It's the Durham Miner's Gala next week, and given all the hullabaloo that's been going on lately over links between the Labour Party and the Unions, it seems right that we remember the reason why the Labour Party was created in the first place. The clue is in the title. Until 1900, there was no political party in this country which stood up for the vested interests of the working man, and so the Labour Party was set up and bankrolled by the Unions, in just such a way as the Tories were, and are still, bankrolled by big business. It was the toil of the workers which made the coal owners, the factory owners, and the mill owners rich, and allowed them to contribute to the running of a land-owning Conservative Party that would maintain the status quo. The Labour Party was created to counteract this.
It seems that an awful lot of Labour MPs have forgotten this (indeed, some were probably never aware of it in the first place). Of course, the Party and the Unions will have their own separate agendas, but common sense dictates that they should both be kicking in the same direction, not just for their own good, but for the good of the country.
If Labour decides to divorce itself from the Unions, it will be the Tories who will be laughing all the way to the ballot box. There is power in a union - united we stand, divided we'll be ruined.
The video is about happier times, when we were an industrial nation, and our fathers dug for coal.