Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the tag “party funding”


I think I have been canvassed more by evangelicals (for my soul) than by politicians (for my vote). Possibly their god does not view my area as being outside the marginals; the politicians however have worked out that there is little point in canvassing anyone in my area.

This is a function of the concept of “safe seats” which is itself a function of our dysfunctional election system. This may make life easier for the parties in the short-term (it is relatively easy to determine where to put your resources), but in the long-run it increases political disengagement.

This has to be bad. There has to be some form of personal connection between “us” and those who claim to “represent us”.

Read more…

Buying your Lords Seat

The appointment of new Lords today has provoked significant criticism (see for instance, Electoral Reform Society, BBC Have Your Say). Much of the criticism has focused on the appointment of superannuated party hacks and party donors.

Whilst totally agreeing that we should not see party hacks (as in failed or frustrated politicians or party apparatchiks) being appointed to the House of Lords, I think we need to be a bit more nuanced about donors.

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Party Funding – another try to get us to pay for politicing

In today’s Guardian,  Andrew McDonald (who stepped down as chief executive of Ipsa this week), attempts to persuade us that we should pay for political parties:

And yes, any solution will require a significant increase in public funding of parties. Of course the taxpayer funding will be unpopular, but surely it is preferable to the next scandal over party donations and the further erosion of trust in our political system.
Guardian 3 April 2014, Let the public pay for political parties

No, Read more…

Party Funding leads to hang-overs

“We need parties. The alternative is nightmarish. The leaders’ pathetic search for cash to pay for their parties fuels the anti-politics mood and yet they need the money. Virtually every dark story in British politics over the last 30 years has a connection with the funding of politics, but without funding parties cannot function.”
Steve Richards, The Guardian, 24 November 2013, Politics is too valuable to be paid for by union barons, fat cats or Methodist ministers. It should be state funded

But why do (national) parties need to be so dominant? We do not elect governments, we elect representatives. (The resulting balance of representatives then determines the government). Read more…

Tory Demographics

On the Guardian website today (1 October 21013) there is an article by Aditya Chakrabortty (The incredible shrinking Tory party). Even allowing for the fact that the author probably is not a Conservative – by birth, by inclination or by station in life, it contains some interesting details about the Conservative Party which prompts some thoughts about parties in general and party funding in particular. Read more…

Laboured party financing

Watching Labour’s paymasters doing their usual act of demanding that the leadership pay attention to their demands and watching the Labour leadership insisting that they are not at the beck and call of their paymasters highlights the funding bind that the Labour party has got itself into. Two changes have made the situation worse. Read more…

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