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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Thank You Michael Bloomberg

I'm not exactly chuffed by the latest outburst from New York Mayor, financial services billionaire and political maverick Michael Bloomberg. The man who deserted a lifetime of political support for the Democrats to become the Republicans' largest ever financial donor and achieve satirical notoriety as George Bush's relief masseur, only to fall out with his Presidential friend and attempt to secure nomination as an Independent candidate for President. Bloomberg has well and truly stuck one in Gordon, with his latest banner headline: Labour's Money Woes May Keep Brown From Quick Vote proclaiming that Labour remains well and truly stuffed for cash following the cash-for-honours affair and the consequent driving away of wealthy donors and is thus in no position to call a snap election.

Michael Bloomberg - mighty p****d off with Gordon BrownTelling us what we all know but don't have to broadcast to the entire f*****g world of chavs, Bloomberg says: "The Labour Party Brown inherited from Tony Blair in June has slashed staff by more than a third as it works to pay off debts of £20 million. An election battle would cost close to that amount of money again, and would require thousands of volunteers on the ground just as Labour's membership has fallen to its lowest recorded level. In 2006, the Conservatives raised £19.9 million in donations, to Labour's £5.4 million. A police investigation into whether political honours were sold in exchange for party funding, which has just ended, focused on Labour. While no one has been charged, the sight of one donor being arrested hasn't done anything to help fund-raising. "It's been a very difficult time for us", Hazel Blears, Labour chairwoman until June, said in an interview just before Brown moved her to the post of Local Government Secretary. "We've lost about 100 members of staff, mainly because of the controversy over large donors, which left us with a £4 million gap in our budget. The Conservatives seem to have money coming out of their ears.""

Never slow to leap onto a bandwagon, this morning's Grauniad reports continuing financial difficulties, but turns a glass half-empty into a glass half-full with news that last year's piss-poor fundraising has developed into this year's almost piss-poor fundraising.

Private donations continue to illustrate the social bedrock of support from ordinary working people that Labour has developed over recent years. Figures to June 2007 show our largest private donor to have been Iranian-born industrialist Mahmoud Khayami (£500,000), followed by £250,000 each from venture capitalist Sir Ronald Cohen, City financier John Aisbitt and Nigel Doughty, Chairman of the private equity firm Doughty Hanson & Co. £300k came from Muslim Friends of Labour, a political front organisation deeply embarrassed by the revelation in 2005 that founder Mohammad Sarwar, MP for Glasgow Govan, used Parliamentary resources to promote its political campaign.

We'll just give money to Labour and expect nothing in returnStill, when it comes to the 5th Cavalry, there's always the trades unions - especially mine. Amicus donated over £500k this quarter alone, as part of a declared policy by Unite to donate millions to help Labour clear its debts and pay for a General Election campaign that could cost as much as £15m. This comes only days after Unite announced its "March with a message for Labour" demonstration at Bournemouth Party conference on 23rd September, aimed at winning crucial rights for workers. So no connection there, then. Our ability to fight the next election won't be in any way tied to Gordon conceding to Unite's demands for:

  • Employment rights to protect jobs.
  • Equal rights for agency workers.
  • Pension protection.
  • An end to offshoring – quality, secure jobs for all.
  • Building of affordable housing for working people.
  • Ending the privatisation of public services.
  • Stronger corporate manslaughter legislation.
Let's hope that Gordon can manage to wriggle his way out of this paper bag. It's not exactly a situation for which I would want to say "thank you" to anyone.

1 comment:

m thatcher said...

Don't worry mate. I'm with you. We'll smash those bloody unions and make sure they never dictate to government again.