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April 04, 2006



Might be interesting to see how Labout deals with someone from Northern Ireland mounting a legal challenge to stop our taxes funding a party (parties) we can't vote for!


actually public money being used to pay for political campaigning is not a terrible as it sounds. if this money is rigorously capped it moves the emphasis away from private interests and back in the hands of the people. anything that gets greedy business and private lobby interest out of political campaigning is of real benifit to the people and politics as a whole.

germany, i think, uses this method.

ernest young

The new secret police(SOCA)has been formed at just the right time. Their first case should be to look into the sources of all those large 'loans' to political parties and to individuals.

What better way to 'launder' some of that excess cash, than to pass them through the trough of politics, - followed by a peerage, as a certificate of 'cleanliness....

How these folk can slosh so much spare cash around, and not attract the attention of the Inland Revenue, has always been a puzzle. There was a time when any 'unusual' expenditure brought a letter from the taxman enquiring as to the source...

Peter Turner

Whether someone gives a loan or a donation to a political party is none of my business. People are entitled to do what they want with their money. However, if I am compelled to give money via the state to multiple political parties then it is my business and I object strongly, very strongly.

Apart from the obvious objection to someone else spending my money on things I do not want my money spent on - who is to determine just how much these political parties receive? What will happen if these parties plead poverty and ask for more? Will I have to support the BNP, far left organisations etc.?

State funding of political parties will be a disaster awaiting adoption.

Madradin Ruad

Whether someone gives a loan or a donation to a political party is none of my business.

If someone who is after government business could give secret loans/donations to the Party in power then it's ALL our business.

Peter Turner

Madradin, that's not a loan or or a donation - it's a "Bribe" and should be treated as such. It's a bit like giving all pensioners Council Tax relief just before a General Election and then deciding it is no longer needed the following year.

Madradin Ruad

it's a "Bribe" and should be treated as such.

Peter - that's why loans and donations shouldn't be secret- else such bribes won't be spotted.

Cllr Graham Smith

It sounds even worse when one reads the entire sentence from Wealth of Nations:

"People of the same trade seldom meet together even for merriment and
diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public or
some contrivance to raise prices."

-- Adam Smith (Wealth of Nations, 1776, bk. 1, ch. 10, pt. 2)

ernest young

Surely it is not that a donation is made, it is the size of that donation, and who makes it.

If State funding of politics is not acceptable, then you have to agree to the Parties raising funds via donation, - but it has to be strictly regulated, to individuals and with a modest cap.

It is the large block funding by such as the Trade Unions and corporations that poses the problem. At such a large scale it becomes, as mentioned above, more of a bribe than a donation.

Isn't it a tradition in the Labour Party that a proportion of their MP's are 'bought and paid for'by the Unions, and they have always been very open about it...

It really does make a total mockery of the concept of democracy doesn't it?

David Vance

Cllr Smith,

Yes, I thought of that quote when I was writing the above and reckon Adam Smith knew what he was writing about!


There should be no state funding of parties. Instead there should be limits on individual/organisational personal donations, and limits on all electioneering expenditure. Parties would then be required to achieve funds through achievement and popularity and win elections based on arguments and policy successes rather than expensive mass media saturation .


Why should there be any limits on private donations made to parties? So long as there is legally-enforceable transparency?

As for state-funding... this is a truly sickening idea and the fact that it can be mooted at all shows how the political class has come adrift from the rest of us.

Who do they think they are? Why should the rest of us licence the Tory or Labour parties to exist in perpetuity, and at our expense.

It's hard to think of a faster route to vice and corruption (apart, of course, from the present arrangements in Northern Ireland).

ernest young

Two points;

Your suggestion that political parties should:-
achieve funds through achievement and popularity

They would starve...

win elections based on arguments and policy

You are assuming a degree of electorate intelligence that just does not exist. Not to mention also a degree of self-disinterest, in voting for the party that does not necessarily promise even bigger handouts...

ernest young

We get the government we deserve, - a sleazy bunch of third-raters, (whoever is in No.10), and fiddling with funding is not going to remedy the situation...

"Jackasses, led by Jackals"



Point 1. Then they can starve

Point 2. The electoral intelligence does exist, it's just that the desire to use that intelligence is not as strong as the cynical power that apathy holds over the electorate. My argument was really that a restriction on advertising expenditure at elections would force politicians to rely more on personal argument than glossy merchandising.


I gathered the gist of your post, but I thought you were rather hoping for something that was well nigh impossible.

I have long given up in despair of the idea that one day the British electorate would one day wake up and put the Sleazies in their place. Unfortunately Blair and co. have been too destructive to ever reclaim the glory days, even Camerloon - being tarred with the same brush, will be unable to make much impact.

The damage done to every branch of our system of government is beyond repair, and all in the name of Europe. Instead of having a unique system, an example for others to follow, we have a mish-mash of Franco German bureaucracy, with little integrity or merit, a charter for the Chiracs, Shroders and Blairs of this world to sup at the trough. They even make Mugabe look half-way decent...:-)

ernest young

That was me - ranting!!



I wouldn't just blame Europe. We have always had a rather complacent 'gentlemans club' attitude to government here in the UK with the assumption that our politicians are 'honourable' and the powers of patronage are always used wisely. It is why ministerial decisions are much less officially scrutinised than elsewhere with accountability restricted to inhouse codes of conduct and Privy Council and Cabinet office restrictions and privileges . That system of government can work where it is infused with genuine honesty and integrity but in our modern valueless political culture it cannot deal effectively with the sleaze and favouritism that increasingly dominates our politics.


taxpayers money given to political parties os a sinking idea and antidemocratic. How do you decide how much money each party gets? If they do it on the basis of past elections then we are giving parties potential to win future elections on the basis of how they fared in the last one.

What happens to independants?

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