Sir Christopher Kelly's Committee has consulted comprehensively, deliberated and cogitated, and after all that has gone back to Hayden Phillips' corrupt and anti-democratic party funding proposals like a dog to its vomit. It is a conclusion that defies sanity. The electorate are to be deprived of any choice in the matter, and the three big parties are to be established as fixed and permanent State political parties to carve Westminster up between them evermore. Sinn Fein will get oodles of State cash, UKIP will get none, despite the party now running neck to neck with the Lib Dems in the opinion polls. Even the Speaker - a 'Party' of one MP, according to Kelly - is set to gain £67k of taxpayer's money.
The only option a voter has to deprive the State parties of cash is to cast a vote for a party that holds no seats in the Commons, like, erm, UKIP. For many voters, a vote against Kelly's corrupt and sleazy proposals will be more important than traditional ballot box loyalty.
Commentators have suggested that Kelly's proposals are already dead, that the proposed £10k limit on donations has effectively killed the report at birth. Perhaps so. But we shouldn't underestimate the cupidity and vice of our Parliament; MPs could still vote for a much higher donations cap, and keep the State funding proposal intact. Let's see where this goes, but I've said before I'll never consent to compulsory State funding of these private clubs in my name - and that this is the one issue that will propel me onto the barricades. And I'm damn sure I'm not alone.