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Is there not also the fact that the Labour party initiated a massive Union 'moderisation' scheme, where effectively, this Labour Government used our (public) money to give to the Unions, which in turn the Unions donated (some) back to the Labour party. Public theft in a round-about way.

Call in Insp Knacker of the Yard, as obviously the Unions are not going to hand over ship loads of loot without some sort of quid pro pro.
There's a very fishy smell over these monies.
Mirrors to some extent the use of taxpayers money in the so-called modernisation payments to unions, a bung if ever there was.

"That’s why we put forward proposals earlier this year to clean up politics,"

Oh please, pull the other one!

You proposed a system that imposes a cap on donations to all parties then rewards just a selected few parties with a great chunk of money forced from taxpayers.

You effectively proposed to create state political parties whilst making it next to impossible for private ones to grow.

Whilst I'm sure the examples Francis Maude quotes are true (and yours Chris) I'm not sure we should seek to play politics with this issue unless we're whiter than white ourselves. I hope Francis doesn't include the increase of state funding as part of his ideas to 'clean up politics' as I think it will have exactly the opposite effect.

Labour Party staff have perhaps been to Sicily to see how they 'do politics' there. The trade unions are the Labour mafia.

Shouldn't someone investigate Bill Morris's peerage?

Hang on a minute. The Conservatives are just as culpable here as recent dependence on rather mysterious benefactors shows - and that had to be dragged out at some length. Mind you , I suppose it all does get you a plug from Dave for your business.

Please let's not see this as a platform for state funding. It's hard enough justifying voting for these muppets let alone having to foot an even greater bill for the dubious pleasure.

For those who haven't done so yet suggest you register with the Party Funding Review to make your feelings known

There is little doubt that Labour have bankrupted Britain. Only Enron accounting is hiding the true story. PFI/PPP/final salary pensions for government employees will provide staggering bills for a generation to come. Taxes will have to rise over and over to cover the financial catastrophies that labour have created and hidden off the budget statistics.

Meanwhile private saving has collapsed. People are in record debt. Business has stopped investing. The storms are brewing.

State Funding will only permit the corruption of government that we have witnessed under labour to go on even longer.

Private non-union donations come with no price tag - mostly just a desire to undo the appalling damage that labour has wreaked upon our once successful economy. Labour's embrace of the unions will cost Britain its future. Maude is right to speak out.

The Conservatives do need to declare all their own financial arrangements with their benefactors, before they can start slapping the opposition about.

I would think Maude would be keeping himself to himself at the moment bearing in mind hes just bumped membership subs up and has allowed Cameron to take more power away from Associations.

Lets have no state funding. No organisations, including trade unions, allowed to contribute at all to party funds. Only individuals allowed to contribute, to a maximum of £10,000.

We would see alot less negative advertising, more real debate in the media ( new and old ) and cleaner politics where no one in power is seen to be in the pocket of a donor. ( individual or organisation )

No. if a rich benefactor wishes to donate £10,000,000 or £100,000,000 to the Conservative Party, let him do it. Of course his contibution should be openly declared.

Democracy requires openness not regulation.

Hear hear tapestry. There's a huge difference (in my not very bright mind, anyway) between a private individual handing over money - openly - and a trades union handing over members' subscriptions, sponsoring individual MPs (what on earth does that actually involve, by the way?) etc etc. The party is right to go on the attack over the Labour party's reliance on unions - it is not the same discussion as whether or not there should be public funding of political parties, or - James - anything to do with how we as Conservatives select our candidates for election. Or Europe (joke).

Remember Maude's words are more intended to influence the commission into funding than attack Labour. Blears wants to limit donations to constituencies (so keeping Ashcroft cash away from targets) and from rich donors (as Labour won't get many more of those for some time) but argues that Union donations are actually lots of small ones so shouldn't be included in any ceiling. If Maude can convincingly demostrate they are single large donations, that they buy influence and favours then Commission more likely to bring in controls on them.

If I remember correctly from when I opted out of political dues there is no direct link between the union member and the Labour Party - and political cash can be used by Union to support other political activity. It's really a donation from members to the political purposes of the union not to the Labour Party.

The Electoral Commission's Head ,Sam Younger is not very impressed with the Torie's late disclosure of funding and failure to name lendors for periods prior to the last quarter(unlike lil/labs).
In the absence of contrary information it would not be unfair to the party to assume that they might be connected to Cameron's product placement hyper-activity.
This non and late disclosure stinks.
I wouldn't let this lot loose with the Country's finances when they can't control the petty cash.

" No. if a rich benefactor wishes to donate £10,000,000 or £100,000,000 to the Conservative Party, let him do it. "

The impression is that we are in the pocket of these individuals, the same as Labour and the unions.

Lets think - Lord Ashcroft on Europe or Lord Kalms on Israel. Big donors, who we gave peerages to, trying to push policy.

If we want to keep our noses in the trough, that's fine, let's just not attempt to lecture Labour. The public don't seperate the two.

The £10,000 limit means parties will have to widen their appeal to raise the funds they need. I know grassroots up politics does not find much favour with our current leadership, but it is the way to go if all parties are to look less sleazy.

michael mcgough "might be connected" - absolute rubbish!

The loans Mr Younger referred to were those taken by the previous leadership. The late disclosure was from Constituency parties not CCHQ and covered the period before the current leadership was elected.

"absolute rubbish!"

Who knows------in the absence of disclosure any speculation is possible.It could be from Hezbollah,the Israeli Government, Robert Mugabe or the EU even.
Rubbish,who knows?

"Is there not also the fact that the Labour party initiated a massive Union 'moderisation' scheme, where effectively, this Labour Government used our (public) money to give to the Unions, which in turn the Unions donated (some) back to the Labour party. Public theft in a round-about way",
Can someone explain to me how this works? Saw something about it on Guido Fawkes site a while ago.

The modernisation scheme is basically that the Government gives huge sums of money to unions in order to "modernise" (the fire brigade for example had to "modernise" after the big strike) and in exchange the unions give funding to the Labour Party.

Basically the Labour Party acting as the Government pays the Unions nice sums of money in the guise of reforming the unions to be modern, when its just giving back the money to the unions for their support of the Labour Party.

Yes, its ridiculously corrupt, and its hardly difficult to see it, but Labour gets away with it. I wonder if the NAO would like to look into it?

For some info on the Union Modernisation Fund, this might help you...


I have an uneasy feeling that the Tieless One is just preparing the ground for a State funding bid, presented as helping Labour out of the corruption into which it has sunk.

James Maskell, thanks.
The Union Modernisation FUND, you are right it's pretty hard to miss!

So basically Labour gives TAXPAYERS MONEY in funding to the Unions for "innovative modernisation projects". And then the Unions help FUND the Labour Party.
Any idea how much "funding" the UMF has received so far?

Well, its got 10 million pounds for the time being but if times get tight for the Government, Im sure Brown can squeeze out a little more...

WHAT!, If it needs that kind of funding, how can the Unions justify giving such large donations to the Labour Party. Some are worried about the possibility of state funding of political parties being implemented. Looks like we have it already!

If the Unions keep quiet about giving the Labour Party money, then its not something that comes out. The thing is the Unions cant let it come out because if they do then the UMF comes under severe scrutiny, much like Academies have done due to their connection to Labour through the peerages scandal (another Labour legacy!).

Labour openly admit a 'deal' with the unions. money for political change including final salary pensions for life for public sector workers which are bankrupting the country..

that's not donation. it's extortion.

if a conservative wants to donate £10 million openly declared, he or she deserves a peerage. If the peerage is part of the deal, who's lost out? As long as it's open and above board, people accept that large donations contribute to public benefit. There has to be a reward of some kind. A peerage is about as harmless as payback can be.

Well done Francis.

and watch out for a Brown/Union alliance to oust Blair.

Just how ethical is it for a Labour government to give that level of funding to an organization, which can afford to donate millions to the Labour party coffers.

I don't have a problem with the Unions giving Labour money providing this is made publicly available. That way the electorate can judge whether or not they are getting special favours.

Similarly I don't mind if the Tories are backed by a minority of rich donors providing this is made clear and providing it is clearly stated by Cameron that they will have no influence over policy.

Sam Younger of the electoral commission doesn't seem to have appreciated the Tory Party's means of "cleaning up politics" by not giving a full declaration of loans.

It's a real shame that threads talking about party funding always seem to attract only the same old people (Chad,Ted,'Tapestry',me etc)never those who are so excercised by the 'A list' and other internal workings of the Conservative party.Why?Aren't you interested or do you all approve of what our party is seeking to do?

I have no problem at all with anyone giving or lending as much of their own money to a political party as they choose, provided only that there's full public disclosure of all large receipts BEFORE an election - not months AFTERWARDS.

Which means in my view that each party should disclose all sums which have been credited to its bank accounts (central, branch etc) within say a week of the day on which they were credited, and that information should also be posted on the internet. With two provisos:

1. Small donations or loans, eg below £100 need not be included on the weekly return, but can be left to the quarterly return.

2. For donations or loans below say £1000 the donor need not be named.

In these days of internet banking none of this would be terribly difficult to sort out from a technological point of view.

I do object very strongly to the idea that the taxpayer should be expected to fund political parties, which are not and never should become state institutions, but are only voluntary associations of supposedly like-minded private individuals.

Quite right Denis, we all know the only problem is transparency of declaration, and we all know this is being twisted to get the big parties out of their debts problems by plundering taxpayer funds.

The Tory proposals from March were a scandal and should not be played down or underestimated.

Cameron had proposed to cap donations to all parties but to reward only a selected few with state funding, thus showing that he plans to both force the taxpayer to fund the big parties and prevent other parties from emerging or growing.

It should be so simple for any 'small c' conservative; private fully-declared donations however they are structured.

UKIP have opposed any extension to state funding, and surely the Tories should do the same?

I know Tim has been planning a Chameleon Army attack on the plans to extend state funding of political parties. Has that advanced at all?

Guido Fawkes seems to be interested in Labour party funding today.

Peter Watt, Labour's General Secretary, told BBC: "It appears that the Tories have only declared loans taken out in the last quarter. In addition to this they still have not declared who their overseas lender was"
Why doesn't Maude come clean on these and pile more pressure on Blair?
It would be wise for the Conservatives to drop Cameron's first policy of capping donations as this could lead to tyrieny------suffocating of those parties not in the LibLabCon-census.Also with Mr and Mrs Camerons gift for 'trade' and product placement it would be foolish to go downmarket and cut price.

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