Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Far Left Party Accounts

LabourList have been on the ball this morning and have quickly posted up the accounts for registered political parties. For all that is except our friends the BNP, who always fail to get their accounts to the Electoral Commission in time, thereby incurring a fine. Not that I'm complaining.

Here are the figures for the main parties plus the significant minor parties for 2008:

Conservative Party Income £32,361,000, Expenditure £31,927,000

Green Party Income £546,406, Expenditure £540,652

Labour Party Income £34,012,000, Expenditure £26,202,000

Liberal Democrats Income £5,473,256, Expenditure £6,013,956

Plaid Cymru Income £998,571, Expenditure £678,313

Scottish Green Party Income £76,597, Expenditure £57,194

Scottish National Party Income £1,768,384, Expenditure £1,700,401

Sinn Féin Income £1,115,391, Expenditure £1,148,992

Ulster Unionist Party Income £383,504, Expenditure £397,734

UK Independence Party Income £602,003, Expenditure £588,570

What is most striking is the vast gulf separating Labour and the Tories (as the favoured parties of the British ruling class) from the LibDems, and then in turn the smaller but still very significant funding gap between them and the rest. For those of you interested in comparing the figures for 2008 with 2007's, you can go through the accounts individually here.

As a socialist blog and knowing my readers, I'm sure comrades too busy to sift through the accounts of allies and opponents on the far left might still want to know the state of play. So here they are with the +/- figures on 2007:

Alliance for Green Socialism Income £12,522 (+3,755), Expenditure £8,356 (-£503)

Communist Party of Britain Income £186,533 (+£82,494), Expenditure £138,220 (-£25,379)

Left List Income £103,773 (N/A), Expenditure £78,473 (N/A

Respect Income £36,237 ( -£173,856), Expenditure £40,151 (-£162,457)

Scottish Socialist Party Income £78,167 (-£117,615), Expenditure £68,934 (-£141,973)

Solidarity Income £46,709 ( -£60,530), Expenditure £46,308 (-£72,052)

For some reason I couldn't open the accounts for the Socialist Labour Party and the SPGB. I've also missed off most of the smaller groups such as the RCPB-ML and Socialist Equality Party. One conundrum that has been scratching my brain is how Britain's other remaining Healyite organisation, still trading under the name of the Workers' Revolutionary Party, can sustain a daily newspaper no one reads with a party income no more than £5,442, an overall surplus of £640 and just over five grand in the bank! It's a mystery.

What is immediately obvious is how much Respect suffered in its split with the SWP. As the accounts note:
This is reflected in the drop of annual income from £210,093 to £36,237 and expenditure from £202,608 to £40,151. This fall in overall turn over reduced the national organisation to a shoestring operation that employed no full or part-time permanent staff in 2008. It also witnessed a fall in membership from 2,472 members in 2007 to just over 500 by end 2008.
Turning to the SSP the party still has a large deficit of £40,649, which according to the accounts are due to fall this year. Again the accounts show a large drop in income (from 2007's £195,782 - which was inflated by £38,737 through a sale of party property) and 2007's expenditure of £210,907.

Similarly Solidarity continues to suffer from the split with the SSP, seeing its income tumble by over £60,000. However unlike the SSP, Solidarity is not burdened by crippling levels of debt. So while income and expenditure clearly reveal it is the smaller organisation, financially speaking Solidarity is more secure.

It is worth noting however that the 2007 incomes for both these organisations would have been inflated by the increase in donations received for the 2007 Holyrood elections. The same goes for expenditure.

What other nuggets have we gleaned from the accounts? Did you know the Democratic Socialist Alliance has 16 members? Has anyone heard of the Direct Democracy (Communist) Party? And who knew the cpgb-ml were planning on setting the world alight with their 'Proletarian' electoral front?


Mark P said...

Odd that the Socialist Environmental Alliance and the People Before Profit Alliance have both been deregistered in Northern Ireland. These were the two names used by the SWP in the last set of elections there. Presumably the PBPA will be registered again at some point in the future.

The Socialist Alternative accounts are less than fascinating as always.

I suspect, by the way, that a seperate company rather than the WRP itself produce the News Line.

Jim Jay said...

Thanks for this - very interesting. What about your organisation? Is it covered by the electoral commission?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Why is it that the BNP can't get their figures in, in time?

Do they have maths issues?

Phil BC said...

Mark, maybe they were deregistered for 2008. Who knows?

Jim, because the electoral commission in its wisdom ruled we couldn't possibly have two organisations called the Socialist Party operating in British politics, as you know we were froced to sdopt the name Socialist Alternative for elections. Which means, technically, the SP is not registered as a political party. All SA is as an entity is a steering committee that endorses candidatures standing under that name. Legally accounts have to be provided for that 'organisation' as opposed to the SP.

Jim Jay said...

OK, I guess that's a bit like left list (legally) in that they aren't declaring party membership for the swp or funding or whatever - thanks

Dave Riley said...

Does the reports offer membership figures for each of these parties -- aside from Respect?

Here in Australia that's the registration norm as you cannot be registered as a entity without -- generally -- 500 members.So you need 500 registered Victorian voters to be members in Victoria so that you can stand as a registered party in that state (ditto other states but less in Tasmania) And you need 500 members for federal registration. And in every case the electoral commissions will go through your membership lists and ask people randomly if they are indeed members.The electoral acts review your accounts,membership lists, membership forms, joining minutes, all financial contributions (which all have to be receipted) and 'entities' --such that it now would be very difficult to pull off the SP (UK) trick of standing under another name and avoiding formal scrutiny by the electoral commissions.

Thorough reviews are something like every 4 years or so.

But you don't get much if you are registered -- aside from your party name on the ballot -- until you pass the magic 4 percentile of primary votes -- and then you get your deposits (average $AUD250-500 per candidate)back as well as so many dollars per vote (at the federal level) over that threshold.

In the case of The Greens -- sitting at about 8% in the polls -- that's a multi million dollar cash cow.

These regulations is one reason why the SP -- the local CWI franchise -- is not registered federally or in its one state where it has any identifiable presence, Victoria: no where near enough members.

Despite overtures in regard to sharing the Socialist Alliance registration (in Victoria) by standing on a SA ticket as an affiliate the SP has knocked back the option so the SP prefers to stand candidates as independents. Aside from the Socialist Alliance, the Communist Party (old Moscow aligned rump)and the Social Equality Party (Healyite remnant) are the only socialist orgs registered federally as both orgs registered in the last year.(How -- is a wonder?) The SA is registered in 3 states as well as federally.

At the last federal elections all left orgs except the SP and the SA called for a first preference vote for the Greens and ignored both the SP and the SA campaigns completely --although the SEP refused to allocate preferences at all. The SA and the SP called for a first preference for the Greens too in seats where they weren't standing and a second preference vote for the Greens where they were. The SA calls specifically for a vote for the SP but the SP will only allow itself to call for a vote for "other socialist campaigns" rather than note the SA's existence.

Generally the Greens refuse to allocate preference on the basis of politics and will follow an opportunistic preference deal game by playing off the Labour Party and the Coalition forcing them to barter for preferences.

Matt Sellwood said...

I think the Direct Democracy (Communist) Party is one bloke in Hackney, who always stands in by-elections and so on around here...

Phil BC said...

Dave, we only pull this "trick" because the a bureaucrat back in 1997 in the Electoral Commission refused to allow us to use our name for electoral purposes. Had they not all the SP's accounts would be up there the same as anybody else's.

And on membership, it would appear there is no requirement to highlight it - though some do.

Stimmer said...

Dave Riley said:
"you need 500 registered Victorian voters to be members in Victoria so that you can stand as a registered party in that state (ditto other states but less in Tasmania)"

Actually, to be pedantic, you need 750 (not 500) to register in NSW, which the Socialist Alliance has to do every year.

Dave Riley said...

The "trick" I referred was used here by the DSP for a few years which ran candidates as the Democratic Socialist Electoral League in order to protect their membership lists.