Kenny: slimming down his affiliation
The GMB’s decision to cut its affiliation to Labour from 420,000 members to 50,000 (and thus its funding for the party from £1.2 million to £150,000) is a genuine mystery – especially as Paul Kenny and the rest of the GMB leadership are presently (and very uncharacteristically) incommunicado.
Is this a “clever” negotiating ploy, sending a message to Miliband: press ahead with your proposals (ie union members to “opt in” rather than “out” of Labour Party affiliation) and this is what you’ll get?
On the other hand, all that Kenny’s done is implement Miliband’s proposals before they’ve even been properly discussed and voted on. Not very good tactics, I’d say - especially as there’s been no GMB campaign against Miliband’s plans and no consultation with GMB members. The figure of 50,000 seems to be based on an entirely speculative estimate that this is the number of members who would choose to “opt in.”
By the way, don’t bother looking on Kenny acolyte Nooman’s blog for any explanation. All “Gizza’job” Nooman has done today is reproduce the GMB Central Executive Council’s statement sans comment or explanation.
Meanwhile, over at UNITE, the United Left group (which has a majority on the union’s Executive Council) has passed a near-unanimous resolution calling on the EC to defend the Labour/Trade Union link and resist any proposals that undermine the principle of collective affiliation to Labour. Though Len McCluskey isn’t named in the resolution, in effect it’s calling upon him to reverse his publicly-expressed support for Miliband’s proposals.