But Ed Miliband isn’t proposing that.
He is talking about the affiliation fee paid out of the political levy, not the political levy as a whole.
Presumably many union members won’t opt in and the Labour Party will receive less income from this source as a result.
But this will leave more money in trade union political funds for them to donate to the Labour Party or spend on their own campaigns.
Not quite correct. The coalition is changing the rules on party funding
Are you aware of this potential change in funding law:
“Apparently any money spent by an affiliated union campaigning at an election is to be treated not only as a ‘third party expenditure’ as at present, but also as a Labour party expenditure for the purposes of electoral law. As such, it will count towards the Party’s electoral spending limit.”
That aside if Ed takes less money from the Unions he is wrong and if he does something about it ...it's not enough.
The parismony of spirit in your article and its double sided criticisms are breathtaking.
Labour should stop trying to sweep its association with the Unions under the carpet like it is something to be ashamed of...
Unite held an all member ballot earlier in the year on whether to continue to the political levy or not
(note this is not about affiliation but the concept of putting money aside for political campiagning - as you state).
87.4% of members wanted it to remain.
Although to be fair only 18.6% were bored enough to vote at all.
But that's not enough.
Now we must give individual members the right to opt out of donations to Labour.
Except they already have that right. So we have to give it to them more often...?
Then surely everyone will leave the Unions and they'll stop giving money to Labour.
I dont think you'll behappy till the unions are sending out mailshots telling people affiliation with Labour can cause cancer.
There's nothing in principle wrong either with Unite or anyone else wanting to influence a candidate selectionas long as they do so within the rules - in Falkirk they clearly didn't - but what's common sense got to do with it?
We live in a society where as soon as anything goes wrong we must throw all our babies out with the bathwater in order to be seen to be doing something.
All the statistics from the US show that open primaries are devastating to actual party memberships.
And the Conservative party membership figures since they started open primaries back this up.
Although you can make a case for them in areas where seats are very safe.
But what about for example the Bethnal Green and Bow Primary where all "Rabits Friends and Relations" turned up and you had to run it again?
Primaries are like magic tricks - unless they're properly funded they're a sham - pick any card and you always get the one the political class wanted.
This primary Ed intends for the Mayor of London - what if someone who's not the membership choice wins it.
Will everyone just accept that? Or will it be the Ken Livingstone / Frank Dobson debacle all over again.
Still those who reject OMOV must learn the lessons of a lack of internal democracy again - the hard way.
If people dont want Labour to be funded as much by the Unions any more there are only two real solutions.
State funding of political parties - which I dont think anyone is that keen on or ...
... more individuals donating. Sadly the Labour party doesn't have much money. From Anybody.
No it doesn't. You outspent us by nearly 33% just during the short period of the 2010 General Election.
Where did that money come from? Well, let's not go over all that again ...
Come to that - even Andrew Pelling's Indpendent campaign outspent the local Labour party at the last election.
We can't even get near to spending up to the electoral limit.
The money's got to come from somewhere and as FPTP creates a 2 and a half party system almost everywhere it's run...
...which side do you think the Unions (who founded the party) and going to give their money to?
Interestingly too no one complains about all the shareholders and employees of private companies that corporately donate.
Even though many of them dont get a vote in this...