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...'this is verging on money laundering.'

All part of Our Dear Leader's "New Politics"

Well done Mr Duncan. On the other hand if it buys him listening rights on strike action it might be worth it.

I bet that isn't reported by our beloved BBC. What we get instead is Jacqui Smith attacking Cameron over his remarks following the recent killings. She denies there is a problem and yet she tries her best to look like she's doing something by announcing "a specialist national police unit and a ministerial task force ... to try to tackle gun crime in major English cities". Great, that'll hit them where it hurts.

Back onto the unions, does this mean they will strike this autumn or not? I'm sure it was all strong words to try and squeeze as much out of Brown as possible. I wonder if they are satisfied.

I have nothing against trades unions. They are an important medium between worker an employee. I have nothing against trades unions so long as they are not political.

However when trades unions bankroll the Labour party they become political. They become a wing of the Labour party. A wing dedicated to fund-raising for the Labour party. Of course when the Labour party becomes a Labour government the trades union movement will expect to be reimbursed.

I expect we will be hearing more about the trades unions now that Gordon Brown is prime minister and we can expect the unions to up the ante if Labour wins a fourth term.

The public sector wage bill has risen inexorably over the past 10 years - by Peter Hain's own admission (R4 over the week end) the government has employed 600,000 people more in the public sector and their wages has gone up faster than those in the Private sector.
Then the government grant to the unions, which the unions give to the labour part - in clean crisp (and starched) bills. This is not the only example of Labour Spin.

When Brown talks about Britishness or British jobs for British people and talks about the need to turn away people who do not speak English, he is never accused by the BBC or SKY or any other media pundit as lurching to the right.

EML, I agree. Most voters don't even know that Brown gives some of their hard earned taxes to this Fund, yet the Unions can afford to be generous with their money towards the Labour Party.

"Yesterday Gordon Brown announced that another £2.8m of taxpayers' money will go to the unions as part of the 'Union Modernisation Fund'."
Yesterday... The day he address the TUC, fully expecting a rough ride as he played the hard man over public sector pay deals!!!
This stinks, but don't expect the media to even notice, they will be more interested in repeating comments from Tory blogs on the Gummer/Goldsmith report.

This is totally unacceptable in a democratic society. It is corruption far beyond cash for peerages. Then to try to look tough at the TUC and then give them taxpayers money should disgust anyone. The problem seems to be that our media think it is niether here nor there so the only way to make the point is for the Conservative party to continuously give it the publicity it deserves. But too many Tory MPs just think of themselves rather than the party.

This is exactly the sort of thing Brown sees as OK if he can get away with it as he usually does. And it's one of the biggest reasons for getting ris of him irrespective of tax etc.

people are outraged. It is the television media who arn't. Well, if you think about it: BBC and Channel 4 are state arms (state funded in anycase), and are uber-leftist guardian recruited, and a good deal of ITV's staff come from the BBC or C4. Channel 5 doesn't do politics.
In fact, 95% of political programs (this week, question time, newsnight, daily politics)are on the BBC, no other channel except for the new ITV weekly program does political debate outside of the news. (I'm not counting doughty street, it's a brilliant idea, but not a propper tv station, with the audience that comes with it, yet).

Da Eto Pravda Rebyati!

When you listen to a Dinosaur like Bob Crow, you have to wonder what their definition of 'modernisation' actually is.

We should promise that this bogus 'modernisation' fund will be wound up in week one of a new conservative government on the grounds that they do not appear actually to be short of the money to effect modernisation, given their ability and willingness to bankroll Labour with sums far in excess of the fund.

Its more than just a contrick . It is downright corruption and should be condemned as such .
With the threat of court action to remedy the situation in due course.

Henry Mayhew @ 17.10 - it is not being forewarned about strikes by the unions that Mr. Brown is the least bit interested in, he undoubtedly has 'other ways' of finding out things like that!!!! Votes, votes, votes. That is ALL. The unions can deliver a ready made chain of both communication and activists that is superior to anything that conservatives have, and MR. Brown is just making sure that the unions are going to deliver this facility when he needs it.

Mr. Brown won't even begin to stop thinking about votes until he has succeeded in attaining a good majority at the next election. Why the latest bit of PADDING arrived in Downing Street today on FOUR paws - you could also say it is a lick in the face to Mdme Blair, who always expressed herself so charmingly about Mr. Brown.

When Mr. Brown has the majority that he craves under his belt, THEN, many, many people will get a BIG surprise - and not a pleasant one!!!!

This is a money laundering exercise and we should be telling the public this repeatedly.

I expect nothing but corruption from Brown, it is his way. he may be the son of the Manse but he acts more like the scum of the manse. His moral compass is so dodgy I just hope the electorate see it is covered in lead paint and recall him and it at the next opportunity.

I expect nothing but corruption from Brown, it is his way. he may be the son of the Manse but he acts more like the scum of the manse. His moral compass is so dodgy I just hope the electorate see it is covered in lead paint and recall him and it at the next opportunity.

However when trades unions bankroll the Labour party they become political. They become a wing of the Labour party

That's how it's supposed to work! Labour is meant to be a political vehicle for the trade union movement- that's how the Labour party came into being.

If anything we need a much closer relationship between Labour and the unions.

It strikes me that this action is tantamount to money laundering. What has the Electoral Commission (Sam Youger) got to say about this?

It's a free society and our unions have every right to give their well-deserved money to the party of their choice.

Seems that the Tory union-bashers are coming out of the closet again, but who's surprised?

I understood that when you join a union.That on the enrolment form you are ask if you want to cotribute to a political party from your dues.If this is so.With the small numbers of people in a union.Where does all this money come from.

Alistair and Comstock You miss the point it is not their money it is tax payer's money taken by stealth by Gordon Brown.

The unions give money to Labour quite simply because the people who run the unions would support Labour no matter what Labour did. The NHS union UNISON is giving donations to the Labour Party at the very same time as 23000 NHS workers have been sacked. So much for UNISON defending its members. Of course union leaders are well rewarded for their slavish adorance of the Labour Party. They are named in the honours list like Sir Bill Morris & Lord Rodney Bickerstaffe to name but two. If you are a union official who wishes to pursue a career as a Labour politician then use the union as a ladder to help you up-ask Alan Johnson the former leader of the postworkers union.

When the Conservatives were in power, union officials attempted to pacify union members who were angered at paying subscriptions for very little by telling members that the reason unions couldn't do anything for them was because of Tory anti union laws. The great thing about having Labour in power is that unions have been exposed for what they are - fundraising clubs for the Labour Party.

The mistake we make is not repeating these issues again and again. They have been caught with their fingers in the till.

Every Conservative spokesman for the next 6 months should work this into at least one broadcasted reply to every interview.

Its how Labour communicates its message - like the "absurd lurch to the right" meme.

Perhaps Conservative home should run of competition to see which conservative spokesman can this mentioned the most on air over the next two weeks ?

Alan Duncan seems to be deliberately missing the real point with his references to "standing up to the unions", "keeping the unions sweet" and so on. The unions are a red herring in all this. The simple fact is that the Labour government has found an ingenious way to siphon off millions of pounds of public money and pass it to its own political party. Guido Fawkes did a feature on this very subject about a year ago. The public are rightly scandalized when they hear of this sort of thing taking place in other countries (France, for instance), but don't seem to realize that it happens here, too.
The fact that the opposition choose not to expose it as they could, but instead mount a conventional, tired old "Labour is too close to the unions" criticism, is the sort of thing that destroys utterly the public's trust in all political parties, suggesting as it does (rightly or wrongly) that the opposition has its own dirty secrets which it doesn't want to risk exposing to possible tit-for-tat revelations.

I bet that isn't reported by our beloved BBC.

No, but at least they're covering the new Downing Street cat. Our BBC, a quality broadcaster.

Mark, you beat me to it! Was just going to post a comment about the Lobby hacks being more interested in a sodding cat living at No11 than this more pressing political story.
PS. I have two cats, Conservatives of course. Although one of them does have worrying Libdem tendencies.

Hardly original. In Government BOTH parties have bunged huge amounts of money - to make HMG the largest TV advertiser by far - to buy discounts on election advertising.

It is called Pork Barrel Politics and is widespread in Britain

Ah yes, the wheels on the trough go round and round...

We should be putting questions to Ministers asking for justification for this public spending. What modernisation has resulted from this? I thought modernisation was an aspect of the pay deals agreed with the Unions.

What modernisation has resulted from this?

They have sold out their members' interests for a knighthood or peerage all to keep a Labour Government in power which has screwed their members on house prices, taxes, and immigration

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