It seems National has succeeded in the first step of its campaign to muzzle the EPMU and the fifty thousand workers it represents. Over at the bog our mate Davey is crowing about the high court win that recognises the union as a legal person for the purposes of the act. This still means that the Electoral Commission has to decide whether the union is sufficiently involved in the affairs of the Labour Party to be precluded from third-party registration or not but it certainly weakens their case.
There is going to be a lot of gloating from the right over this, but let’s be clear. Crown Law advice was that the EPMU was not a person and it’s clear as day that the EFA was never intended to exclude democratic organisations such as the EPMU from campaigning. This is a weak point of the law that has failed under heavy (and expensive) legal attack by National and it needs to be fixed.
National has repeatedly stated that it does not want the EPMU excluded from its democratic right to campaign for the rights of its members but just wanted to test the law. Given the fact that the EPMU has run aggressive and successful campaigns against National in the past, I don’t think that’s true. But if it is then I would say National better put its money where its mouth is and support an amendment to clear this issue up. I’m not holding my breath on that one.
In the meantime we’ll all just have to wait for the Electoral Commission’s decision.