A blog by Luke Akehurst about politics, elections, and the Labour Party - With subtitles for the Hard of Left. Just for the record: all the views expressed here are entirely personal and do not necessarily represent the positions of any organisations I am a member of.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Accountancy for sectarians

Dave Osler (http://davidosler.com/) my comrade in Stoke Newington Central Ward Labour Party, has already had a look at the 2006 accounts of various political parties just posted on the Electoral Commission website:


Some snippets:

The Communist Party of Britain (i.e. the Stalinist wing that refused to join Democratic Left in 1990) has 923 members but an income last year of nearly £100,000. It's key objective this year was to "maximise support for a left challenge in the Labour Party leadership elections". Hmmm, less than successful.

Green Party membership is declining - down from 7,110 to 7,019 last year, which is odd given levels of public interest in the environment.

Membership of our local rival in Haggerston Ward, Hackney Independent, is soaring - up from 12 in 2005 to 13 in 2006!

£15,000 of the £17,710 income of the Independent Working Class Association was from the out of court settlement of a libel action.

By means of comparison with the smaller far left groups, the Official Monster Raving Looney Party GB has 198 members.

Respect has 5,739 members, up from 5,674 - and costs £10 a year less to join than Labour.

The Revolutionary Communist Party Britain (Marxist/Leninist) appears to only have three members.

The SNP has 12, 571 members with an average age of 51.9.

The century-old admirably anti-Leninist SPGB has "continued its core activity of campaigning for a society based on common ownership, democratic control, production for use not profit and distribution on the principle "from each their ability, to each their need" , as the only framework within which the problems generated by the capitalist profit system can be successfully remedied. This involved publishing the Socialist Standard each month, producing and distributing pamphlets and leaflets, organising day-schools, holding and attending meetings, and maintaining a website (www.worldsocialism.org/spgb) on the internet." Electorally it was less successful in 2006 though, garnering 62 votes in Lambeth and 80 in Kingston. It has net assets worth £828,000 and says "The Party has no "Leader"; the person registered as such with the Electoral Commission is merely a member originally chosen by lot, with no power whatsoever, merely to conform to this provision of the registration process."

UKIP says it has 16,700 members.

Workers Liberty had an annual income of £81,674 - and didn't let its status as a registered political party stop it publishing leaflets urging its members to infiltrate the Hackney Labour Party.

The WRP (or the bit of it that kept the name) held a jumble sale in 2005 but not in 2006 (it only raised £168.20).


Anonymous David Boothroyd said...

The one I was fascinated about was Socialist Alternative, otherwise known as the Socialist Party (not of Great Britain), almost invariably known as "the one that used to be Militant".

In the good old days their turnover could quite easily have been seven figures but this year it didn't even make four.

8:53 pm, July 26, 2007

Anonymous Katie Hanson said...

You missed out the Christian Peoples Alliance - membership down 33% from 365 to 246.

9:29 pm, July 26, 2007

Blogger Chris Paul said...

Fascinating. But what about the SWP? And is there no data on Labour ginger groups etc? No? Oh, I see, they are all regarded as being in the same party. That's nice Luke. I'm sure together they are much stronger than in shards.

12:00 am, July 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginger groups? Ha ha ha ha ha.

12:17 am, July 27, 2007

Anonymous Peter Kenyon said...

Dear Luke

And Labour Party membership was down 8% to 182,370 compared with 2005. That's 82% lower than the target of 1 million set by the Leadership on taking office, and 55% lower than the recent 1997 peak of 407,000.

Let's focus on what matters - rebuilding the Labour Party as a mass-membership, solvent, democratically run organisation.

I'm sure your organisational skills are up to the job.

Yours comradely,

Peter Kenyon


12:43 am, July 27, 2007

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

Respect's membership figures would appear to a fair bit lower than the SWP's, no? So,given that Respect styles itself as a coalition of different groups is there a sizeable rump of swappies that aren't joining?

1:01 am, July 27, 2007

Blogger E10 Rifle said...

But, as Peter says, none of this matters much.

1:02 am, July 27, 2007

Anonymous Ravi said...

I think this comes at a time when all political parties have declining membership, but I think the point is well made. We on the left seem to have an innate ability to factionalise ourselves into oblivion. Surely the main aim of all socialist parties, including our own is to help bring about a better society. We can only do this as one united movement.A point excellently made on Owen Jones blog. I can't help think of the Monty Python Film "The life of Brian" aka "the Judian Peoples front The Popular front of Judia" when I think about socialist parties in Britain.

8:31 am, July 27, 2007

Blogger Dave Brinson said...

Interesting one is the seemingly moribund SLP (Scargill taking his football away in '95) claiming just shy of 3,000 individual members and an affiliation of 3,000. (Think the latter is something like the North East retired miners committee....) Considering most of the orignial SLP walked out shortly after foundation, and there have been splits aplenty, does anybody know who any of these 3,000 people are ??

1:53 pm, July 27, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is Peter Kenyon as boring in real life as he is on this blog. Frankly scratched records would be more fun.

4:06 pm, July 27, 2007

Blogger Karl-Marx-Straße said...

david boothroyd:

"Socialist Alternative" is not the same as the SP (ex-Militant), as their returns sheet clearly points out, but merely a mechanism for allowing "individual socialists" (ha! i.e. members of the SP) to stand in elections under a particular brand. The money necessary is presumably "donated" by the local SP branch concerned into the Socialist Alternative account.

The SP is not registered as a party, does not stand in elections (as the SP), so the SP's accounts are not submitted or published.

Similarly, the accounts of the SWP are not published.

8:39 pm, August 01, 2007

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