Wednesday, 7 November 2007

More on public funding of political parties

The collapse of the talks between the three main parties on the pubic funding of political parties has meant that the draft document that was under discussion has been published.

It has received considerable publicity and I felt I had to respond to the editorial of the Guardian newspaper on this topic. My letter is printed below:


I cannot agree with the Guardian editorial (The spending game – 6 November) which claims that the Hayden Phillips proposals on party funding are ‘reasonable’ and ‘sensible.’ Under his proposals to qualify for taxpayers’ money, political parties must hold two or more seats at Westminster or in the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly or European Parliament.

At the last General Election, nearly 98% of votes cast in Cornwall, England, Scotland and Wales were for political parties which would have been eligible for funding. However, over 570,000 votes were cast for parties and individuals that would be excluded from the arrangement including Respect and the Independent Kidderminster Hospital and Health Concern (both presently represented at Westminster), the old Liberal Party, Forward Wales, Mebyon Kernow - the Party for Cornwall and many others.

This is hardly democratic, fair or worthy of support.

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