Campaigners from across Tameside and Stockport are speaking out against Conservative plans that they say will threaten democracy.
Campaigners in Tameside and Stockport have accused the Conservatives of using their Parliamentary majority to fix the system in a bid to keep them in power for a generation.
The Trade Union Bill, currently being debated by the House of Lords, includes a series of measures that unions say will restrict their ability to campaign and speak out on behalf of their members. This includes a clause that will cut off trade unions’ financial support for the Labour Party, while doing nothing to limit the hedge funds and millionaires that support the Tories. This will create an overwhelming funding imbalance in our political system overnight.
This law is being backdated, so that 5 million current members in union political funds will have that membership cancelled. Unions will have just three months to re-recruit those members.
Labour says that this change comes hot on the heels of attacks on the BBC, the so-called Gagging Act that restricts charities’ campaigning, a cut of 19% in state funding to opposition Parties, changes to make it more burdensome to register to vote, and a redrawing of the Constituency boundaries that experts believe will advantage the Conservatives at the next election.
Andrew Gwynne MP is urging members of the House of Lords to amend the Bill to stop this latest attack on democracy.
Andrew Gwynne MP said:
“The Tories want to be in power for a generation, and are fixing the system to make that happen.
“This Bill is a deliberate attack on the Labour Party. Why are the Conservatives trying to avoid a fair fight? This is nothing but an outright attack on democracy and an attempt by Cameron and Osborne to cling on to power for a generation.”
Baroness Angela Smith of Basildon, Labour’s Leader in the Lords, said:
“David Cameron’s government is doing everything they can to load the dice in their favour. Not content with knocking a million voters off the electoral register, they are now trying to restrict trade unions ability to support the Labour party. Why? Because they know that doing so will give the Tories a massive funding advantage over all other parties.”
“This latest abuse of power is an attack on parliamentary democracy and Labour Peers in the House of Lords will be challenging Mr Cameron’s plans every step of the way.”