Taxpayers to fund Political Parties?

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by OldSnowy, Nov 1, 2011.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    I saw that this story today, and wondered what the collective view of ARRSE was on this matter:

    Political parties could get more state funding to make up for donation caps | Politics | The Guardian

    I won't bother summarising it, as a very sensible comment, for another website (link below) sums it up as follows. I have added the 'bold':

    On the front page of this morning's Guardian is the news that an inquiry is to recommend that political parties receive £3 for every vote they receive at a general election. Based on the outcome of the last election this would equal £32 million for the Conservatives, £25.8 million for Labour and £20.4 million for the Liberal Democrats - all paid for by the taxpayer. This would be a windfall for parties that are struggling to retain members but is likely to be very unpopular with voters.

    The subsidy would be also be a quid pro quo for the introduction of a £50,000 limit on donations to political parties. Big government money would replace money from big donors and big unions. The Guardian tells us that "donations of £50,001 or more accounted for 41% of Liberal Democrat income, 54% of Conservative and 76% of Labour party declared donation income." The high Labour percentage is explained by Ed Miliband's chronic dependence on the trade unions.

    There was talk of a £10,000 cap but the Tory Co-Chairman Lord Feldman has objected. He wrote to the inquiry arguing that "a cap of £10,000 would hugely inhibit the ability of political parties to engage with the electorate." It is, I think, precisely the other way round. A high cap and state funding will actually increase the remoteness of political parties from the electorate. Not only will state funding of existing political parties make it harder for small parties to flourish it will also reduce the need for political parties to connect with and understand the concerns of ordinary voters and turn them into armies of small donors.
    If the Conservative Party leadership, for example, was dependent upon energising its natural supporters it would not have ignored their overwhelming support for a referendum. If David Cameron does accept the inquiry's recommendations - and he has previously argued it would be "unrealistic" to believe small donors could replace large donors - he will be going in the opposite direction to Stephen Harper. Canada's Conservative PM has introduced legislation which will phase out an existing $2-per-vote subsidy. He has attacked the idea that political parties should get “enormous cheques” whether “they raise money or not.”

    Link: The Tory Diary | Conservative Home

    Personally, I find the entire idea vile. the 'professionalisation' of the political class has increased markedly over the last twenty years. We now have party leaders, of all shades, who know sod all about anything but Westminster, and who have no idea whatsoever of how the vast, vast majority of the UK think, work, and worry about. This suggestion would remove them still further from the mainstream UK, and give them even less need to worry about the Little People.
  2. Hang on, an INCREASE? That implies that I'm already ****ing paying for it!

    IMO, the ***** can ****ing well **** the **** off, and when they ****ing get there they can ****ing well **** off again. The ****ing *****.

    Did I mention that I think it's a bad idea?
    • Like Like x 7
  3. Don't we taxpayers pay enough to these MP's via the still lavish and largely uncontrolled expenses and salary system? If they need funds for their parties let them, the MP's pay up. Nobody asks them to produce expensive Party Political Broadcasts, and neither do they necessarily need to be flitting about in helicopters at election time.
    State funding of parties is a slippery slope, which would be bad for what remains of "democracy" in this country.
  4. Where do you think the perks like the "communications allowance" and the "Union Modernisation Fund" come from? They have already been picking our pockets for years.
  5. So basically the bankrupt Labour Party wants State funding?

    How very Guardianista of them.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Public funding of political is a seriously bad idea.
  7. nah, i think funding caps are the way to go. its a nice idea in that it would help reduce percieved corruption and would hold parties more accountable but we shouldnt be paying for it and it might also mean that the party in power would always have a financial advantage.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. How about - say - 10p per vote, but then all their salaries have to come out of that as well? Lets see how public-service orientated they remain if the salary package is set at a sacrificial level. After all, most of them are already wealthy on the back of their public office - and if any feel the pinch they can always feck off and get an earning job somewhere, thus allowing fresh, idealistic new talent to have a go.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. That my friend is going to be my quote of the day, nay the week, **** fuckity **** - it's going to be my all-time favourite quote.
  10. naw we should give them 25 p per vote, the mp's wages are paid to them via westminster, the remainder of the party (the ones who failed ot get a seat as an mp) are given some cash to tide them over form the party.

    this is all off the back of the labour party changing donation limits just after they got into power in an attempt to prevent the tories from gaining enough funding to cover there bills day to day, it failed needless to say but now that the unions are backing away from the backstabber miliband there donations to the labour party are going to be smaller, union membership once compulsory now "advised" is becoming a thing of the past (too many people woke up and smelled the coffee) and so the funding rate is dwindeling away.

    i'd be more than happy to see each party get a chequ based on the number of votes it received for elected mp's (only winning votes counted XD) but at a realistic rate and then also capped at a rate of 10k per seat.

    so for low turnout seats they can proff for high turnout seats there not loosing out and no single party can get more than 10k per seat won, with no monies paid out for mep or local elections.

    we might just see them actually working there arses off for a change instead of sitting back grinning like a twat and spouting bollocks (yes miliband i'm thinking of you here) all over the tv every time an announcement is made despite having universaly failed ot offer anything resembling a plan about any subject.

    indeed lowering the face time of loosers could be very good for the country and it would save there party from appearing to be useless when i'm sure someone thee must have a modicum of sence and be usefull sometime
  11. So, having been caught with their fingers in the till over donations, they now want a bribe not to do it again. I think not. This would further undermine accountability and ossify the political system in its current form. Political parties are no different from other organisations; if you have a product that people like, they will pay for it. If you don't; you go out of business
    • Like Like x 1
  12. That is pure poetry. It leaves the reader in no doubt and paints a mental picture that vividly conveys the sentiment.

    I also completely agree, this is a barking idea. Funding opinionated donkey jacketed student union types , from my pocket, to peddle ridiculous nonsense that wouldn't even get them elected, is a thought so infuriating that I would go into politics just to campaign to repeal it . To paraphrase...**** 'em!
  13. You're all welcome - I'll even allow you to use it royalty-free! :thumright:

    I'll try not to be so much on-the-fence next time though, and let you all know what I really feel.
  14. MattB for Prime Minister, no question on what he was trying to say!
  15. The only fair way is by private subscription, and a limit of £50 per subscriber, then they either reflect the views of their public or get cut off. Paying for the oily parasites out of public funding is an obscenity.