The first, or even any, 20 minutes of The World at One given over to a political story? On a Martha Kearney day? Yes, it really is as grave as that.
State funding of anything must entail some degree of State control, which can often be necessary and beneficial. For political parties, however, it would be lethal. Only parties that met the organisational and political requirements of some committee would be able to afford to contest elections. Imagine who would be on that committee. Well, there you are, then.
Except that all of this is already the case. The Big Three, in actuality tiny organisations in the country at large, are already maintained at enormous public expense. The rest is made up by a small number of mind-bogglingly rich individuals with very specific political agenda economically, socially, culturally, constitutionally, and internationally, including militarily.
The only partial exception is the party reverting to funding by means of the trade unions' mere collection of two or three pounds per year from each of millions of ordinary working people, whose contributions are entirely voluntary unlike those of shareholders in the companies that bankroll the other two.
Needless to say, that mere collection of those tiny voluntary contributions is being presented as the biggest political scandal that it is possible to imagine by those who are determined to stop what is now the impending victory of the party thus funded over the other two at the 2015 General Election.
That several of those people, such as Dan Hodges, manage to retain Labour Party membership is nothing more than yet further demonstration that the London Labour Party is a complete and utter shambles. It needs Alex Watson, Mike Malone and Ossie Johnson to sort it out. And if you don't know...