Daily Archives: September 25, 2009

Jim Pickard

Tribune is running a news story claiming that Gordon Brown is preparing for a “massive climbdown” this weekend over the right of unions to vote on policy motions at conference.

You may remember that Brown in 2007 changed the rules so that votes at conference became merely symbolic. Unions could propose motions but not vote on them. “Now the motions enter the policy-making apparatus …basically the process means that they end up getting defused,” says one union source. The real policy business goes on behind closed doors; for example at the “Warwick” gatherings.

Here is Tribune’s story:

“This would overturn Mr Brown’s reform just after becoming leader which reduced debate to a discussion on “issues”, with a vote being replaced by reference to the policy-making National Policy Forum.

Mr Brown is reported to have thrown in the towel in the face of overwhelming pressure from the unions, but has won agreement to effect the change next year to avoid a row at the last conference before the next election.”

I’d not yet convinced that these “concessions” are entirely real. The union source tells me: “Every so often they dangle this carrot, ‘next conference it will be better, it will be different’”, he says.

In case you’re interested, here are the union motions “contemporary issues” for next week: Read more

Jim Pickard

Hillside (New Media) Ltd gave £100,000 to Labour on June 30 this year. As such you might want to know a bit more about who they are.

I called the company’s address in Stoke on Trent and spoke to a secretary who refused to say anything about the company or its directors. Read more

Jim Pickard

Mole sold stolen disc to Daily Telegraph because he was “angry over the government’s failure to equip the Armed Forces” – not for the enormous cheque.

Martin Wolf comes out as defender of Vince Cable’s unpopular mansions tax Read more