Labour Party income is up and its membership is down, so it’s clear what this is all leading to

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer
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New Electoral Commission figures show that Labour Party membership has fallen by tens of thousands over the past two years. At the same time, its total income has skyrocketed. There’s only one reason for this, and nowhere is it more evident than at its annual conference.

Labour’s income is a dead giveaway

On 24 August, the Electoral Commission published the accounting figures of Britain’s political parties for the year to 31 December 2022. It revealed that the Labour Party took more than £47m over the year, equating to nearly half of the £99.9m income across 18 of 19 large parties in the country. Meanwhile, the Conservative Party took just £30m.

This isn’t in itself surprising news. The Labour Party’s income topped the Tories last year too. However, it was paired with another piece of crucial news: that membership had once again fallen. The Guardian said membership had dropped by nearly 25,000 since 2021, to a total of 407,445. Party membership showed its most recent peak in 2019, at 532,046.

The Electoral Commission’s breakdown of the numbers shows party membership remained the highest single contributor, with donations a close second. However, it also showed that the balance is tipping away from membership and trade unions towards private donations and companies.

All of this means Labour is now drawing on a smaller but more affluent audience to fund its activities – and its party conference this year makes that clear.

Arms, spies and fossil fuels

A day before the Electoral Commission published its figures, OpenDemocracy reported on the sponsors for the Labour conference’s fringe events.

Partners and sponsors for this year’s New Statesman Media Group’s (NSMG) programme include arms manufacturers Babcock and Boeing, defence contractor Northrop Grumman, CIA-linked intelligence firm Palantir, and a range of fossil fuel companies – including Cadent, National Gas, and Offshore Energies UK.

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OpenDemocracy said that:

The party has been slammed for playing host to these industries by environmental groups and anti-weapon groups, who call the sponsorships “disgusting and disappointing.” Its own MP Clive Lewis has also questioned why Labour is “cosying up” to some of the organisations involved.

Several of these companies also sponsored NSMG’s 2022 fringe event, including Babcock, Cadent, and Offshore Energies UK.

People on social media were similarly scathing, including rapper Lowkey, who used the news to draw a connection between the current Labour Party and that of former leader Tony Blair:

Prem Sikka, Labour peer and former advisor to Jeremy Corbyn, questioned leader Keir Starmer‘s intentions:

A range of campaign groups were likewise appalled by the news:

Votes don’t win elections, money does

It’s important to be clear that these companies aren’t sponsoring the conference directly. They are sponsoring NSMG’s fringe event. However, the New Statesman has a long-running cosy relationship with Labour’s right wing. OpenDemocacy reported that NSMG billed a partnership with the media company as:

an opportunity to “showcase your brand, generate leads, nurture relationships,” with “policy makers and politicians.”

However, they also reveal how the corporate capture of the Labour Party is ramping up just in time for the next general election. Another example can be seen in Judy Botterill, Labour candidate for Ossett and Denby Dale, West Yorkshire. People on social media quickly pointed out she was a lobbyist for Yorkshire Water, which has massively polluted the region’s water.

Combine that with Starmer’s special relationship with Rupert Murdoch and it’s clear which way ‘left wing’ politics is heading. The next election might bring a Labour government, but it isn’t likely to be one that will act in the interests of the people.

Featured image via Labour Party/YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Prem Sikka asks the question:
      “…Some of these sponsors have been engaged in nefarious practices. Why is Keir Starmer cosying up to them? ”

      Could it be something to do with Starmer’s recent membership of the Trilateral Commission ?
      [The international arm of American foreign policy for running the ‘World Order’]
      Could it be something to do with Starmer’s unstinting support for NATO ?
      [NATO – The military arm of American foreign policy in Europe]
      Starmer is a fifth columnist in the Labour Party.
      He should be exposed for what he is and what he represents

      1. Not really a fifth columnist, given Labour’s long and sordid history in government of being the USA’s lapdog. Starmer is nothing new. He is, in reality, a Labour traditionalist even though the myth is widely believed that Labour is a party of the left. It is the Left who are the relative strangers to the Labour party’s mission.

    2. Well, Stack up your grievances now, because once the Tories are out, we take a day to breathe, then we get to work putting the pressure on our MPs to implement Proportional Representation, among other things. And if Starmer gets in the way, We drop the fudger like a bad habit.

      I genuinely believe that within 20 years, we could end war entirely. And how? Education, exposure, empathy. Fix the climate and nobody goes thirsty. Green the Sahara, Nobody goes Hungry. Bioplastics keep oil where it belongs, in the ground, and then green energy, because it’s cheaper than the alternative.

      The dinosaurs and spectres of the 20th Century will fight the future all the way, I’m not denying that. But they won’t win. Rupert Murdoch is over 90 years old, he will eventually die. The Daily Fail, Heebie-Jeebie Lies (GB “News”), they are all on borrowed time. In the meantime, all that we can do is keep calm, and elect a Government, not just a Prime Minister.

      1. Yes, Sir Kid Starver will be dropped in favour of Rachel Starver, Wes Starver, Yvette Starver, or Lisa Starver. I’m sure we can all barely wait for the “left-wing revolution” that will follow in the wake.

        Corporate Labour are now the DNC, and Corbynism laid bare just how morally and ethically bankrupt that position is.

        FYI the local TORY constuency MP put up more of a fight against the Rwanda deportations than the Starver PLP managed to.

        Even the Greens are sadly moving towards a Baerbock insanity, but I’ll hold my nose for them. The two variations of Blue can kiss my arse, no matter HOW many of you True Believers turn up.

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