Labour party plans membership fee rise
Faced with a growing debt burden, and too short on funds to assist the Scottish and Welsh Labour Parties in upcoming parliamentary elections, Britain?s Labour Party will tomorrow begin deliberations on whether to raise membership fees. Rather than cast off the business friendly brand of ?New Labour? politics that brought on the financial problems (see WIT?s for June 26, July 8 and July 11, 2002), the party is considering yet another step away from its working class roots---asking businesses for retail discounts to party members in order to mitigate fee increases and stave off membership declines. The examination of funding alternatives follows the victory this weekend of leftwing union activist Derek Simpson over longtime Tony Blair supporter Sir Ken Jackson in elections to the co-leadership of Britain?s second largest union, and major Labour Party donor, Amicus.