Look to the Tory donors to see where their allegiance lies, says CHRIS STEPHENS.
AS THE cliche goes: a week is a long time in politics.
If so, then the Tories obviously felt confident that three years is the equivalent of a decade or more.
So arrogant were they at the start of their shambolic campaign, they hoped to get away with yet another rebranding when Theresa May attempted again to claim they are the party of the workers.
It was in 2014 that the then party chair Grant Shapps announced that David Cameron’s government was the champion of the “classless society” and determined to show that the Tories were in the business of spreading, not defending privilege.
In other words the Tories are the workers’ party and on our side.
Pause for ironic contemplation of history of that brand name in its various forms.
If it was absurd then, it’s downright insulting now.
On the back of passing legislation designed to hamstring the ability of workers to act collectively to improve their pay and conditions, the party attempts to sell its “aspiration” snake oil solution to persuade voters that it has our best interests at heart and that there’s no need for trade unions in a modern society.
I sat through every stage of the Trade Union Act and contributed in every debate in both committee and in the chamber, and managed to be surprised by the levels of outright ignorance on display from Tory MPs who didn’t even know that unions have paid employers to process check-off arrangements and that there’s a mutual understanding of the benefits of having an organised workforce to negotiate with.
Most of the Act went through unamended thanks to the arithmetic in the Commons, but one small yet significant change I was able to secure with cross-party support was the removal of the clause that would have required unions to pre-submit lists of named pickets and stewards.