In July 2001 the Labour regime announced that the Performance and Innovation Unit, now the Strategy Unit in the Cabinet Office, would undertake a review of the legal and regulatory framework governing charities and the voluntary sector.
They did not consult on specific proposals. Instead they published a number of discussion papers and a list of 71 questions on different aspects of law and regulation. Originally expected to report in February 2002, publication of the report was delayed, partly because of the obvious links with the Treasury [Brown meddles again] review of the role of the voluntary sector in public service delivery.
It is a delicious irony that the Labour Party institutional set up is precisely the kind of entity these reviews and proposals, intended to produce greater transparency and certainty, as well as regulation and oversight, are aimed at. As the Times notes, the Labour Party is like an unincorporated association, a set up more suited to the local cricket club. Here 'members . . . are subject to unlimited personal liability in the event of the association’s insolvency'.
Not the officers of the unincorporated association but, arguably, all the members of the association are liable. The 'list of 71 questions on different aspects of law and regulation.', gives an indication of the turmoil surrounding liability in such a fragile institutional structure as the Labour Party and its Rule Book, particularly when carrying debts and liabilities approaching quarter of a £billion.
Are you a member of the Labour Party? Should you be? You thought it safe to buy into the demutualisation of Northern Rock; being a member of the Labour Party could be even more financially worrying.
1 hour ago