Wednesday, August 14, 2013

State Funding? No Thanks!

Today's row about a bequest provides an opportunity for advocates of state funding of political parties to assert that "With each successive scandal, the case for state funding grows a little stronger. " (



There is no case for state funding of political parties - at least no case consistent with democracy.

There is probably a case for political parties spending less and employing fewer people.

There is certainly a case for engaging with and energising citizens to give our time, energy and money to causes in which we believe.

Politics - if it is to contribute to the democratic necessity of holding the state to account has to be, in essence, a voluntary activity rooted in civil society.

Who pays the piper calls the tune and state funded political parties will serve the interests of the state not the citizens.

Therefore democrats should believe in the voluntary funding of political parties.

This will, of course, mean that the Left will always be materially disadvantaged.


Politics practiced by and for the poor, oppressed and disadvantaged will always and inevitably be less well resourced than politics practiced by and for the wealthy and privileged.

That's why millions of us get together in trade unions and understand that these need to act in the wider society beyond the workplace. (That's why we're fighting to defend the Labour-union link).

The task of the Left is to level the political playing field by leveling the social and economic playing field.

Ultimately we need to get rid of the rich and the society in which they thrive like parasites on the fruits of others' labour.

That may take a while yet and, in the mean time, Labour needs to motivate our supporters to resource our activities - not yearn for taxpayers' money which would come with strings attached that would tie us forever to the status quo.

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1 comment:

treborc said...

I heard about this at a local meeting when it was said they could not understand the Labour party cutting ties with the Unions, and I said look Blair is back within Labour and we all know that Progress are pushing for the break with the Unions a complete break.

Since I doubt Labour have to many hidden donors we do not know about, it has to be state funding.

I doubt Miliband is the type of person who has faith in himself, I do not think he really believes he can win,and I think the Progress club have jumped on that.

I say this because so far all we have had from Labour and the leader is basically we will back that, the bed room so called tax would have been ideal for Miliband to jump on saying we will not accept that we will get rid of it, but nope we had a messed up statement saying maybe if and but.