Thursday, March 29, 2007

State funding of political parties in the UK begins in earnest.

A principled stand

Anyone who follows debates in parliament will find yesterday's debate on the 'Communications Allowance' a profoundly depressing experience. MPs (and especially Labour MPs) have voted to award themselves another £10,000 "communications expenses" in addition to their current (extreamly generous) allowances.
One has to wonder, particularly in the MP happens to sit in a marginal seat if really they are just voting for some free publicity- for a typical MPs annual report click here or for a newsletter that is thin on policy and thick on self-promotion, click here to see what I mean. Naturally MPs have a duty to communicate with their constituents but they also have a duty to spend constituents’ taxes wisely (or even not at all !).
Full marks at least to local MP Dr Julian Lewis who at least stood up for whats right in opposing the ten grand bung.
The reality is that is that the money will just be used for political marketing, and therefore give an unfair advantage to incumbent MPs. It is a form of state funding of political parties that I believe most of the British public strongly oppose.
UPDATE; After I wrote the above post, I came across a well argued piece from Greg Hands MP here.


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