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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Lord Prescot comes out to back Milibands plans to reduce union influence in labour even further

Disgustingly one time union man Lord Prescot has today come out in support of Ed Milibands plans to reduce trade union and ordinary working peoples voice in labour even further. A party that ordinary working people have little democratic voice anyway are set to loose even more power and influence. In a drive to reform the labour party apparently.

The former deputy prime minister Lord Prescott has backed plans by the Labour leader, Ed Miliband, to weaken the power of trade unions in Labour party conference votes.

In an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr show on Sunday, Prescott said it was "time for change" because the current rules – which give the unions 50% of the vote at conference – were seen as "loaded" against the interests of ordinary members in constituency parties.

He cited his defeat in a contest to become the party's treasurer last year as one reason why he was in favour of reform.

Despite winning a clear majority in the constituency section of the contest, he was defeated by the union candidate, Diana Holland, after she won almost 100% of the votes cast by unions.

Prescott is normally perceived as a champion of union interests, and his support will help Miliband in what is likely to be the toughest battle he has faced to reform his party since winning the leadership last year. Even Tony Blair balked at giving the unions less than half the vote at conference.

Prescott said proposing changes to Labour's constitution was "always controversial", but insisted Milband was right to address the issue.

"There is a feeling in the constituencies that perhaps the power of the trade unions has been loaded a bit against the constituencies," he said.

"When I stood for treasurer, I got 63% of the actual votes of the constituencies and hardly anything from the unions because three or four general secretaries decided I wasn't going to be the one and therefore didn't ballot their members. So it's time for change."

Prescott suggested Miliband's move was similar to John Smith's decision to introduce one member, one vote for the selection of parliamentary candidates in 1993.

"There may be resistance to [Miliband's plans] – there was against one member, one vote – and then the conference will make a decision," said Prescott, who helped Smith win one member, one vote with a passionate speech that became famous both for its incoherence and its effectiveness.

He also called Miliband "a man of reform". Dismissing suggestions that the Labour leader was failing to make an impact, he added: "If you're the leader of the Labour party and you want to make change, it'll take you more than a week ... he has only been in the job for 12 months, but he has made some headway."

Miliband has been privately discussing plans with the unions. As the Guardian revealed last week, one plan is for Labour's national policy forum to get a share of the vote at conference, thus diluting the unions' influence.

In a further move that could antagonise the unions, Miliband wants to change the rules for the election of Labour's leader. One idea that has been floated is for registered supporters to get a vote.

All this adds up to further attacks on ordinary working class political support. who have very little say in how the labour party is run and what policies are formed. By reducing the unions influence even furtehr Labour can press ahead with embracing capitalism even further. Just last week they appointed a senior advisor from Goldman Sach's a capitalist organisation in the stock and bonds markets. It just shows which direction the labour party are heading even more. If it is not clear to workers that labour do not represent their interests now i fer some may never see it.

Lord Prescot who speaks so much for working class people who was once a trade union official and found his way into labour that way which is rare these days is looking to backlash at those who helped him get where he is t oday. Attacking the unions will backfire on labour as unions eventually in time with a bit of pressure will pull out of funding a party that will not represent them and their members interests on a political stage.

It looks very much like sour grapes and a act of revenge for Lord Prescot to support this reform to the labour party as he is clearly bitter about not winning the election to become treasurer last year.

All too many ego's inside the labour party sadly today at the top and all want to cling to more power to the top not to the bottom. This is anotehr reason why we need a new workers party. Built in the interests of ordinary working class people with true union and socialist policies put forward.

The time for unions to break with labour is coming to all their minds and it is only a matter of time before ordinary members realise this too that the party does not work in their interests at all.

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