The Tories Should Start Courting The Union Vote

Trade Union members are essential to Tory, as well as Labour’s, electoral prospects

Please don’t get this article confused, this isn’t an endorsement of the current union system, I understand that unions need reform, especially striking laws,. For example, it’s pathetic that unions can strike with as little as 5 or 10% of the union vote. But with all that is happening in Falkirk lately, it has brought Trade Unions to the front of the debate once again.

Often the spear point of Tory MP’s jeering in the Commons, the Unions are painted as corrupt, Far Left and shovelling money into the Labour Party (which is mostly true). But forget, for a moment the leadership of these groups and focus on the lower ranks.

The millions of unionised workers in the nation, although battered and bruised from decades of battles with governments, still pose a formidable force.

As much as some of my fellow Conservatives think this isn’t true, Thatcher is no longer in government, the Unions are in no position to repeat feats such as the Miner’s Strike, the unions are no longer our mortal enemy and should not be treated as such. Recent polling shows unions are still widely supported by the public, ranging from 50-70% of the electorate still think Union “Have, on a whole, a positive effect on working class people”

The only way the Conservative party is going to win elections is by being the blue collared voter’s first choice party, every strong Conservative government has held the aspirational working class close to heart, being the party of the hard workers, not the party of the rich is what makes us strong and most importantly, electable.

You must also remember that a unionised voter who changes his cross from Labour to Tory is worth double that of another voter; even light chipping at Labour’s traditional basing can have huge success in marginal seats and for future elections.

The classic anti Tory line of “You all hate the poor” & “You want to ban unions to force everyone back into the work houses” will be finally dashed and thrown into the bin of history, if nothing, we can all be thankful for that.

Consider me the constant dreamer, but as soon as this violent Thatcherite approach to unions leaves the party the sooner we will move towards the day where unions endorse the Conservative party. I’m not suggesting for a second Lenin McCluskey & Co are going to be endorsing Cameron tomorrow morning, but there is always a chance that, in the future, with work and support from union members, that they made endorse the Conservative party.
Now doesn’t that sound lovely? All that money and support pulled away from Labour and given to us…yeah, I can get with that.

Gareth Shanks

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