There is a war going on in politics; away from the press and out of the public eye.
Democracy is under attack again, for the third time in as many years, and it isn’t the end either.
The Conservative Party are slowly, quietly, and without remorse, chipping away at your rights: your right to free speech, your right to take industrial action, and your right to campaign.
The Trade Union Bill is the latest assault in a long line of attacks on our much-valued British democracy. This Bill will all but end financial support for the Labour Party by the trade union movement - something even Thatcher and Churchill refused to do. Hidden away in the Trade Union Bill is a clause that will dramatically reduce the money that unions can spend on politics. This will limit their ability to campaign politically on issues that matter to their members. In spite of the fact that many trade unions have support for the Labour Party written into their very constitutions, the Tories want to try and break that link.
Why? To silence the Labour Party. To silence our movement.
A few years ago, a new piece of legislation received Royal Assent; it was called the Lobbying Bill (though we and many other campaign groups called it the Gagging Bill). This Bill made little reference to the real lobbyists, and the businesses who help fund the Conservative Party, but instead focused on restricting the ability of campaigning organisations to do their job in an election year. Not just trade unions, but charities and civil society organisations from Oxfam to Greenpeace and Liberty. They want to stop any organisation speaking out on issues that the Tory Party don’t support.
On top of these two Bills, there was also the change in voter registration rules. This resulted in millions of voters having to re-register to vote at the last election and for future elections. Hundreds of thousands of voters fell off the electoral register, many in key seats. And those most likely to lose their vote are the poor and marginalised. Have to rent, and have to move more often due to avoid extortionate rents from private landlords? You’re much less likely to be registered to vote. And, you guessed it, these groups are more inclined to vote Labour.
Some might call us paranoid, but it seems like something bigger is going on here. Bigger than the silencing of working people through their unions, bigger than the gagging of campaign organisations, and bigger than voters disappearing off the electoral register. Put together with the impending boundary changes, which are more likely to negatively affect the Labour Party, our democracy is under threat.
This Government are trying to restrict Labour’s access to funds, support and votes, and deny the working people of Britain a voice. They are, bit by bit, ensuring we have a one party state – a Blue Britain for decades to come.
If we don’t act now, if we don’t campaign and email our MPs and lobby parliament, by the time this reaches the newspapers and daily morning shows it will be too late.
Start now by joining our campaign against the Trade Union Bill and help us fight back, for democracy, for Britain and for free speech: http://www.ourvoiceatwork.org.uk