Incorruptible? Corbyn lectures wealthy Labour donors on workers’ rights

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn. © Neil Hall
Labour’s wealthy political donors are bothered that party leader Jeremy Corbyn has lectured them on workers’ rights, while apparently making no effort to court their favor after they signed checks for five and six figure donations.

Five wealthy private donors have complained about Corbyn’s attitude, according to the Times newspaper. They say they are concerned about the financial future of the party.

One anonymous donor accused Corbyn of snubbing those keen to bankroll Labour during the annual conference in September 2015, leaving them waiting for nearly two hours.

At another meeting of Labour-backing businesspeople, Corbyn “lectured everyone on the need for business owners to pay workers more.

Some of these people give thousands of pounds to try and get Labour elected. You do not deliver a lecture,” the donor complained.

Not all donors were perturbed by Corbyn’s actions. Dale Vince, founder of wind-power company Ecotricity, said he had donated £380,000 to the party and admires the lifelong socialist’s “honesty, integrity and decency.

Corbyn’s behavior is in line with a recent poll on public perceptions of the influence rich financial backers wield in British politics.

Over three-quarters of the British public think that big donors have too much influence over political parties, the survey published by the Electoral Reform Society on January 20 revealed.

The poll suggested most Brits feel party funding rules need to change, with 71 percent of respondents branding current methods “corrupt.

Offering a novel alternative, the campaign to make Corbyn prime minister hopes to raise funds with a traveling musical show.

Celebrities including singers Charlotte Church and Billy Bragg and comedians Holly Walsh and Ava Vidal will take part in the #JC4PM tour, which will showcase music, comedy and poetry on a nationwide tour.

There are five dates already confirmed with the opening show taking place in Kentish Town, London, on Thursday, with tickets going for as little as £5 for unwaged supporters.