Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
15 July 2015

Leader: Not quite the workers’ party

By acting in this partisan manner, the Tories have breached the convention that changes should be introduced only on the basis of cross-party consensus.

By New Statesman

After achieving their first parliamentary ­majority for 23 years, the Conservatives are consolidating their advantage. The Trade Union Bill published on 15 July was the clearest attempt yet to do so. Under the legislation, strikes will be outlawed unless 50 per cent of members turn out to vote; members will also be required to opt in to paying the political levy, rather than being automatically enrolled. The aim is not only to restrict the activities of members but also to reduce the funding available to Labour and to the unions for campaigning (not least against the government’s spending cuts).

By acting in this partisan manner, the Tories have breached the convention that changes should be introduced only on the basis of cross-party consensus. It was no accident that the proposal was not announced during the general election campaign. The consequence will be a strengthening of the Conservatives’ formidable funding advantage. The Tories continue to benefit from unlimited donations, predominantly from the City of London and hedge-fund managers. David Cameron’s attempt to tilt the funding system even further in his party’s favour must be resisted.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy