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If Mr Oppenheim really believed this he would also be calling for the abolition of "Short money", which until David Cameron came along and finally tackled the right and their daft, vote losing, ideas, was the principle source of Conservative Party funding.

Which "daft, vote-losing ideas" do you have in mind?

"Patients' passport" from 2005

"Tax payers guarantee" from 2001

Just two examples

Both of them rather sensible (if timid) policies, IMHO.

A forlorn hope.
The Hayden report will be a whitewash and will recommend party funding. NuLab and the Tories are in the shit financially, though the Tories will be able to resolve much of their debt, there is no such hope for NuLab.
Their leasdership will not want to be held to financial account by the unions so that means other sources of finance, the only one, public funding.
The move is the only one that all parties will support, as it will mean that new parties will find it incredibly difficult to become established, thus cementing the staus quo, and allowing our politics to atrophy.
The idea is of course right (no public funding), as politicians must be held accountable and controllable by the electorate, whom they represent. But, all too often in this day and age your local MP owes his allegiance to the party, not the people, and will not represent the views of local people, only that of the party. Clare Sort had,I feel,the right idea with resigning the party whip.
I wish Phillip Oppenheim every success, but feel he is doomed.

"Patients' passport" may have been vote losing, but it was a far better idea than "lets just spend more on the NHS". It would have overcome many of the health services problems.

If it comes to it, and state funding is introduced, consider the following:

On the ballot paper at a GE, 'As a taxpayer do you wish to make a £2.00 donation from the public purse to the party of your choice, tick yes or no.

The money raised, to be placed in a party account, adminstered by an indpendent body. All withdrawals would have to be justified, receipts and invoices produced as a matter of course.

All other donations would have to go via that body. Donations from individuals,unions,businesses etc would have to be submitted for vetting.No anonymous donations, all must be UK based.

Annual accounts published showing all ins and outs.

Serf, don't you realise that we are all Blairites now? A consumer-oriented public service where ordinary people have a say over how their taxes are spent, rather than leaving it to politicians and quangos: what a pernicious right-wing idea? I assume E.L.Marberry is a pseudonym for Polly Toynbee.

The simple answer is there is no simple answer to party funding. In countries with taxpayer funding there are just as many hidden donations etc.

It would be interesting though if the three big parties shut down and started again, maybe we'd get PR or something and every vote would count?

No Conservative Party that is serious about decreasing the size of the state can accept an increase (over the Short money) in government funding. If the Conservative Party does so, I will no longer donate to it.

I fully support this campaign to stop state-funding, though I doubt if Hayden Phillips will endorse it.

I don't want to see any lame duck parties propped up by taxpayers money. Either they have enough support to survive or they do not.

I am not opposed to trade union members giving to the Labour Party, though they should be given the right to opt in and give to the party of their choice. At the same time business should have the right to donate to a partty of their choice subject to shareholder approval. I am also comfortable with individual donations of up to say £100K.

Short money is intended to be used for one purpose: to assist opposition MPs - ie people who have already been elected to Parliament but who are not in the governing party - to carry out their duties within that Parliament. If it's being diverted for party purposes - eg to help get people elected to Parliament in the first place - then that's an abuse and almost certainly a criminal offence.

I told you that E L Marberry is a Socialist troll. Best of luck to Philip Oppenheim. It's a shame that he's not in Parliament!

I am opposed to any further state funding of political parties. It would distance parties from connecting with voters/supporters. Voters would resent this and thus it would add to the alienation and unfair cynicism about politics. The media may cast doubts on the current system but generally we know who is funding the parties and we can take a view on why but at least its not coming out of taxpayers pockets. Labour are the ones that most desperately needs this state funding because they are in the unions pockets. Conservatives should oppose it.


Absolutely right. Not a penny of taxpayers' money should go to political parties.

After all, I'm a Tory, but I have absolutely no wiosh to subsidise the party in the state it is at present let alone the Labour Party.

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