Sunday, 26 October 2008

The British people have just been mugged

In an extension of my last post, fearing we are all about to fund political parties through taxes, my instincts have been proven correct.

This morning, on the Andrew Marr show, Alastair Campbell, a man I have enormous time and respect for, signalled that state funding for political parties is the direction that political parties want to go.

In a discussion on "we have to sort out parties' funding", Marr and Campbell repeatedly used the phrase 'a new way of funding', without going into graphic detail. It was only at the very end of this part of the interview, that Campbell dropped in the line "It's going to be very difficult to convince the public, especially in these economic times, that their money, might have to go towards political parties".

Most bloggers out there are card-carrying members, or openly suportive of a political party. I am not, so maybe there's something I'm missing, but I don't see why we should fund political parties. If we do, should we then offer funding to the 1922 Committee? How far does it go?

Campbell also spoke about, 'people don't realise how difficult it is to run a political party' and how expensive it is. Just because it's difficult, just because it's expensive, just because it's corrupt, doesn't mean we should 'call it in' to be a state matter. If there is something dodgy going on, then we should be finding a way to stop it being dodgy, stamping out the corruption and making it clean. If parties go bust or have to scale back considerably, then fine. Political parties are not banks. They do not offer the public an essential or even crucial service (like healthcare or mortgages) and therefore must not be considered state funding suitable.

The British people are being mugged, live on television, at Millbank, Downing Street and in the Houses of Parliament and fuck all will be done about it. I know very few bloggers read my blog, so I can't expect a flurry of suggestions, but if you have any reasons why we should go down the road of state funding, where it's for the good of the people, then please let me know, as I am convinced there is no such valid proposition.

In the same way that muggings and other violent crimes are not properly reported, this mugging of the British taxpayer is passing us by unnoticed.

1 comment:

Grahame Leon-Smith said...

The worst possible thing we could do would be to give state funding to the current political parties on the basis of the number of MPs they have (which is probably what Alistair Campbell wants!) This could condemn the country for ever to the current two-party dictatorship in which the voters have lost all confidence: MPs who fiddle their expenses, MPs who use their status to acquire highly-paid jobs, when being a conscientious MP is much more than a full time job.

We must return "Power to the People"as the Senior Citizens Party (www.seniorcitizensparty.org.uk) recommended to Sir Hayden Phillips in his review: a maximum of £50,000 per year from any individual, company or organisation, and everyone who annually confirms his details with his date of birth and signature on the Electoral Register should be sent a £5 voucher which he can send to the political party of his choice. His (or her) name and address would be on the voucher so that the party receiving the donation could write and thank him and invite him to become a full member of the party, join the local branch, and become fully involved in its activities.

This would regenerate democracy by boosting party membership many times over and by convincing people that they can and should be actively involved in politics and can actually influence the policies that the different parties develop and promote.

Anyone who would like a copy of this document can send an email to: info@seniorcitizensparty.org.uk

Grahame Leon-Smith, Party Leader