Monday, 7 July 2008

Call that sleaze? - I don't think so.

Labour MP John Mann is apparently accusing David Cameron of sleaze after adopting policies proposed by a businessman who had given him free flights in his private jet.

The policies adopted have included such sordid ideas as giving extra cash to parents of disabled children. Quite.

Political parties in this country are funded by voluntary donations. Apart from Labour, of course, which is bankrolled by unions appropriating millions upon millions of pounds of their members' money. Understandably, donors seek to influence policy, even the cuddly old unions. If this is done for personal gain at the expense of others, that is immoral. Seeking to benefit parents of disabled children does not register on my scale of wickedness, however.

Personally, I did not even see anything wrong with the Bernie Ecclestone affair. The policy that Labour changed at that point was to the benefit of British motor racing, with the only losers being foreign competitors. And why not? Clearly, donors to political parties should not be allowed to benefit one British company rather than another. However, if it is in the general interest of British industry, or in the general interest of charity, what on earth is wrong with that?

A politician receiving a trip on a private plane to a private home for a private meeting with a private donor does not bother me, frankly. Listening to what private individuals want may be an alien concept to Labour, but it strikes me as being to the benefit of democracy.

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