In the week after Cameron (and Miliband) showed their utter contempt for the principle of MPs being in parliament to reflect their constituents wishes, and proved conclusively that they were merely the henchmen of their party leader; the utter toe rags have had another idea.
Now they want the all encompassing ‘state’– aka – the taxpayer – to finance and serve you up a ‘choice’ of parties for which you may vote. And they still call this a democracy?
The draft report is proposing that parties receive funding worth £3 per vote they receive. On the basis of the last election, the Tories would get £32m, Labour £25.8m and the Lib Dems £20.4m. The figures could be higher if tax relief were added.
That’ll be tax relief for the parties I guess, I doubt that anybody would suggest tax relief for the poor bloody infantry, aka the taxpayer.
Personally I think they should all be forced to campaign on a shoe string. No expensive TV ads, no top of the range advertising agencies, zilch – get out there on the stumps folks, the same as the small parties have to, then we might see an end to the tribal voting.
Would Prezza stand a chance on the stumps – would Mandelson have ever been voted in, or Gordon Brown, if they had not been able to rely on a ‘safe seat’ courtesy of the party machines?
State funding is seen by most sides as the only way to reduce dependence on big backers.
No, it isn’t the only way – there is another way.
Each candidate can only spend £5,000 and ‘the Party’ can spend nothing, zero, nada. If they can’t stand in the rain, the sleet and the snow and convince the citizens mooching around some God forsaken shopping centre that it is worth turning out to the Village Hall and voting for them, then they do not deserve that vote.
No more Union block votes, no more ‘opt-out’ of Union funding, no more city backers, no more big business donations. Force the lot of them to rely on passion, charm even, policies hopefully, commitment to the local population.
No more second home allowances whilst we are about it either – if you are not local, you cannot stand. Period.
Lord Feldman of Elstree, the Tories’ co-chairman, claimed: “A cap of £10,000 would hugely inhibit the ability of political parties to engage with the electorate.”
Quite probably – so let’s have a cap of £5,000 and completely kibosh the ability of political parties to engage with the electorate. No donation larger than £50.
Its political parties that have nearly been the death of our democracy. Its political representatives that we need. Not parties.
Parties have been the means by which MPs have voted themselves such a cosy – and insulated – existence. They decided on the second home allowance – not us. They decided on the travel allowances that enable so many of them – you think Liam Fox was the only one? – to fly round the world with their boyfriends, pay for their duck houses and moat cleaning.
At least the Italians do it with style – 19 bullet proofed Maseratis for their defence ministers – a boost to the Italian car industry. Somehow more palatable than our sordid collection of invoices for dry rot cures. Still a slap in the face for the austerity measures that Italy is supposed to be taking.
We should resist this attempt to have state funding of parties – at the moment, the threat of upsetting either the unions or the city bankers is the only thing that keeps these eejits under any sort of control, we certainly don’t control them – give them access to Treasury funds, and they’ll all have Maseratis.