Thursday, 14 March 2013

Cameron's big money

At Prime Minister's Questions on 13 March 2013, David Cameron attacked Ed Miliband for the Labour Party's acceptance of donations from trade unions in 2012: the GMB, USDAW, ASLEF, the TSSA, UCATT—£2.7 million, dinosaur after dinosaur, dinner after dinner. They pay the money, they get the policies, but the country would end up paying the price.

It's somewhat inaccurate for Cameron to say that the trade unions inform Labour Party policy, given that in so many instances, Labour remains entirely uniform to the cause of neoliberal austerity cuts. But, in view of the unions, Labour are the most effective vehicle for democratic socialism and social democracy, despite the sometimes contemptible positioning of its leadership (which is another issue entirely).

Ed Miliband does deserve credit (and it is something he should emphasise when responding to Cameron's swivel-eyed anti-union jibes) that in April 2012, he advocated a £5,000 cap on donations to political parties from any individual or organisation. 

David Cameron and the Conservative Party rejected this, despite their supposed outrage over large monetary support for the Labour Party from 'union barons'. 


It is perhaps because, unlike the Labour Party which receives donations from unions that are the cumulative contributions of thousands of low to relatively modest payed workers, 50% of Tory Party funding comes from bankers and financial firms in the City of London. £42 million has been given to the party from the City since Cameron became its leader in 2007. To put this into perspective, this is £12 million more than the insufficient "discretionary" fund for the poor and disabled victims of his bedroom tax.

No wonder Cameron's government is so driven to implement an agenda which transfers the expense of the financial system's crisis onto the social fabric.

Almost exactly year before attacking Ed Miliband for having "dinner after dinner" with the leaders of trade union donors, Cameron was forced disclosed the private dinners he had with large corporate donors to the Conservative Party.

His raving, self-evident hypocrisy confirms that he has no real moral objection to a politics based upon his bribery and corruption; his motive is only to attack the trade union movement which attempts to cooperatively organise a modest opposition to it.

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