Saturday 8 April 2006

Further to ongoing scandal

[In circulation throughout the trade union movement]

In view of recent and ongoing scandal, I am writing to ask each of the TUC's affiliates to nominate an individual for a peerage. Ideally, due to some other work that I am also doing in this area, I should like to have the forty names by 30th April, so that I can release the complete list to the media on 1st May, thus challenging the Government to ennoble everyone nominated, or else explain in each case why he or she was less acceptable than Jeffrey Archer or Mike Watson.
Furthermore, since the monstrosity that is state funding of political parties is now back on the agenda, I am writing to suggest a scheme whereby each MP (and each elected member of a future elected second chamber) was given a voucher (for want of a better term) worth £100,000 and transferable to the registered political party of his or her choice, provided that he or she also managed to raise at least £50,000 from one or more membership organisations by means of a ballot of members.
At least on the Labour side, if not at all, only the unions would be able meet this condition; and no Labour MP would be able to spend his or her hundred thousand on the Party unless one or more unions pledged a further fifty thousand, a failure which he or she would have to explain to his or her CLP, with all the implications for selection and reselection (or not).
[My only regret here is not also mentioning that the loans business between the Blair Slush Fund and the Capita boss would make an excellent basis for a really uncompromising campaign to reverse the inefficient, corrupting and anti-democratic farming out of public services.]

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