Harmony: Standing Against Corruption

3rd December 2020
by John Urquhart, Party general secretary

Money exchanging hands inside a red "not allowed" circle with diagonal strikethrough.

This is the fourth part of a series on Harmony’s structures and processes. You can find the first part here, the second part here, and the third part here.

We are an anti-corruption Party. And that’s a pledge.

We don’t have “shadowy backers” – I founded the Party, and I assure you, I’m not wealthy: I’m in fact a disabled person with very limited income.

We don’t have big donors with big influence. We don’t owe anything to interest groups. And that’s not just because we’re new and still small & growing: it’s by design. These choices may sound like weaknesses to some, but to us, they’re strengths. We’re a transparent, free & fair democracy – and we’re proud of it.

What’s more, Harmony just doesn’t take large donations from individuals – and members pay what they want to pay for subs: the minimum is £2 per quarter, though even that is negotiable for those on low incomes – and we’re working on a scheme where new members who can afford to can volunteer to pay the subs of those on lower incomes. Your voice – your choice.

And if an organisation – no matter what kind of organisation – wants to donate, they have to ask. And the Membership has to say yes. That means that no-one is responsible for “bringing in donations”. Nobody can claim that their actions have more value, and their voice should therefore carry more weight. The Membership as a whole decides. It’s their Party.

What’s more, as things stand, we won’t be charging for affiliation. If unions want to affiliate with Harmony, they can, and it won’t harm their ability to represent their members one bit. Solidarity is a gift, not a purchase.

Unions or organisations that want to affiliate with us just have to be aligned with us on values. That’s it. And again, it’s up to the Membership to decide whether we accept that affiliation – to decide whether we really are aligned.

Democracy matters to us a great deal – but we don’t just say it. We do it.

That’s why we’ve taken these choices. By limiting the ability of money to influence the Party, we maximise the ability of everyday people to be heard in the Party – and for the Party to do its real job: to amplify you.

No special interest groups. No pressure groups. They can join in and raise their voices like anyone else – we remain an open democracy – but they cannot shout everyone else down.

We just won’t let them.

The Members come first. The Members lead.

Sound like something you could be a part of? Come join in – or even better, participate and come join the Party.