought home for dinner. He has the kind of face and annoying voice even a mother would hate.

    It is impossible that man could be PM of the UK, we would be the laughing stock of the world and his ideological addiction to the EU and plan to destroy anything “British” would gift what little UK sovereignty we have left, to the Federal EU. We would be destroyed under ruinous welfare expenditure on increasing hoards of immigrants as tax’s were increased to pay for it all and the Government advise in the face of EU carbon power cuts is to burn Union Jacks to keep warm.

    The only thing worse, would be if david cameron won the election.

  66. 66
    Anonymous says:

    Fancy that…

    the EU/ECHR overruling our own Parliament, who would have thought that.

    It’s highly embarrassing for the LibLabCon because it overtly, and very publicly demonstrates, that although Quatada got sent back (he was one man and it took 11 years and was in despite of the EHCR and cost millions of £), the real bosses here are the EU and ECHR.

    We are very simply no longer a sovereign nation.

    The sooner the voters realise this, the sooner they will stop voting LibLabCon.

  67. 67
    Anonymous says:

    Yeah, any nation so long as its not British.

  68. 68
    Shooty* says:

    “He will do politics a service if all political parties have to rely on their supporters for money, parties will have to meaningfully engage with their grassroots”

    Yeah, but it’s Wallace we’re talking about, so he’ll fuck it up in the most incredible way possible, to the detriment of all. Dude makes Lynn homer look competent.

  69. 69
    Sir Everard Digby says:

    Waste of time. Ed’s plan to bring the Unions into line in 2011 failed miserably. They have a block vote which will be used for that purpose -blocking any change.

    Plus Ed would have to find millions to fund the leftyverse he populates from elsewhere…….I would vote for a leader who picked a fight he had no chance of winning,wouldn’t you?

    I forgot, he has no intention of actually doing anything.

  70. 70
    Post hoc says:

    Dan Hodges, ooh you closet Brummie, you! (I always wondered who’d got my badge…)

  71. 71
    Anonymous says:

    More food is being collected from shops / supermarkets than ever before – to give to more food banks

  72. 72
    I Hate Tesco AND The Pope says:

    Tooth Fairy – many of us share your wish to see UKIP in power, but please tell me this; where is Farage’s talent pool? The best hope is that enough disaffected MPs from all parties move to support him. Unless that happens, he’s even more fucked than the appalling LibLabCon.

  73. 73
    Overmigh De-Boadeye says:

    If Labour think they can jump from Union funding to taxpayer funding of their miserable crew (same for the Tories too), they can F*** the F*** cough.
    I didn’t choose to be a citizen of this country to allow some third-rate parties to be funded by the state.
    I want a system where local independent trustworthy talent can get elected, not some grey party apparatchik get a shoo-in behind my back.
    I would rather have 200 independents and a couple of dictators fight it out in Westminster. (who needs 600+ greedy MPs)

  74. 74
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    Well, it is either UKIP or civil unrest. Take your pick!

  75. 75
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    And get blown up when that ship goes bang!

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