Cash for Lib Dem peerages

2 January, 2008

From The Times via Tom, this is all pretty damning stuff for the Lib Dems. Not least because the guy wanted to sit as a crossbencher rather than a lib dem.

There is also a wider point. With the media we have got, is it possible for people to give large amounts of money to political parties and their motives not to be called into question? Personally I think it’s not. Unfortunately their is not much in a free society that we can do about the media and nor should we want to. So then the debate comes round to the reform of party funding.

I think, although the public won’t like it, it will come to some measure of state funding for political parties. How we manage that and keep the union link meaningful is going to be a challenge but presently how the political parties are funded in the UK is not retaining public confidence and we need to act before we get to US levels of cynicism or a future Tory government.

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4 Responses to “Cash for Lib Dem peerages”

  1. Dear Will

    I think, although the public won’t like it, it will come to some measure of state funding for political parties.

    What a depressing start to the New Year. Labour values = fleecing the taxpayer to keep the political establishment in work. I don’t think so.

    I asked if Nick Clegg would adopt a principled approach to that issue here:

    http://petergkenyon.typepad.com/peterkenyon/2007/12/labourlib-dems.html

    What do you think?

  2. parburypolitica said

    I don’t think their are any easy answers here. But at the moment all the parties are getting screwed by the press if they take money from rich donors and the voting public are getting very cynical.

    I think we get our politics pretty cheaply in this country. The spending caps are about £15m per major party per GE campaign. Considering that it is only Labour and the Tories that can raise that kind of money and if you look at the activity levels of the parties, which is I know not just money but money has to play some kind of role, there are many areas where there is no real choice because it is considered safe for one party so the others don’t put any resources in to concentrate on the marginals.

    “spurious pretext of cleaning up British politics” I think cleaning up British politics is important, though I would say that it is pretty clean, and if we have to spend some money to do it I can think of plenty of things the government spends money on that we could spend it more wisely on this.

  3. NuLabour said

    Why should any taxpayer be forced to fund, even indirectly, political parties which they loathe or hate or fear e.g. Sinn Fein, BNP, various Communists, sundry extremist religious parties etc ?

  4. parburypolitica said

    because political parties are a public good and the political system needs them to operate effectively. If you don’t want to give money to the fringe parties then put a cap on it so that only parties with more than 20 parliamentary seats get extra funding.

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