At a time when the Labour party is over £20m in debt and near to bankruptcy, there will be a strong sympathy amongst the media and the political class to give a favourable wind to stealing our taxes to prop up the terminally ill organisation. The LibDems, too, with only 60,000 members before entering into coalition and, I suspect, very much fewer now as the closet socialists leave the party, will lobby strongly for State funding.
Hayden Phillips' proposals for funding are so risibly biased to the interests of the incumbent parties they can be dismissed without further consideration. Phillips appears to believe not that a diversity of parties are vital to a healthy democracy, but only that a financially secure and flourishing triumverate of established parties provides good health. His outright dismissal of the 'Power' proposals for individual voter choice on funding, divorced from the vote actually cast at the ballot box, is both corrupt and dangerous.
I would go even further than 'Power' as I believe only a shift back from the metropolitan centre to local will help us cure our democratic ills; I would ensure that any funding was paid to local associations only, with an absolute legal prohibition on the national party requiring local parties to hand any of it over at all. Thus only parties with a registered association in the constituency would benefit, and the political class be starved of the gold that feeds central Statism.
These arguments are for later in the Autumn, however. Until then, watch your wallets and handbags - thieves really do operate in this area.