Party Funding – The Need for Reform

Today I have set out in the <em><a href=";jsessionid=NWF1F1KX543SZQFIQMFSFF4AVCBQ0IV0?xml=/opinion/2006/12/20/do2002.xml">Daily Telegraph</a></em> why party funding is such a problem. Politicans are just beginning to realise that people do not like the way so much money is raised from so few people, companies and Unions, but most still have have not accepted that people also dislike the way so much of it is spent.

The last election produced more negative than positive reactions to the campaigns of the main parties. It is not suprising. If you spend money on finding out what the public already think, and then play it back to them, they will be cynical about the exercise. If you add to that iron discipline over what every candidate is allowed to say, to pretend that everyone thinks the same, the story is just not credible. You can only form a worthwhile cabinet or shadow cabinet if people do disagree about some things, to make it useful to meet and hammer out a common view.

People want a more honest, local politics where they feel they have some influence, and can get something other than the national spun response to their queries. If we had fundraising llimits and a stricter national camapign epxenditure limit that would help. Let’s limit donations to a maximum of ??50,000 each, and let’s limit national election camapigns to ??7.5 million. It would be an important move in?? the direction of a more honest politics.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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