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:
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).