Saturday, May 30, 2009

Purnell Proposes Another Way to Fleece the Taxpayer

Imagine this scenario. You are a senior Cabinet Minister, regarded as the great white hope of a significant section of your party. But you have been implicated in a minor way in the expenses scandal and you recognise the way politics has been damaged by the whole furore. So what do you do? Yup, that's right, you tell taxpayers that they need to fork out millions of pounds to prop up the very structures they are rebelling against. Step forward James Purnell, who has chosen today to write an article for The Guardian proposing state funding of political parties. What a sureness of touch this man has displayed.

Out of touch, and soon out of office.

32 comments:

A detester of hypocrites said...

I reserve for James Purnell the greatest class of odium. The way he has harrasted genuine Incapacity Benefit claimants, accusing them of being spongers whilst he himself is one of the biggest spongers of them all makes me hopping mad.

James Burdett said...

So they are proposing voting systems where you have to vote for everyone and funding structures where you have to pay for everyone. It's consistent I'll give them that.

DMC said...

Iain

Spot on post, we should remember this is the man who introduced the Welfare reform bill just 4 months ago, because he felt we need to stop people sponging off the state.

Hmmmmmm, Labours attitude to Taxpayers money seems to be when in doubt, give it out!

Paul Halsall said...

@ detester of hypocrites

Absolutely right, mate.

There are, of course, some spongers, but to have those like Purnell, pulling in, all told, £250,000 per year, much of if tax free, (and not even living in his "first home"), does drive people to distraction.

Anonymous said...

Another victim of PPS (potty politician syndrome). It is also increasingly infecting the Westminster journalist class and there are signs it has crossed the Atlantic. It seems to be reaching pandemic levels

Time to call in the WHO?

Needless to say they will call for a quarantine and clearly Purnell as well as Clegg and the whole political team at the Guardian should be the first to go into isolation.

Anonymous said...

Well, Purnell's article clarifies the General Election situation. With an 11.5 debt (as Polly Toynbee mentions in her article in the Guardian) and James "Oliver Twist" Purnell forced to hold out his begging bowl thinly disguised as electoral reform there is clearly no money to fight an election.

They must be truly desperate to even countenance forwarding such an idea at this time.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant 11.5 million debt.

dheigham said...

Have you looked at the comments on Purnell's Guardian piece? Bad eggs and rotten tomatos in thrown in print.

Tom said...

I felt much the same way about Alan Johnson's proposal of alternative voting systems last weekend. Voters right now want the opportunity to get rid of their MPs; any system other than FPTP would make doing that much harder...

Nigel said...

Is it just me, or does Purnell look like Camp Freddie in the Italian Job ?

Anonymous said...

Forget the current sleaze allegations, we need to think of ways of cutting spending to pay off Labour's trillion-pound debt. Is spending money on parties going to help us achieve that, or make it harder? Madness, pure madness. What an idiotic suggestion.

Fausty said...

A month or so ago, Labour's debt was reported to be nearly £20 million. I guess they've received funding to pay some of it back - the type of funding Purnell purports not to like.

A large number of MPs only take their constituents' views into account before an election. After that, they're doing the whips' bidding. If parties were state funded, MPs would have no incentive to truly represent their constituents. They'd have no need to propose popular policies.

This ghastly socialist idea should be killed at birth.

Purnell's only concern is that Labour doesn't have enough support to pay for its election campaigns. Good. This is democracy in action.

Anonymous said...

What is the present situation with all the debts the labour party has?

I seem to recall they owed millions in soft loans.

Flemingcrag said...

If James Purnell is looking for monies to fund political parties he could do no better than abolish the "second home 3 year exemption clause" this tax avoidance scam is reckoned to have cost the Taxman (us) £14.5 billion in lost Capital Gains Tax in the tax year 2007/8.

We all now no why there has been no rush on the Government's part to close this loophole because so many in the Labour party and other parties have been milking it to death.

Let the Government deal with this then we the Taxpayers can decide if a fraction of these monies is worth using to fund any political party.

cherami said...

Anyone with ten minutes to spare, pop over to CiF and see the evisceration young Purnell is getting - and when you've finished sniggering, see the thread to Ms Toynbee's offering today.

Paul Pinfield said...

So, Labour don't have a pot to piss in...

Step forward a man with a plan (to sponge off the electorate). If Labour were a business the Official Receiver would have been called in long ago. Lets not forget that people...

Perhaps Purnell would be better regarded if he didn't live like a tramp whilst making us pay for his filthy ways.

VotR said...

Labour's timing is spectacular as ever, for all the wrong reasons.

I get the feeling cabinet advisors play their roles well akin to 'The Emperor's New Clothes.'

Plato said...

New Labour under Gordon - never miss an opportunity to score an own goal.

Dave H said...

Doh! We have state funding of political parties already:

The state supplies millions of pounds to the Union Modernisation Fund and the Unions in turn make political donations worth millions.

The Truth Will Out said...

Purnell is an archetypal Brown pygmy, promoted more for his 'meeja' experience than any real qualities of substance. What one might soon call 'old new-Labour', because now they are exposed as liars and hypocrites, they won't be able to get away with their shiny prestidigitation any more.

Anonymous said...

It would be a very smart move for Cameron to rule out all state funding for political parties after the next election.

This would of course cripple Labour in opposition - or the Lib-Dems if it turns out to be them - because they would be denied the "short money" the opposition parties receive now.

It would be a cruel thing to do, but in the war against socialism the ends may justify the means!

subrosa said...

You're famous in Scotland now Iain. Lesley Riddoch, perhaps one of our most respected broadcasters and journalists has mention you on her 'other' blog. I've put her post up on mine.

Chalcedon said...

Absolutely not! You cannot trust them. Look at what they have been doing with public money. Doesn't it just get worse? You think these troughing holier than thou bastards might just be listening for a change then some tit goes and comes out with some piece of shamless, arrogant nonsense. Just what we all want to hear! No you can't have public money to fund your bunch of degenerates. Raise it yourself. Another nail in Noo Labour's coffin next week I reckon.

Anonymous said...

The state is already the biggest funder of the Tories. Are you proposing they give all that back?

Sniper said...

Not one penny more. In fact a lot less would be better.

wolfie said...

There is a very simple reason why the 3 main parties struggle with funds.
Approx figures for party membership

Tory 260,000
Lab 168,000
LD 64,000

Not enough people belong to any of the parties because none of them offer what the mass of the electorate want. All parties should be funded by member subscriptions and that's it. Perhaps we'd get some real politics and real choices and real government then.

By the way and for comparison

The Tory party had 2.8 Million paid up members in 1958 I can't so far find the figures for the others.

Where's Brown's straitjacket? said...

'Photoshop' Purnell is the sleazeball who spent £250 of your taxes on fridge magnets, to 'enable him to do his job as an MP'.

The man has not one ounce of moral authority and is a prime example of a greedy sleazeball trougher.

Anonymous said...

Where the hell is Gordon Brown? The nation is falling to pieces and he's hiding his fat arse up in Scotland, where they know he robs the English to bribe the jocks.
He should get his bloody kilt back to England and hand over the keys to number 10 to an English MP. He's squatted there long enough.

Anonymous said...

How to increase party membership?

Maybe that's a thought for the next Friday night (after the elections) radio show.

I've always been put off joining the Conservative Party because I always imagined it was a bit like the Salvation Army without the trombones.

How do you make it more appealing?

Chalcedon said...

He got a severe kicking from most people leaving reply posts on his personal blog.

David Hughes said...

Most people do not support one party or another - they are floating voters (but maybe with a leaning one way or another).
BUT, the majority of those are tax-payers ....... and why should the tax-payer fund a political party or all the political parties ?
If they want funds, it's by membership - that's it ...... no arguments, no theories and no funding apart from what they can legally raise in the "open market".
If we get state support for political parties I will be one of the first to oppose it through - and I'm almost ashamed to say it - Yuman Rights, Guv - all the way to the European court.
As an afterthought, if Blears is "beneath the salt", the Purnell should at least be holding the salt cellar because he's tainted goods.

David Hughes said...

As an after-thought, isn't Purnell the one who has decreed that one and a half hours each way should be an acceptable time to travel for jobseekers to obtain work ?
That means that the Labour M.P.s who represent this be-knighted crap hole of Doncaster should be able to commute rather than have second home allowances. Always assuming that the crap rail service runs on time.