Rather than bizarrely attempting to increase the powers of what it admits is the incompetent Creepy Electoral Commission, the Committee on Standards in Public Life should be campaigning, as should we all, for the abolition of this nasty little body, most notable for its persecution of Constituency Campaigning Services and of the Midlands Industrial Council (it's the being provincial that really annoys the Creepy Electoral Commission).
If this persecution succeeds, then the next target, which is in fact the real intended target, will be the political campaigning and research work of the trade unions, whose participation was depicted by Fraser Nelson is last week's Spectator as somehow morally objectionable when compared to that of people who can spend a thousand pounds on a dinner ticket, or even fifty times that much every year on the mere off-chance of meeting David Cameron. Nelson clearly regards these, and not trade union members such as teachers or plumbers, as the social and economic norm. Such is the world of Fraser Nelson. Such is the world of David Cameron. Such is the world of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. And such is the world of the Creepy Electoral Commission.
It is already illegal to put any designation other than "Independent" on a ballot paper unless it is the name of a party whose constitution (including, of course, it aims and objectives) and whose Leader have been approved by the Creepy Electoral Commission, which has the effrontery to charge £150 for this privilege, plus a further £25 every year. The ultimate intention is that no one should be allowed to contest any election except at taxpayers' expense and thus with the approval of some commission appointed around Oxbridge high tables or at dinner parties in the most chi-chi parts of London. You know the sort of people: they spend a thousand pounds on a dinner ticket, they stump up fifty grand every year merely for some posh pretend-politician's vanity dining club, and they think that their own incomes and lifestyle are normal.
Be in no doubt, the Creepy Electoral Commission is a vital part of ensuring that this country never again has what most people fondly imagine that she still has: mass-membership political parties financed out of subscriptions and local fundraising activities such as raffles. In fact, the parties now have next to no members, and are only kept going by huge, highly conditional subventions from the State and the super-rich (the same super-rich individuals in all three cases, which is why the parties won't reveal their identities).
One of the reasons why Labour is so desperate to avoid a Leadership Election is to spare themselves the embarrassment of just how few people would vote in it; the Tories got round that one by simply inventing huge numbers of members who cannot possibly have existed, secure in the knowledge that no one in the media would bat an eyelid if (as was in any case thus guaranteed to happen) the winner turned out to be a BBC-endorsed, economically and socially super-liberal, correspondingly hawkish Oxonian public schoolboy. The Lib Dem Leadership Election didn't quite go according to the same plan (the winner wasn't the Oxonian public schoolboy, and consequently wasn't the BBC's candidate), so the sniping against the winner has been, and remains, incessant.
These are not proper parties. They are among the Elite State's means of controlling the public, specifically by periodically holding sham Elections (if they are even going to bother doing that now that the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act has come into effect) between candidates hand-picked for safe seats by and from among a tiny number of party functionaries in central London (again, the same individuals in all three cases), and by staging mock debates in a Parliament which hardly sits, or on carefully controlled radio and television programmes. Get rid of the Creepy Electoral Commission. And get rid of them. What's stopping you?