Tuesday, December 04, 2007

£50,000 Funding Cap: Arithmetic to be Considered

FACT ONE: There are 45 (forty five) Trade Unions in the United Kingdom with regular amalgamations continuing a long term consolidation. These represent millions of workers.

Wiki lists some 45 extant Unions of which perhaps a third are minnows or strictly professional societies and a larger proportion still are not affiliated to the Labour Party. Sixteen are affiliated, with seven of these working together as they are small = ten entities. The new union "Unite" for example includes the T&G and Amicus with the latter including the AEEU, MSF and GPMU - itself a combination of SOGAT and NGA. 100 Historical Unions are also listed.

FACT TWO: There are 4.5 million businesses registered in the UK as of 2006, an increase of just under 3% on 2005. That is 100,000 times as many businesses as there are Unions. Of these businesses 6,000 employ more than 250 people. Which means they each represent a turnover into the millions.

Registering or buying up and capitalising a new limited company takes an hour at most. Forming and growing a Trade Union runs into years, decades, centuries.

ONE QUESTION: Why should a set of legal entities limited to 45 and likely to decrease, representing millions of workers, be treated in exactly the same way in any political funding reform as 4.5 million businesses - likely to increase?

ARITHMETIC: With a £50,000 cap the Trade Unions could give a maximum of £2.25M while the businesses could give ... 100,000 times more. Just as well the Labour Party is the Party of Business, Growth and Stability!

But remind me please, just why is it that Cameron wants to treat the unions the same as businesses?


Anonymous said...

I was hope to read a coherent rebuttal of the arguments for including Unions in the funding cap.

Unfortunately, you have wasted 2 minutes of my time with absolute gibberish.

Chris Paul said...

How so "absolute gibberish"? And aren't you a low reader. Helps if you can stop your lips moving.

Anonymous said...

Who's a sockpuppet?

I can't help noticing, since I watch your site intensely on the issue, that you have dumped a huge amount of material on it over the last couple of days.

Your intent would appear to be to expunge from the record your ridiculous support for Miranda Grell.

This new material has pushed the Grell story, just five days old, off your site.

She was at it. You're at it. I'll be at it.


Chris Paul said...

What a silly anonymous sock monkey troll you really are. The blog is set to a two day view. It has been set like that for a few months as I recall. It doesn't depend on the number of stories just the number of days. You are wrong, as usual.

We'll come back to the Grell case in due course.

BTW are you the one you begged me and begged me to cover it and then head emptied a load of putrid homophobia FIVE TIMES in the comments?

Be honest now, I can check the IP records ...

Anonymous said...

Could anonymous 10:29 please explain what the arguments are FOR treating the Unions the same. They are clearly quite different as Chris has shown. Not with any argument as such. Just by presenting the basic facts.

There are 16 affiliated unions. There are 6,000 medium to large businesses and 4.5M in all.


Anonymous said...

Last time I checked, those 4.5m businesses were able to donate to the Labour Party as well. Quite a few of them do, including some Manchester-based ones such as Ask Developments.

Also last time I checked, the millions of workers who are members of trade unions are also able to donate to the Labour Party as individuals. Indeed if they are committed to the cause they should have no problems with donating the equivalent of the political levy by sending a cheque off to Labour HQ or their local CLP.

The Conservative position is quite clear - a £50000 cap on donations from all organisations and individuals. Why should your trade union buddies have a special exemption?

Incidentally, your "it takes years to build up an organisation" argument applies equally to a whole host of organisations, like the Fabians and the Bow Group, working mens' clubs and private members clubs, all of whom donate money to political parties. Should they also receive an exemption? Where do you stop?

Chris Paul said...

As you say some businesses do donate to Labour. Including Ask and others. Some unions already do give in other directions too.

However Trade Unions are not the same as businesses, come on Iain, they cannot be set up in an hour and closed in a minute as tools of the canny donors trade.

By their nature they represent very large groups of individual citizens who, if they choose to put in the levy part of the sub contribute equally or on an progressive earnings related basis.

In that sense they are different to businesses where all kinds of permutations of memberships, shareholdings and other financial involvements are possible and indeed probable.

They are also different to societies like M.I.C. where say 100 people may be subscribed - to keep it simple - where their names may be known to the EC (not sure if this is required now) but where just one of them may give £99,999.01 and the rest 1p each and call it a good job.

Very different.

And in the case of M.I.C. and indeed Muslim Friends of Labour they have been known to be formed and put into action very quickly.

I have not suggested an exemption or any other arrangement. All I am doing is pointing out that Trade Unions are not the same as these other classes of legal "persons" and it is therefore rather inane, and clear self-serving, of Cameron to pretend that logic dictates equal treatment.

Andreas Paterson said...

The conservative position is quite clear really. It's the one that leaves the Labour party royally screwed.

Organisations that represent the interests of a large body of people, have a heavily accountable and democratic structure have no place in modern politics.

Representing the interests of the people should be left to wealthy, unaccountable individuals.

Same Tory position as always.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks Andreas. United we stand against the baying mob of lick spittles and running dogs.

Unknown said...

Clearly, if there is to be a cap on donations, a wealthy individual such as Lords Ashcroft and Sainsbury would not be allowed to circumvent them by setting up a series of limited companies - injecting £50k into each of them and directing the cash be given to a political party. That would be a complete travesty of the proposed rule, a bit like Abrahams trying to circumvent the rules on anonymous donations by donating through proxies.

Assuming that to be the case, are you prepared to change your analysis?