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Saturday, March 31, 2012

More on those donor diners

Labour have been quick to condemn David Cameron for entertaining party donors to dinner but it seems that they are all up to the same tricks. Indeed in the absence of a properly regulated, transparent and restricted party funding system it is hardly surprising that party leaders spend so much time wooing potential donors. After all, money is needed to make the system work. The problem comes when those giving to political parties expect or are led to expect something in return not available to others.

The Independent reports that Ed Miliband has met Labour's major union donors more than 20 times since he was elected leader of the party in 2010.

His office published a list of 43 meetings and dinners with major donors to the Labour Party, including union bosses, the Labour peer Lord Sugar and mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone. He also listed six meetings with the businessman Andrew Rosenfeld, who lent Labour £1m before the 2005 election and has given £120,000 under his leadership.

Other business figures he has met privately include property tycoon Kevin McGrath, ex-chairman of Green & Blacks Henry Tinsley and Canary Wharf developer Sir George Iacobescu.

The Tories of course will be quick to pick up on the revelation that the Labour Leader has met Len McCluskey, the leader of Britain's largest union, Unite, on eight occasions since becoming leader. Unite, which is currently threatening to take petrol tanker drivers out on strike, has donated more than £5m to Labour under Mr Miliband's leadership. Other union leaders meeting the Labour leader included Dave Prentis of Unison (five times after £2.4m of donations) and Paul Kenny of the GMB (six times after donations totalling £2.5m).

Indeed, the Co-Chair of the Conservative Party Baroness Warsi is quoted as saying that: "It's no wonder Ed Miliband is too weak condemn Unite's irresponsible strike threat when he's earning £630,000 for every dinner with his union paymaster."

However, the main message of this publication is the need for reform. The sooner, the better.
The Tory Party, 'God Bless their Cotton Socks' is led by a politician who knows not what the public wants, who cares not what the public wants, and despite his outward appearance of being a liberal progressive is a product of a narrow public school boy education to the extent he can't relate to what the public wants. "Let them eat what passes for pasties" is Cameron's battle cry.
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