And so fake outrage at political fundraising once again breaks out. It’s like Groundhog Day. Soooo dull. This one comes around as regular as clockwork. And all the Shock! Horror! faux bullshit from Labour, the party which gave us cash for access (again), cash for honours, changed Government policy on tobacco advertising after receiving Mr Eccelestone's £1 million and - to keep this list very up-to-date - the secret Millipede/Roland Rudd meeting with business leaders, the Opposition's voting list being actually written by the unions etc, I could go on and on but won’t. Anyhoo, the facts:
We already have limited funding of political parties by the taxpayer. It’s called ‘Short or Cranborne Money’ and gets dished out to the opposition parties in both Houses roughly in proportion to their number of seats. But this is as far as all right-minded people want to go. We should never propose taxpayer funding of political parties direct. We all have an interest in Parliament functioning properly but not in funding political parties’ election leaflets. You want to win elections? Then produce a manifesto that people want to fund and vote for.
The Tories always attract funding by business. This is not evil, Lefties. This is because they have policies which are business friendly. Labour always attracts funding by unions. This is not evil, Righties. This is because they have policies which protect unions. And no fucker gives the Lib Dems anything much because mostly they talk vague twaddle.
This is called democracy, children. I like your policies, I give you money. Simple. If you want more money, give me some more policies I’ll like.
Question - What is wrong with senior business people meeting the Prime Minister, or any of the Cabinet for that matter? Moreover, what is wrong with senior union leaders meeting the Labour leader? Or vice versa indeed?
Answer - Nothing.
Again, this is called democracy children.
What you can’t have is an un-level playing field, where your supporters are allowed to fund you but my supporters are not allowed to fund me.
For the record, if I was giving £250,000 to a political party, sure as fuck would I want to meet its leader to tell him what he was doing wrong! I might even want a blow job from his wife/mistress thrown in for good value. And of course, our American cousins just laugh at how cheap we are. Obama, Romney and the assortment of Republican weirdoes in Primary mode would just laugh at these pitiful amounts.
Our system is not corrupt. I have worked in Brussels, I can tell you about real corruption. Yet we make such a meal about these piffling issues.
Putting aside Labour’s endless childish attempts to try and skew that playing field in their favour, we actually need business and union leaders to all have access to Government. Otherwise politicians who have never run a business or union will do some very dumb things. And the Law of Unintended Consequences will apply on almost every piece of legislation. That is why lobbying is a force for good, children, despite what journalists of either colour will tell you.