Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill — Report (1st Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 7:30 pm on 13th January 2014.

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Photo of Lord Lea of Crondall Lord Lea of Crondall Labour 7:30 pm, 13th January 2014

I am most grateful to the Minister for giving way. This must be about the fourth time that he has said that, on the one hand, of course there is “churn”, as the word is now fashionably used, in trade union membership—20% or something like that. That is where I suggest the figure of 80% comes from; there is always churn going on. There is then a huge leap of logic, and the word “proportionate” in this context strikes me as astonishing. It is straight out of Alice in Wonderland—words mean what I say they mean, no more and no less. It cannot be proportionate to say that, because of churn, there is only 80% accuracy at any moment in time, therefore we will make it accurate by saying we will make it more accurate because we will have inspectors running around the country making it accurate. They will not make it accurate. In terms of what we have described as the problem with churn, how can they make it accurate? So the punishment will not fit the crime, even if there were a crime in the first place. Can the Minister give a more reasonable justification for an extraordinary lack of logic in his pronouncements?