LDVideo: Nick Clegg – “It is time we knew whether the Labour party can think for itself.”

Lib Dem Voice contributor Paul Walter noted here Nick Clegg’s strong response in this week’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions to the Labour party’s aim of protecting its cosy financial relationship with the trade unions — but for those who missed it here’s that exchange in full:


(Also available on YouTube here.)

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10 Comments

  • Instead of this ridiculous, and tribal, fixation on the fact that some unions fund Labour, unsurprising since the labour party was born out of the trade union movement, why don’t you instead consider working with unions so you could get some of their donations too?

  • @g

    LibDems don’t do tribalism.

  • Andrew Suffield 19th Nov '11 - 4:09pm

    if trade union funding is drastically reduced, then by default that leaves the people with the most influence being the rich. The average Trade Union member cannot make a donation of £10,000

    The assumption is that the number of people rich enough to pay £10k is so small that it doesn’t actually matter. Certainly it prevents a handful of millionaires from bankrolling a national campaign.

    And in any event, I don’t think you’ve looked at the numbers. Trade unions currently make political donations as an aggregate of a per-member donation, where the per-member amount in each year is substantially less than £10k. There’s no reason why they can’t simply make those donations directly and not be restricted.

  • Simon McGrath 19th Nov '11 - 6:15pm

    @geofffrey payne – there you go again spending yet more taxpayers money. is there any end to how much you think the state can spend?
    here’s an idea, instead of taxing some more and the state deciding what to do with the money what about leaving individuals to make up their own mind?

    We should have a limit on how much any organisations or individual can give and then it would be up to parties to persuade people to give them money.

  • Oh please, as if you are squeaky clean. People give your party money and get nothing in return,. Your MPs have second jobs, and this doesn’t affect the way you vote. Not exactly believable. These attacks won’t work, because the public regard you as just as bad as each other. At least the Labour parties links with the unions give ordinary people a chance to have a say. In a system in which politicians are bought, politics belongs to the rich.

    Besides, if Nu Labour was in thrall to the unions. Why do we have some of the most severe anti-union laws in Western Europe. Why was Nu Labour so right wing, why did Nu Labour govern for the City. Get out of the Westminster bubble, the country is falling to pieces, and you are in government. Yet you have nothing better to do than treat Parliament as a playground. No wonder the public has so little respect for politicians.

  • “here’s an idea, instead of taxing some more and the state deciding what to do with the money what about leaving individuals to make up their own mind?

    We should have a limit on how much any organisations or individual can give…”

    Can you not see how illogical these statements are? Either leave people/organisations to make up their own mind, or have a limit. You CAN’T do both. Be honest, that was just a knee jerk defence of the party line, wasn’t it?

  • Dave Eastham 20th Nov '11 - 11:50am

    @LDV
    ……… If you don’t get the answer you are looking for ……just repeat the question?.

    Why has LDV published two threads on the same thing within three days?. The comments the first time round were not “right” answers perhaps?

    Round 1:-
    Opinion: Nick Clegg lays into Labour links to unions
    By Paul Walter | Published 16th November 2011 – 6:24 pm
    Here’s a superb clip of Nick Clegg in full, passionate flight as he attacks Sadiq Khan regarding links with the GMB union. There is some background to this story on order-order.com here.
    Here’s the exchange in full from Hansard:
    Sadiq Khan (Tooting) (Lab): The Deputy Prime Minister has previously endorsed the long-held convention that issues of party funding should—as he has just said—be resolved by cross-party agreement when that is possible. He has told us that the Committee on Standards in Public Life will report shortly: in fact, it will report next week. Is he concerned about the objections from ……..
    Round 2:-
    LDVideo: Nick Clegg – “It is time we knew whether the Labour party can think for itself.”
    By Stephen Tall | Published 19th November 2011 – 2:25 pm
    Lib Dem Voice contributor Paul Walter noted here Nick Clegg’s strong response in this week’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions to the Labour party’s aim of protecting its cosy financial relationship with the trade unions — but for those who missed it here’s that exchange in full:……..
    Rant mode “on”
    Well, the answer remains the same. What Nick did was frankly old yah-boo politics. Which I for one thought we Lib Dems were not in favour of ?, Whilst Sadiq Khan may not be the brightest button in the Labour front bench, he was actually asking a very pertinent question. Namely, the Tories walked away from the last attempt at a cross party consensus over the funding of political parties, and given the statements some of the Tories have recently been muttering in the background “mood music”, are they about to do it again?. As they have realised, it might actually affect their funding as well, rather than just targeting the so called Labour party “in the back pocket “ funding from the Unions”?. Which the Tories have spent the last thirty years (and more) trying to do.
    A frankly ignorant and a schoolboy fourth form playground parliamentary response from Nick was not “superb”, neither was it especially clever. After all, to effectively get your “answer” as DPM, let alone as Lib Dem Party leader, from a Tory blogger, Guido Fawkes, is hardly the most objective source!.
    The funding of political partiess and the source of said funding is a serious issue in our democracy. It deserves better than the response that was given. Actually answering the question would have been a good start!.
    Rant mode “off”.

    I just wish that the Lib Dem front bench team would not join in with all the stupidities that seem to go on in Parliamentary question times. Whilst we may have an adversarial parliamentary set up (front benches separated behind lines drawn on the floor based on the length of a drawn sword. Quaint is one, possibly not the most apposite, description!). Surely it is not in the DPM’s job description to merely parrot Tory myths. on the relationship of Trade Unions and the Labour Party?.
    As a Lib Dem and a work lifelong Trade Union Rep, I just find the ignorance displayed in this episode depressing and I for one, expect better from my Party leader.

  • Well said Dave

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