Gordon Brown’s Labour Party is bankrupt. The millionaires who secretly lent money to Labour in the run up to the 2005 election are asking for their cash back.
David Pitt-Watson, the City boss chosen by Brown to take over as Labour’s general secretary, pulled out due to his worry about the debts.
So Labour has returned to the unions for help. It will meet them in July to beg for cash in return for policy promises.
A similar event in 2004 led to the “Warwick Agreement” where Labour made more than 50 pledges in return for £10 million.
The agreement sealed union support for the 2005 elections. It was supposed to provide the basis of a pro-union Labour third term.
Most of the unions’ demands – such as basic rights for agency workers – are still ignored.
There is growing anger with Labour among rank and file trade unionists. It remains to be seen whether union leaders will get away with a “Warwick Two” by handing over more of their members’ money to a government that attacks them.