UK Labour is joining Australian Labor in reducing the influence the unions have on their parties. This should be contrasted with NZ Labour which is moving in the other direction and has given the unions a direct vote in the future Labour Party leadership.
The Independent reports:
Trade unions will no longer be allowed to enrol three million members a year to Labour ranks, Ed Miliband will announce on Tuesday in a dramatic effort to draw a line under the crisis gripping the party, following allegations of corrupt practice in candidate selection.
His move threatens a backlash from union chiefs – notably Len McCluskey, the leader of Unite, the country’s largest union – as it could pave the way to a reduction of their influence over Labour conference decisions.
Under his plans, which he will herald as the biggest party reforms in a generation, individual unionists will have to take a conscious decision to opt in to Labour membership rather than finding themselves signed up en masse.
This is how it should be. Union members should make an individual decision to join a political party, not be mass subscribed by their union.
Under the Miliband plans, which Labour says it wants in place as soon as possible, each trade unionist would be asked each year whether they wanted to opt in to party membership.
Party sources acknowledged the move would initially deprive Labour of members and income, but insisted it would ultimately help strengthen its relationship with unionists.
Mr Miliband will say: “I do not want any individual to be paying money to the Labour party in affiliation fees unless they have deliberately chosen to do so.
Superb. Will David Shearer say the same? That would be a far better reform than a man ban.
Sky News quotes Miliband as saying:
“I do not want any individual to be paying money to the Labour Party in affiliation fees unless they have deliberately chosen to do so,” he said.
Hear hear. Let’s hear the same from a NZ Labour leader.