Published: 22 June, 2012
• THE Coalition government says Ed Miliband is “in the pay of the union barons”. Labour MPs may be sponsored by Unite union but it’s much more democratic and accountable to its members than major companies in the FTSE 500 are to shareholders when money is donated to the Tory party without a vote.
In the mid-1980s Margaret Thatcher’s Tory government passed legislation designed to curb the power and influence of trade unions in the Labour Party, so nobbling its opposition’s finances. By law, all unions had to ask each member if they agreed with a political levy and, if “yes”, where it should go.
Many unions had a huge turnout in their polls, more than 80 per cent in most cases. One union had an 86 per cent turnout, with 96 per cent voting for the political levy going to the Labour Party. In fact, six unions that had previously not had a political levy voted to link up with Labour.
Since 1987, there have been regular votes in all trade unions concerning a political levy.
And you can opt out of a levy system.
Since 1987 or before there has not been one vote in any company on a political levy or money donated in its hundreds of millions over the last 15 years.
NAME AND ADDRESS SUPPLIED