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Fuck me, that is a surprise. Not.

Via Timmy, it seems that the Labour Party will have to fall back even further onto the money-laundering activities of the unions for its funds.
One of Labour’s biggest financial backers has begun donating to the Conservatives…

Really? You mean that when those in power look like not being in power much longer then rich people give money to those who will come to power instead?

But, but, that’s almost an allegation that people give money so as to have access to those in power….rather than, say, out of ideological purity.

Say it ain’t so!

Your humble Devil has long believed that one of the most corrupting influences in our democracy is that of the political party. Political parties encourage MPs to vote for advancement rather than conscience; they stop voters considering the policies of their representatives and, instead, encourages them to vote for any old chimp depending upon the colour of their rosette. Political parties are a poisonous influence on our democracy.

But the really pernicious thing about political parties is that they can be mobilised to force through legislation: and the legislation that is to be forced through is often governed by interests outside the scope of the voter.

To a large extent, small government simply isn't possible because the political parties have to be able to influence legislation in order to repay the favours of the political party donors.

To paraphrase P J O'Rourke, when legislators decide what can be bought and sold the first thing to be bought and sold will be the legislators.

And if, of course, the legislators cannot influence what is bought and sold, well, then no one will wish to buy said legislators. Or, for that matter, fund their political parties.

Of course, this principle applies to individuals too, but the political party system makes it so much easier; rather than having to corrupt hundreds of individuals (and find the price and bank details of each individual), you only have to deal with one bank account and, as a bonus, the party Whips will corrupt the MPs for you.

So, what do you think Richard Caring's quid pro quo will be...?


Gawain Towler said…
"And if, of course, the legislators cannot influence what is bought and sold, well, then no one will wish to buy said legislators. Or, for that matter, fund their political parties."
If that is the case, why are people still funding Westminster parties and not the Brussels wings of them?
Jeff Wood said…
Gawain, because the Brussels wings of the parties are powerless. So if you are MegaCorp or the Mafia, you buy the top Eurocrats instead.

Cheaper, really.
Budgie said…
Neither businesses nor unions should be allowed to donate to political parties, only individuals. And donations should be limited to say £1000 per annum.
Gavin Ayling said…
Maximum donations should be set, no? So that no-one can donate more than, say, 100 times the current minimum wage -- how would that get them?
Anonymous said…
When we still had rotten boroughs a limited electorate and an open ballot, the parties had no power over legislators, who owed their positions to patronage or their own bribery of the electorate or even, sometimes, to their powers of persuasion. You bring in democracy, a secret ballot and salaries for MPs and, hey presto, parties acquire the power of being able to discipline MPs. Solve that one!

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