The real scandal in the funding of British political parties is not the union cash for Labour – it’s all out in the open and they are idealistic enough to spend it on Jeremy Corbyn’s project – but the very untransparent way the Tories hoover up cash from some pretty debatable characters.
What about the Tories’ money operation? It’s a permanent and sleazy scandal.
Let’s look at all that money the Tories get from the City and the hedge fund operators in Mayfair and elsewhere? Here’s some LSE research and here’s confirmation. Still not persuaded? Try this from the bankers’ pink paper. If you can’t get behind the FT paywall, the piece is dated 4 February 2015 and called Number of big City backers for Tories doubles. You get my drift.
But donations buy access, via dinners or “research” sessions, and donations can be parcelled up between family and friends (if you have that kind of cash) in small packages – below £5,000 – to slip under the radar of the Electoral Commission’s monitoring. Just read this Daily Mail account. Or this one from the Mirror. Head not spinning yet? How about this then?
Yes, I realise they all do it, but it is the scale of the Tory operation coupled with its parallel assault on Labour’s “white wine and sandwiches” operation that makes it so scandalous. Throw in the “lobbying act”, which hits charities lobbying harder than it does the sleaze balls, and it makes it even worse.
A lot of donors are engaged in economic activities that do us harm, either by crashing their banks into debts from which the taxpayer has to rescue them or by working for institutions that have diddled their customers through assorted frauds – interest rates or mis-selling – for which their institutions have been heavily fined but no one jailed.
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