The recent controversy concerning union funding of the British Labour Party is merely an attempt to distract attention from the influence of corporate donors in politics, according to Congress industrial officer Peter Rigney. Writing in the Irish Times (Tuesday, 18th July) Peter Rigney stated: “Challenging the right of unions to exercise political influence is a perennial issue in British politics. This is grotesque when you consider the huge amounts of money that enter the British political system through corporate donations. Individuals and groups will always seek to influence the political process. The public interest requires that political funding and the exercise of political influence should be as open as possible.” He added: “The central aim of trade unionism is to ameliorate the unjust effects of capitalism and to liberate working people from the dehumanising and commodifying effects of markets on a wider society. The means to this end are influence at the ballot box, collective bargaining and support for the development of welfare states. Influencing the outcome at the ballot box is a legitimate act.” To read the full article by Peter Rigney in the Irish Times click here