Daily Archives: July 9, 2013

Jim Pickard

It has taken 24 hours to work it out, and I warn you: It’s complicated. It’s head-scratching stuff.

But if you are wondering why Len McCluskey seems so relaxed about Miliband’s reforms of the link between Labour and the unions, here is the answer. The change could shift millions of pounds of money away from the party and into the hands of the union barons.

That is so at odds with the TV headlines – suggesting a dilution of union power – that it might seem unbelievable. After all, the changes have been cast as an historic break with the union stranglehold: even by persistent critics such as Dan Hodges.

The Labour leader was praised by his predecessor Tony Blair as he used a Fleet Street speech to offer an “historic” overhaul of his party’s relationship with the trade unions which provide the majority of its private funding.

Blair responded fast, saying the “bold” plan – ending the automatic affiliation fee paid by 3m union members to Labour – was something that he had never dared to attempt. But had he read the small print?

Miliband, by changing to an “opt in” system, hopes to increase party membership and get