Sunday 11 February 2007

Party Funding: End Game?

So the final discussions of Sir Hayden Philips with the political parties have been leaked here, to the Sunday Times.

My reaction; Non-plussed to say the least.

In a very predictable cosy stitch up the main proposals are for 60p per vote for Westminster elections and 30p per vote for European elections.

The cost of this is said to be £28 million a year. Typically there is an immediate underplay of the hand here as of course a reformed House of Lords will add another 30 million or so votes into the post and increase this figure to more like £40 million.

Donations to parties are set to be capped at £50,000. So What, I say? All this will do is increase soft money and other ways of donating. I like 18 Doughty Street and think it is great, but it is also the first real appearance of soft money campaigning in the UK.

Finally, parties are only eligible for money is they have at least 2MPs, (Elected Lords?), MSP's or Euro MP's. So the main idea seems to be to keep the Status Quo. In fact it promotes the government by giving them more money by right than any other party. Thus those in and around power wish to perpetuate their own system.

All at our expense. I feel the need for a Downing Street petition, but to what effect?

It is a sorry situation all round and I welcome any ideas for how we can protest further.


Anonymous said...

Slightly OT, but triggered by your point on soft money, 18DS etc:

in the face of various and growing attacks on blogging and other broadly unregulated media I believe we need to have uppermost in our thinking in these areas the need to defend vigorously the freedoms that allow Private Eye, 18DS, etc etc to do what they do.

We may need them very badly in the coming months and years.

Any developments - including in the sphere of party funding / soft-money rules - that might include clamping down on that type of freedom by way of 'collateral damage' should indeed be resisted.

I'm not sure this will bring out the public in quite the same way that the prospect of road charging does - which I guess lies behind your ambivalence over trying the Petition route.

(Is Liberty an ally against state funding, by any chance?)

Newmania said...

CU would you explain a little further what "soft money" funding is". I find it quite astonishing that the porposal to funs political parties has progresed so far and regard it with fear and horror.

Apart from anything lese t would trun the Parties themselves inot a completely diferent sort of organisation in which the inner cabal`s effectively would rule by funding.

A dreadful developemnt

Newmania said...

..and dreadful spelling ..sorry

youdontknowme said...

I don't see the point in state funding. if they want millions of pounds let them set up their own super casinos and if they are leading the council wherever it is they can create a monopoly.

Anonymous said...

During the last Euro election, I was not allowed to work for my MEP in a paid capacity because of the rules, and as I liked him so much, I offered to do the work free of charge. I did this for a while until a local journalist queried why he was still using my press releases, then he stopped using me, he didn't want to be seen to be bending the rules.

CityUnslicker said...

ND - I agree with your point. I think that the success of the Right has had a significant impact on the Left who are in power. They may seek redress through the legal system. I will pen an email to Liberty and let you know what comes of it.

N - Soft monry si that which is spent by supportive groups but not direclty on a party or by a party. I think 18DS is a good example. For a US one, think Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.

YK - Raise and spend money is all they seem to want to do.

E - The shrill tones taken by the politico's against each other have led them into this cul-de-sac. it does not mean we should pay to get them out of it.

James Higham said...

...Donations to parties are set to be capped at £50,000. So What, I say? All this will do is increase soft money and other ways of donating...

You're too mild. I don't ask so what? I say what utter bulls--t.

For the reasons you state. Also, thought you weren't going to be back until tomorrow?

CityUnslicker said...

JH - been at hospital today with Mrs Slicker. new baby slicker is in the making..

Anonymous said...

Hey - congrats!

Don't listen to PHitch on these matters.

(BTW, calculated the NPV of a kid recently?... only joking)

Newmania said...

Best of Luck with that CU we are trying to have another one this year.

The Hitch said...

Mr mania I know of one going cheap.
Its a gyspy child but a good one , one of my Romanian cousins needs to get rid of it , he already has 17.
Why put Mrs Mania through he trauma of labour when your good friend The Hitch can sell you one wholesale?
5 grand and I will throw in a lurcher and a gearbox for a transit van.

Anonymous said...

Told you not to listen to him

Newmania said...

Thanks PHITCH may have veered slightly off the mighty CU`s thread but as its in my direction ...goody

CityUnslicker said...

The cost of acquisition for a child is free, dare I say it even an enjoyable experience.

It is the long term maintenance costs that can bring you down PH.

Newmania said...

The cost of acquisition for a child is free, dare I say it even an enjoyable experience.

Free eh...well I`m not so sure I would say that excatly.

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