Thursday, 5 June 2008

Having an old friend for dinner.

TUC visiting No 10 ?
The Labour party has run out of cash. they need some fast from some old associates.
How did that meeting go do you think ?

Brendan Barber: [leader of the trades union congress] Why did you go to the business leaders, the celebreties and the millionaires? Why didn't you come to us first?
Gordon Brown: What do you want of me? Tell me anything, but do what I beg you to do.
Brendan Barber: What is that?
[Brown gets up and whispers in the TUC leader's ear]
Brendan Barber: That I cannot do.
Gordon Brown: I'll legislate you anything you ask.
Brendan Barber: We've known each other for many years but this is the first time you've ever come to me for counsel or for help. I can't remember the last time you invited me to your house, Number 11 or Number 10, for an exchange of political views, even though we share many of the same aims and ideals from the old days. But, let's be frank here. You never wanted our friendship and even our money. NuLabour were keen to distance themselves from the Unions and even you were afraid to be in our debt.
Gordon Brown: I didn't want to get into electoral trouble. The voters.. the 1970's and Arthur and the miners and all that... Tony wanted to avoid any connection.
Brendan Barber: I understand. You found paradise in the landslide election victory. You had a good deal of support, made a lot of new friends, the EU protected you and there were banks and finance houses and rich donors and you didn't need friends like us. But, now you come to me and you say "TUC, CWU, GMBU,NUT give me funding." But you don't ask with respect. You don't offer friendship. You don't even think to call me Comrade.
Gordon,Gordon. What have we ever done to make you to treat us so disrespectfully. If you had come to us in friendship then your bank book would be overflowing. Your creditors would be paid this very day. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make political enemies then they would become our enemies. And then, they would fear you.

Gordon Brown: Be my friend... COMRADE.

Brendan Barber: Good. Someday, and that day may never come, but it will probably come very very soon, I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But, until that day, accept this cheque as a gift.
Gordon Brown: Grazie, Comrade.
Brendan Barber: Bene. Now kiss all our rings and get out.


Nick Drew said...

champion !

Tom Powdrill said...

if only it were that simple...!

Tom Powdrill said...

(TUC isn't affiliated to any party and makes no political donations by the way)

Bill Quango MP said...

Tom P..


Mind you the Godfather only ever made offers. They could, of course, be refused.

On a serious note, and as a CWU member myself, the rank and file where I am really want to cut ties with The Labour party. Nationally would you say this is the mood, and would they ever really do it?

rwendland said...

If you really want a take on Brendan Barber's views on Labour take a gander at his recent Progress talk. For a flavour:

Some say the Party has grown up, left home and sees us as John Monks put it, as embarrassingly elderly relatives, who they dutifully come to visit in our seaside retirement home once a year.

Others think it is more that the Party is going through its difficult teenage years, and while it wants to constantly rebel, it's secretly grateful to be able to rely on the security that the trade union movement can offer - as it did during the early 1980s, when the Party was staying up late and experimenting with all kinds of self-destructive substances.

But while the Party has changed immensely, so has the trade union movement.

The rise of white collar and public sector trade unionism means that there are now more unions in the TUC that are not affiliated to the Party than are.

They value their political independence just as much as those with strong Labour roots value their affiliation.

My job is not to favour one model over another, but to maintain the unity and breadth of the TUC.

Anonymous said...

Tee hee!! I love it when Political types write comedy... I have a post on developmental economics and agrarian pressures in sub-Saharan Africa in the light of the world food shortage....

Tom Powdrill said...

Hi Bill

I think most people in the union leaderships don't want the link to be cut. Many of those who agitate for it to go are from the far Left, and would rather the money was spent funding their own sects. But I think most people can see that would simply be peeing money away (see Respect and Left List votes for the electoral strength of the far left).

It's notable that both the FBU and RMT have not funded any of the far Left parties at a national level (though an RMT branch funding the Scottish Socialist Party is what led to the split with Labour). They are probably more likely to target individual campaigns or MPs in my opinion.

And despite some grumbling I think it's unlikely any of the big unions will cut the link.

Letters From A Tory said...

I can imagine Gordon Brown's whimpering Scottish tones as well.

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