What is so horribly wrong with a political party's being funded by the trade unions? Everyone knows who they are, and that they are mass membership organisations made up of people living, working and paying taxes in this country. Rather that than funding by a handful of multimillionaires whose identities we are not always permitted to know. Surely they cannot be the same people in all three cases?
And rather the unions than state funding. The metropolitan elite that is Britain's real ruling class, through some commission or similar body responsible for allocating such funding, would be able to determine, even more than at present, what may be discussed and by whom.
Instead, each MP who takes his or her seat should be given a tax-free allowance of a fixed sum of money, publicly transferable to the registered political party of that MP's choice, conditional upon matching funding by resolution of a membership organisation. The name of that organisation would then appear in brackets on the ballot paper after the party designation next to that MP's name. Party spending should accordingly be limited to twice the number of MPs, multiplied by the amount of this allowance.
The trade unions are the obvious contenders, but the National Farmers' Union and the Federation of Small Businesses would also be welcome contributors to the electoral process in this way. The Confederation of British Industry or the Institute of Directors might also give it a go, just to see if anyone voted for its candidates.
Tuesday, 29 August 2006
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