So now we know how those millionaires secured their tax break in the recent budget…. dining at Dave’s Dodgy Downing Street diner.
Mind you Labour is in no position to point fingers with the Unite union effectively choosing the next Labour leader and possible Prime Minister.
Nor are the Lib Dems in the clear on the issue of party funding, remember their association with donor Michael Brown who was convicted of fraud?
We’re told politicians hate these fund raising dinners when they have to sit for hours over the rubber chicken listening to some boring, but hopelessly wealthy donor, droning on about the 50p tax rate.
Well let’s put them out of their misery.
I’m a member of the Richard the Third Society. We campaign to correct the wholly distorted image of this fine king by that Tudor spin doctor Will Shakespeare. We can only spend the subscriptions we receive. It is the same for thousands of clubs and organisations all over the country.
So let the political parties survive on what they can get individual members to pay, with a ceiling of £5000.
I can hear the howls of anguish now. The democratic process will grind to a halt! The parties won’t be able to communicate with the voters!
What does this communication amount to? In the years between elections the parties tick over, selecting candidates, fighting local elections and spending modest amounts of money. When the General Election comes all reason is cast to the wind and millions are spent on posters, battle buses and political consultants. The mounting debts can be left for another day.
Most of what that money is spent on irritates the public profoundly. That’s why the concept of state aid (you and I paying for it in our taxes) is a non runner.
There is an argument that the political parties should be able to communicate with us directly on TV without the interference of journalists. So I propose that the BBC be charged with producing the party political broadcasts out of the licence fee money.
Not an appropriate use of the licence fee? Sorry that principle has been breeched already with BBC money being siphoned off to pay for digital switchover.
Most attention has focused on the Tories but Labour has become far too dependent on the unions. Union barons bankroll the party up to 90%. Ed Miliband denounces most strikes, so we can’t say this arrangement buys the barons much effect on policy. But the unions did bring their influence to bear in the leadership election. With rank and file members and MPs backing David Miliband, it was the union vote that secured Ed his victory. After the Bradford West debacle many in the party think the unions made a bad call.
Union members should have to positively opt in to having part of their sub paid to the Labour Party. I think most would and if not, that’s tough.
In any other walk of life if you want someone to give you money, you have to provide a product or service that they want. So it should be in politics. Then we stop this endless cycle of scandal as parties try to raise money either from dodgy characters or people expecting influence.