Matthew D'Ancona is normally quite a sensible chap- unless, that is, he plays the sock-puppet and uses his Telegraph column to plug some risible, shite piece of policy being pushed by Tory central HQ. Today's column is an excellent example. He tells us, in effect, that Cameron has decided to put party above country; that Tory electoral gains from constituency reform are worth giving the LibDems what they want in party tax funding. Well, I for one would rather Labour won those seats than have state funding of political parties. What a weak, utterly corrupt, sleazy self-interested rationale.
D'Ancona attempts to rationalise his fatuous nonsense by presenting a false dichotomy. Would you rather have parties funded by rich, corrupt individuals like Asil Nadir or by clean, neutral tax money? He chooses to ignore completely the third alternative - that parties, as private clubs, are paid for solely by their members' subscriptions and legally limited voluntary donations from the public.
The tax-theft developed by Hayden Phillps and supported by Christopher Kelly is so corruptly anti-democratic, so skewed and biased in favour of the Big Three that it is nothing more than a blatant third-world banana republic scam, filthily corrupt, a foul perversion of democratic process.
The LibDems are history. Today polling just 10% against UKIP's 12%, with fewer than 50k members, with empty coffers and no longer even funded by £1.7m a year of opposition 'Short' money the Parliamentary party must straggle along until the end of this fixed-term Parliament, when the country will put this party out of its misery. For Cameron to pervert the natural process of democratic evolution, to steal taxes to keep this brain-stem-dead party on life-support for the sake of half a dozen Tory seats, will rebound and will cost him far more in the long term. The NO TO TAX THIEVES campaign is a real one, ready on the starting blocks for the state-funding announcement, encouraging voters to vote for any party except those benefiting from Hayden Phillips' corrupt scam.