Amnesty bigger than UK political parties

The Daily Telegraph today reports (somewhat gleefully) on the declining membership of the Labour Party and the UK's political parties genrally.

Labour Party member numbers are down from a 1997 high of 405,000 to only 177,000 today. Largely the Iraq War effect, I would suggest.

The Conservatives don't publish proper figures (mmm…) but two years ago estimated (how generous is that estimate?!), 290,000 members of their notoriously loose structures, after receiving a boost with the new Cameron leadership. But,Stephen Tall on Liberal Conspiracy, reports that "Tory membership is reportedly lower today than it was when he was first elected leader."

The LibDems are on the slide too, down from a high of 100,000 in 1994 to a reported 64,000 today.

It is interesting that, as the member numbers of the main UK political parties decline, Amnesty's membership has been on a steady upward trend for as long as I remember. According to our website, current membership/supporter base (people who actually pay annual subs) in the UK sits at 260,000: probably making us bigger than any political party.

Of course, size isn't everything(!) but it is clear that people are attracted by constant principles put into effective action, which is what I (and, presumably, many others) believe Amnesty offers. If you're not already a member, please think about joining our growing movement. You can join here.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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