Whilst I was looking at the Electoral Commission website yesterday I had a quick look at donations to some of the non-Labour left parties. Notably the RMT spend about £70K on No2Eu, which barely registered on the electorate's radar.
At the same time the Taxpayers Alliance is - admittedly with the help of journos who can't be bothered to a) consider the TPA's political orientation and/or b) check out their research - is getting a free ride in media. Their (undisclosed) donors get a big bang for their buck.
Much as many of us on the Left dislike the TPA, we should acknowledge that they have been successful at getting their point of view across. Some of their research is wobbly, but at least they do primary research and don't simply rely on rhetoric to make their arguments.
There are some big battles ahead for the labour movement, not least over public sector pensions. Would it not make more sense for unions like the RMT to spend their limited resources funding high-quality research to make their arguments, rather than peeing it away on political projects that have no impact? Or maybe even support a left TPA-style group?