The Finance Report

I attended Labour Conference as a delegate and I got to ask some finance questions, I only had a minute, so couldn’t ask them all and they took a while to answer, so the video is longer than necessary and the answers from the platform were not particularly comprehensive, but I was able to speak to Dianna, the outgoing Treasurer who gave me better answers in a personal (corridor) meeting.

The deficit, if not the size, was known when they set a budget. They report regularly to the business board which meets at least six times each year and as when necessary, they report to the NEC on current plans twice/year.

I was told in the Hall that the £6m political publishing was print bills for local elections incurred on behalf of local parties or campaign forums; later it was suggested that there is a corresponding income item, which I need to find. My initial scepticism is based on the fact that I&E statement has an election expense line and that is where I would expect election expenses to be reported.

The increase in the Senior Management Team cost is based on the fact that there are now 10 members of the SMT, up from 6. I wonder what this does to gender parity in the staffing budget.

I managed to ask my three questions within the allotted minute, but there are no supplementary questions permitted and one of the essential points made by Diana was the theory that membership is synchronised with the electoral cycle. I don’t believe this to be true! It would seem to be true of donations but not membership income. This seems to be aligned with leadership, and if so, will be exacerbated by the OMOV elections for the Leadership.

Labour’s membership by leader

The NEC still have to either fix the decline in membership or find new but legal sources of income and as I have argued, the rich donors weren’t there for Blair, why would they be there for Starmer, although I can think of several very good reasons that became clear as the conference proceeded. …

Labour’s Money 2021

Labour’s Money 2021

The Labour Party posted ( mirror ) its 2021 accounts to the Electoral Commission site earlier this week. The papers, the Independent and the Guardian rapidly picked this up. They and Labour List focused on the first deficit in years and the loss of 91,000 members. I look at the numbers and and add the observation that individual donations are very weak, and donations as a whole remain dominated by Trade Union donations. I finsh with a series of questions I think need answering. For more, including charts, 'read more', ...

The buck stops … over there

The buck stops … over there

Not all is happy in the Labour Party in Westminster & Southside. It seems that people are not happy with David Evans performance as GS. Personally, I agree, but in this tweet, and the politico article it quotes, “Labour Sources” identify his speed on implementing change, inability to raise private funds and the mishandling of staff cuts. It interests me that the response and culpability for the data breach is not on the charge sheet nor the complete administrative balls up at Conference 21.

I have two things to say. On fundraising, it is not David Evans who has driven people or Unions away and the idea that the Labour Party can run on large donations alone is a fiction that has never been possible.

When Blair’s people tried it, despite adopting a pro-business position on Trade Union reform and selling other policy positions such as the attempted exclusion of Formula 1 from tobacco advertising ban, they ended up illegally hiding donations as loans, and selling peerages. They finished up by borrowing tens of millions of pounds from banks to fight elections, a debt that was only finally paid off after the Corbyn surge. Such largesse from the banking sector is unlikely to be forthcoming for an opposition party, except possibly from abroad which is equally illegal. …