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Friday, 23 August 2013 00:00

Unions and Labour must start back at the beginning

In Keith Ewing's article about what role union members should play in the Labour Party (M Star August 20), he clearly sets out the options as he sees them.

I agree with him that the best is the status quo.

However, I can't help thinking of how well local trade union branches and Labour parties worked together in my day down in the Isle of Thanet.

The local branch was affiliated to the local party and sent delegates to represent their members.

This meant we had the right, as a branch, to submit resolutions for consideration by the party to go to conference, to participate in the selection of councillors and parliamentary candidates and vote on behalf of branch members on all issues.

The number of delegates we had was based upon our branch membership.

That was democracy at work, and in reuniting our movement that is the level at which we need to start.

It seems to me that few politicians and not all trade union leaders understand that.

Never mind the cash, a touch of common sense all round should sort that out.

If Labour loses the next election, the unions will find themselves in a fight for their very existence whatever happens to the Labour Party.

Bill Banning

Birmingham

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