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.