Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Funding political parties

Should the tax payer cough up?

Sounds like noses in the trough time again yeah?

According to a report in today's Daily Telegraph the cross party Constitutional Affairs Committee is calling for increased public funding for political parties, and that individual donations to parties ought to be capped in an effort to clean up the mess being dragged through the press columns with the current 'cash for peerages' enquiry.

Leaks of details apparently to be included in Sir Philip Hayden's report suggest that he wants to cap individual donations to parties to as low as 50,000 pounds, and is also recommending that trades union members be required to 'contract out' of political donations to the Labour Party, a move that would completely sever the party's links and reliance on the union movement.

The Constitutional Affairs Committee is also suggesting that we, the public, would only accept further tax payer funding of political parties if it was seen that other outside links and funding were not having a major influence on policy.

I don't agree, I feel that public funding of politics will lead to even more disenchantment with politicians and less engaement from us all. I think a far easier way to clean up the mess would be to remove the Prime Minister's capacity to recommend the awarding of honours, and give the job to an elected committee of Privy Counsellors and civil servants.

The whole issue might, of course, become self-policing after a few of the Prime Minister's closest aides and associates have their collars felt by the Old Bill.


The Daily Telegraph

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