Friday 24 October 2008

Time to revisit state funding of political parties?

As this blog has already noted, the real charge against George Osborne in the Corfu yacht saga is not about the donation that never happened, but the appalling judgment shown by the man who would be Chancellor.

However, as Martin Kettle persuasively argues in today's Guardian, the whole affair once again also raises the question as to why politicians don't bite the bullet and accept more state funding - after all, they already get far more than most people realise.
If we had public funding for political parties, many but not all of these issues would shrivel. Without it we condemn politicians to solicit money from potential supporters and thus to encourage the destructive sanctimony of MPs and writers who make a living out of smugness. Do we really despise politicians so much that we insist they continue to behave in ways that make us despise them more, while refusing to do the one thing that might help us despise them less? If that is so - and it seems it is - it says more about us than the politicians.
The short term hit with public opinion couldn't be any worse than the constant stream of vitriol that they get over affairs such as this.

1 comment:

skipper said...

I tend to favour public funding but there is much hostility to politicians and in USA thery have shown great ingenuity ion circumventing federal rules on funding.