Saturday, 1 February 2014

Omissions in Labour`s union reforms

Hopefully, Miliband`s attempts to "allow wider participation" in the Labour party will bear some fruit, but there are two obvious omissions in his proposals. To alleviate the possibly damaging effects to the party`s funding, and to win over the union sceptics, especially at a time when "poverty is set to deepen", a pledge to introduce legislation to ensure worker and union representation at boardroom level would at least restore an element of collective bargaining. If it was sensible for West Germany to adopt this policy of co-determination in the early 1950s, it`s surely about time Britain did, in the 21st century! Labour has to do more to address, not only the "cost of living crisis", but the inequality problem, one which is so bad Britain has been recently placed 28th out of 34 in an equality league table of developed nations.
 As the proposals also include "stricter codes of conduct" for MPs, is not a great opportunity being wasted for Miliband`s Labour to support the principle of transparency, and to throw down the gauntlet to the other parties? Let`s have full financial details of all Labour candidates and standing MPs disclosed before the next election; all souces of income, tax details, properties owned, and connections to businesses would both provide necessary information for the electorate, and demonstrate that Labour really is different from the other parties! MPs do need to know "who the union affiliates in their constituencies are", but the need for increased information works both ways.

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