Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Money Laundering – Courtesy of the Unions?

Gordon had a tough day yesterday, standing before the TUC Conference explaining the government’s below inflation pay rise. But he stood firm, Gordon Brown can’t be bullied and he won’t be bought, oh no, Gordon Brown is prepared to stick to his guns come what may… for 24 hours at least.

Without dropping a beat Gordon has today given a further £2.8m of taxpayers’ money to the unions to top up the Union Modernisation Fund; a fund that has already received £10m of taxpayers’ money. Oh, I almost forgot to mention Labour received almost £17m from unions last year.

But if the unions can afford to give £17m in donations to Labour doesn’t that mean they have more than enough money to pay for ‘modernisation’ without the taxpayers’ help? In fact it looks a lot like they’d even have enough left over to make a hefty donation to the Labour Party (and pay for some placards).

If anyone can explain how the Union Modernisation Fund is anything more than a money laundering operation to turn tax revenue into political donations I will be eternally grateful.


27 comments:

James Graham said...

It doesn't work out as neatly as that because non-affiliated unions are just as entitled to the fund as affiliated ones. But yes, it is hard to justify as a taxpayer expense.

tgf ukip said...

So where are the howls of outrage from the "Official Opposition." The chances are there will be more mileage in this for Norman Baker and the LibDems than there will be for the bunch of big girls blouses on the Tory front bench. Go back to,say 1995, and ask yourself just what the reaction of the Blair/Campbell New Labour Opposition would have been if John Major's Tories had been involved in anything near half as overtly corrupt as this. You then get a measure of just how feeble Dave and his pals are and how silly "no Punch and Judy politics" was and is. Blair was Punch and enjoyed every minute of knocking seven bells out of John Major's Judy. And, oh yes, it got him a majority of 179.

Eddie Pringle said...

Erm, how about because both pots of money are ringfenced? Donations to Labour are made by affiliated TUs from their political funds. These funds are balloted on periodically, and members have the option to opt out of paying the political levy. One that money has been accumulated in the political fund, the Union can decide how much to allocate to organizations to which they are affiliated (such as the Labour Party). The Union Modernization Fund is available to all TUs (so not only Labour affiliated ones, who represent around half of British Trade Unionists) and is distributed for very specific spending reasons. Iain, I'd advise you to do a little more research before making these accusations - indeed, I'd consider this tantamount to an accusation of criminal activity, and so I'd advise you to take it down pretty quickly.

fnusnuank said...

Ian, you forget that money laundering doesn't apply to politicians.

All the banks have to filter large payments and even demand explanations as to what the money is for (going out), or where it has come from and how.

This doens't seem to apply to people flagged as 'political' i.e. even husbands of Labour ministers moving money from 'bank to bank' in Switzerland, a prime indicator of money laundering don't seem to get investigated!

Shane Greer said...

Dear Fnusnuank,

Just a reminder that I am writing Iain's blog this week whilst he is on holiday.

Best,
Shane

Matt Wardman said...

Shane

Suggest you put a note that it is you at the top of the posting ("Guest blog by Shane Greer").

Matt

Ethelred the Unhinged said...

The UMF is a grant for which unions have to apply.

It is intended to help them become more "effective" and "efficient" and so offers an incentive for them to behave in a way of which Stalin McSporran would approve.

In other words, he hasn't yet found a way to privatise the TUC.

Anonymous said...

What a breath of fresh air. This blog has suddenly been given a new lease of life by our locum leader.

Perhaps Iain will take a longer break ;-))

jailhouselawyer said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Astro-Turf Lawnmower said...

According to the relevant Government website:

"The Union Modernisation Fund (UMF) is a Government grant scheme established by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), now the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). It provides financial assistance to independent trade unions and their federations in support of innovative projects, which contribute to, or explore the potential for, a transformational change in the organisational effectiveness or efficiency of a union or unions, in the light of the changing needs, aspirations and behaviour of workers and employers in the changing UK labour market."

It does beg the question, if such projects really would improve the effectiveness of the union, should the union(s)' members not be keen to fund them? Or, if they really would improve efficiency, would they not pay for themselves in savings?

But then, this is the New Labour creed. Why pay for something yourself when the taxpayer will pay for it for you?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

It's a disreputable racket and the Tories should be hammering away at these spivs.

Where are the Tories? On holiday I suppose. Or busy devising plans to increase the food bills of floating voters.

bebopper said...

"Shane, Shane, come back Shane."
Not a dry eye in the house as Alan Ladd rides off into the hills.
Never mind this shit. Shane was the best Western ever.

Dave Bartlett said...

You're quite right, it absolutely stinks.

Chris Paul said...

Money laundering it clearly ain't.

I've done you a new banner.

Adrian Yalland said...

We cannot explain, because we cannot prove a negative. It is - however you look at it - the tax payer funding the Labour Party.

And I agree - where the hell is the Oppossition?

Hughes Views said...

Pots and kettles dear boy? How about the tax cuts Mrs T handed the corporations who funded her triumphant campaign?

That was laundering North Sea oil revenues on a grand scale rather than investing them in infrastructure or paying off national debt.

Economic miracle? Only if you're extremely dim and/or very susceptible to spin!

Chris Paul said...

Adrian Yalland; If this is the tax payer funding the Labour Party what is it when corporations that get grants for XY and Z donate to the Tory Party? To say that this story is specious and fallacious is a waste of two perfectly good cious's.

jm said...

Since this is apparently difficult to explain, I've drawn a picture.

http://img2.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/551537da2e.jpg

Newmania said...

Erm, how about because both pots of money are ringfenced?

Oooo hoooo ha ha ha ah...oh , he`s serious isn`t he. The trick now is to look out for the quiet deal and the submarine climb down. Brownspin on the academies LIE” I still support them" TRUTH" But they only retain the name academy". It will be the same here if you are looking over the next year the Unions will get exactly what they want.

I enjoy seeing in this new era of open clean government that New Labour accepted monies from Mr. O`Bribery Dermot "The Kaiser" Desmond and they clearly will have to sell something until the Peerage heat dies down. I have never understood how people can say they are not in trouble. Why on earth would they have sold the K s in the first place if this was the case. The Conservative Party have the Ashcroft cash flowing into the marginal s outside the governed period and it was this fear that started the whole Blair cash grab when Brown ran the electoral campaign but “didn`t know or ask” where the money came from.......(girlish giggle )
This Union trick has been going on forever and its not just that we pay now . Its what we pay later with a PM ( I Hope not) who owes the Public Sector Barons . Naturally Policy will be " RING FENCED" like the policy on Tobbacco advertising for F1 was. What implications does this have for a rational approach to the NHS or the education system.

There are 8,000,000 in the swollen Public sector now all on gold plated pensions and in parts of the country they are the only constituency Labour have got. We might begin to ask if democracy has any meaning at all when the state has this many paid employees .


Shane I don`t like you because you are six and 3/4 and sound like Graham Norton but this is another brilliant post.


Bravo

Chuck Unsworth said...

@ Eddie Pringle: "The Union Modernization Fund is available to all TUs (so not only Labour affiliated ones, who represent around half of British Trade Unionists) and is distributed for very specific spending reasons."

That's immensely reassuring for us all. Are there any/many Conservative or LibDem or ScotNat or UKIP affiliated unions by any chance?

Personally I have no confidence at all in all of this persiflage. Simply, it's a bung to keep them onside. After all, why is it necessary to 'Modernise' the dinosaurs? Better ways of going on strike and screwing the taxpayer then?

"I'd consider this tantamount to an accusation of criminal activity, and so I'd advise you to take it down pretty quickly.

And your opinion only. Or do you have some professional legal experience which might prove relevant?

Newmania said...

Economic miracle? Only if you're extremely dim and/or very susceptible to spin!


As presumably the Labour Party are who accepted her Union reforms and economic outlook ever since but sharing the proceeds of growth , and more , with their public sector drones.

Newmania said...

Shane was the best Western ever.


Good I grant you but I still plump for Stagecoach by a whisker and the Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance is exceedingly good as well

If this country wasn`t such a little old ladies armpit of a state funded arts dead zone we might have such a glorious national myths . In Shane the realtionship between the outlaw and the homnsteader has much to say about the individual and society.
What do we get...the Halibut slapped in the face subtlety of " The Full Monty"


Its tragic the way we have allowed oulselves to become this backwater. Socialism kill more thna just aspiration , it attacks the very soul.

Anonymous said...

Newmania said "The Conservative Party have the Ashcroft cash flowing into the marginal s outside the governed period and it was this fear that started the whole Blair cash grab ......"

If they were doing this and the cash contributed was not included in the Tories national campaign spending for the 12 months prior to the 2005 General Election then this was a clear breach of the law - if you don't believe me check the Act.

Mountjoy said...

Just why should a member of a trade union vote for Gordon Brown’s party when Brown is offering a pathetic half-of-inflation rise for public sector workers? This is an insult and betrayal to people without this country could not run. Their votes have often been taken for granted by Labour, but should that be the case any more.

It will be sad to see strikes again but public sector workers have been pushed too far. It is a drastic course of action to have to take, but we for one support their cause - a decent wage rise. Brown has pushed them to this and it is more evidence that his party’s rose has well and truly wilted.

Sir James Robison said...

So where are the howls of outrage from the "Official Opposition."

Precisely. Where the hell is Cameron - does he want to lose the election?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

Mountjoy [1.59 P>M>] You refer to the public sector workers as the "people without [whom] this country could not run."

True, up to a point. Unfortunately there are also many 1,000s of public sector workers whose departure would only benefit the economy. You can see their jobs advertised in the Guardian every week.

That's why money is getting a bit tight. So many mouths to feed.

Sorry you didn't get the pay rise you wanted. Console yourself with the thought that you will be able to retire at 60 with an inflation-linked pension, while the rest of us soldier on until 67.

David Lindsay said...

At the weekend, John Hutton reportedly “warned” the unions that they should not take for granted their links to the Labour Party. As Hutton almost certainly does not know, over half of the unions affiliated to the TUC have never been affiliated to the Labour Party.

But he might know that membership of the TUC’s General Council has always been a bar to membership of Labour’s National Executive Committee. And he undoubtedly knows that there has been a spate of disaffiliations in recent years.

The unions have done particularly badly (and that is saying quite something) out of Gordon Brown’s move to a National Government. No union figure has been raised to the peerage in order to be given so much as an advisory position, never mind a ministerial one.

Meanwhile, numerous union-sponsored MPs have been pointedly passed over in favour of Lib Dems, Tories, non-political figures, and the former Director-General of the CBI.

(Comrade Digby is on record as having voted both Tory and Lib Dem in his time, but never having voted Labour. He still has a vote in local and European elections. How is he going to cast it, and why?)

The unions should tell their insolent dependents such as Hutton and Brown to sling their hooks. They should instead come up with ten dream policies and offer ten per cent funding to any parliamentary candidate (regardless of party, if any) who signed up to each of them, minus ten per cent for failure to rule out each of ten nightmare policies.

Would there be the Private “Finance” Initiative, or Public-Private “Partnerships”, or real terms pay cuts for public servants, if this were the system in operation? Well, there you are, then.