But don’t hold your breath

Another big Labour lender arrested. Disappointingly, it turns out to be a different Chris Evans. I still think that it will be hard to prove anything, despite whatever compelling inferences might be drawn from the order of events, unless someone turns Queen’s evidence. It certainly stinks, and is part of the reason Labour has haemorraged members in recent years. I’m sure it fills most of the remaining membership with shame – but I don’t expect them to anything about it. Why change the habits of a lifetime?

Meanwhile I noticed this contribution on the (hardly busy) Party Funding Review forum:

If political parties are to be beholden to the people then it would make sense for the people to provide funding via the state.

…which is dumb on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start. But since political parties aren’t “beholden to the people”, I guess we can dismiss the rest. Even if they were, it’s hard to see how the conclusion follows. You could equally well say “If political parties are to be beholden to the people then it would make sense for the people to provide funding via individual contributions”. Hang on, isn’t that what we do now?

The altnerative is for wealthy men representing powerful interests to provide the funding for the parties who will therefore be, just ever so slightly, beholden to the powerful interests and therefore not the people.

…or for the parties to rely on individual contributions from a mass membership base. But to build that, they’d have to convince us that they have at least a slight intention of paying attention to what we want. Note the false dichotomy – the only alternatives are state funding or funding by the rich. Dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb, dumb. There are other options.

State funding should tighten a link between the people and the parties and loosen the smiling bear hug of corporate interests.

Just like it has in those countries that have state funding for parties. Oh, errr, never mind. Lord, since the bastards can’t persuade us to pay for their dubious services, they want instead to force us to pay. What planet are they on?

Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to anything but power for their relief.
Edmund Burke

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