Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Party Funding: Labour's Hypocrisy

Lazy Hyena does a great job in exposing the hypocrisy of Jack Straw's article in The Independent this morning on party funding. He rails against big donations to the Conservative Party ... on the very day in which Subrosa reports...
Labour's campaign war-chest has been given a £2.25m top-up ahead of the general election.
The boost from three wealthy Labour backers comes ahead of a new year fundraising drive assisted by David Blunkett. The latest large donations to Labout came from Lord Sainsbury, the former science minister and financiers Nigel Doughty and Sir Ronald Cohen. Sainsbury and Doughty gave £1m each while Sir Ronald donated £250,000.

In September Labour's debts of £9.8m were more than double the Tories £4.2m.

A new internet fundraising initiative is also set to go live after New Year. Gordon Brown must hold an election by June at the latest. Blunkett said: "We know that those with a vested interest in the election of a Conservative government are pumping money into the Tory coffers.

"Our job is to ensure that the voice of the people, not just those with the power of privilege, is heard through to polling day."

So Labour is receiving two £1 million donations, just like that. There aren't many Tory donors who give anything like that amount. You couldn't make it up. It is the Conservatives who want to ban donations over £50k, but the suggestion is being stymied by Labour who fear losing money from their Trade Union paymasters.

The Labour Party is to all intents and purposes bankrupt - both in ideas and financially. Those who work for the Labour Party know that after the election there is a real possibility it might have to shut up shop all together. At the moment, it only exists courtesy of a handful of large scale donors and the munificence of Charlie Whelan. To all intents and purposes it is a majority owned subsidiary of the Unite trade union.

So whenever Jack Straw and his colleagues say Labour is in an unfair position, show them this graph.



The fact of the matter is that all political parties compete on an even basis for donations. People have all sorts of reasons for donating to parties. Some do it out of conviction. Some do it because they see which way the political wind is blowing. Others do it for less salubrious reasons. But there is no reason why the Liberal Democrats, for example, shouldn't be able to raise as much money as the Conservatives or Labour. Or is there? :)

20 comments:

Andrew Allison said...

Hear, hear. Absolutely correct.

Political Dissuasion said...

"But there is no reason why the Liberal Democrats, for example, shouldn't be able to raise as much money as the Conservatives or Labour. Or is there?" A leading question which I'm happy to be led...

1) How about that there policies are about as convincing as Hull City's back four?

2) The phrase "pissing your money away" springs to mind.

3) You'd get better value buying shares in British Leyland.

trevorsden said...

So to put it bluntly we can add Jack Straw to the list, so corpulently headed by Charles Clarke, of lying labour bastards.

The Independent of course is a rag no self respecting person would wipe their backside with.

Man in a Shed said...

What about Labour paying money to the unions under the modernisation fund, when the coincidentally get money back from he unions.

Don't forget all those tax payer funded Union posts in the civil service.

Isn't this just money laundering ?

What about Peerages for sale ?

Doesn't anyone in the Labour party have any sense of shame at all ?

Also I understand Labour is to keep the incumbent MP fund in place.

Anonymous said...

What about the quite extraordinary numbers of television adverts which verge on the political ?

David Boothroyd said...

A donation from a trade union is not an individual donation. It's from however many thousands of individual trade unionists who choose to donate to the political fund.

PS the word that means 'wholesome' is spelled 'salubrious'. What's the word for people who use long words to impress people although they aren't actually familiar with them?

TrevorsDen said...

Well said, man in a shed.

I repeat by remarks about Straw, with knobs on.

TrevorsDen

Rev. Spooner said...

Trivia, in the main, 'cos your points are well made, but...

a. "Salubrious" is the word.

b. Where's the graph from?

Jimmy said...

As always a number of important distinctions are blurred. Union donations can in noway be equated with payments by commercial interests. Affiliated unions are a constituent part of the party and their political funds represent the voluntary subscriptions of ordinary members. To suggest some sort of equivalency is simply a deceitful slight of hand designed to avoid caps being placed on commercial donations. Secondly does not tailor its policies to suit the commercial aims of its supporters in the way that the tories have done, for example, in promising to harm the BBC. Finally, I know Ashcroft is a sore point there is simply no Labour equivalent. The day that Lord Paul sends Milliband off on his plane to run errands for him then and only then you may have a point.

Jabba the Cat said...

Looks like Lord Sainsbury still has his head firmly up his arse...

Jabba the Cat said...

@ Jimmy said...

" Finally, I know Ashcroft is a sore point there is simply no Labour equivalent."

Sainsbury, Robinson, that twerp that made his money in the recording business, what ever his name is, who had to fall on his sword over donations for honours. The list is quite endless...

some2199 said...

Your own graph seems to show that in every single election since 1966, and presumably every election before it, the Tories have outspent Labour. If this is parity, I ask if you would be so sanguine were the positions reversed.

And the idea of a £50,000 cap is nakedly partisan. It attacks the legitimacy of the fundamental nature of labour-based parties and threatens the basic freedom of organisation.

Forge Lindin said...

That graph looks like a fit line between two points! NEVER EVER DO THIS! The only quality in the graph is embellishment.

Argh, that actually hurt to look at!

Don't ever ever ever ever ever trust politics graphs!

Jimmy said...

"And the idea of a £50,000 cap is nakedly partisan. It attacks the legitimacy of the fundamental nature of labour-based parties and threatens the basic freedom of organisation."

That's the idea. Which is why if you remove the unions from the restriction, Cameron opposes it.

Unsworth said...

@ David Boothroyd

"It's from however many thousands of individual trade unionists who choose to donate to the political fund."

Garbage. Where's the opt in clause in the contract? There's only an opt out - and that process can be difficult and time-consuming. And as for 'many' thousands, how many thousands have 'chosen'? Membership of a Union is no evidence of deliberate choice. Closed shop, anyone?

Long words? Not really necessary to describe your good self.

flange said...

@David Boothroyd.

Here's another "s" word for you:

"sanctimonious"

Jimmy said...

"Closed shop, anyone?"

What about it?

Are you from the 1970s?

Unsworth said...

"there is simply no Labour equivalent"

Delusional bollox. Try the Hinduja clan and associates, various Russians such as Deripaska and Usmanov, Ecclestone, Patel, Sainsbury, Hollick, Ram Puri, (the suspended) Lord Paul, various intellectually stunted meeja 'personalities', Mittal, that peculiar Abrahams 'property developer', etc etc. The list is substantial and extremely interesting. What's notable is how almost all of them have benefitted substantially, recouping their 'investments' handsomely and, in most cases, shipping their cash abroad.

Prepared to vouch for the tax status and bona fides of these animals?

Then we need to consider the remarkable financial relationships between the Government ('investing' taxpayers' monies in Union Development and 'Modernisation') and those self-same Unions paying sums to the Labour Party or its proxies. What is clear is that the Unions' outflow of monies (which include 'political donations') to Labour is consistently smaller than that which they receive from Treasury and other government departments by way of 'development' funds etc. Any ideas as to why that could be? And is there any accounting evidence to prove that (and what) the development funds are being used to 'develop' or 'modernise'? Of course, that all depends on what they mean by 'development' and 'modernisation', doesn't it? Such flexible terms... Any particular reason why the public should be paying for these things? After all, most people do not belong to Unions.

And you were saying about Ashcroft?

Jimmy said...

Unsworth,

My point about Ashcroft is that he is plainly sui generis. You have not addressed the point and as you are obviously not unintelligent I suspect you are merely being deliberately obtuse. And I'm still wondering about your reference to the closed shop, something which has not existed for decades.

hyena said...

@rev. spooner: graph's from a policy exchange report on the myth of the party spending "arms race". http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/images/publications/pdfs/Paying_for_the_Party.pdf