This week saw yet another debacle come to fore as MPs and Lords got caught up in a scandal where they were accused of lining their own pockets in exchange for tabling parliamentary business.
We see this all too often and we look to the Government of the day to take strong leadership in defining a response to restore trust in our political system.
However, what do we see from Cameron & Co? We see a purported register of lobbyists and some amateur politicking in an attempt to restrict political funding, specifically around union funding of the Labour Party.
There are a number of issues with the Government’s approach. Firstly, a register of lobbyists will not stop the clearly underhand dealings where parliamentary business can be bought. All a register will do is prevent undercover sting operations by investigative journalism. The Government and political class are simply protecting their own. Hardly inspiring stuff designed to restore trust in the political systems.
Secondly, the Conservatives have for years consistently attacked the way that unions provide support for the Labour Party by saying that the Labour Party is in allegiance to the union barons who make large donations.
The union donations are made by working people who choose to join a union and also choose to make a political payment in that subscription. They can choose not to make that political payment if they wish. This means millions of working people across the country are making an active choice to support the Labour Party.
If you compare this to millions of pounds donated to the Conservative Party by a few, how election campaigns were bankrolled by one single donor, you can see which method of funding is more democratic and more representative of the wishes of the people.
It is unacceptable to suggest that union donations to the Labour Party drive a singular, narrow agenda. These donations, along with the large donations by party members and like-minded individuals, drive an inclusive party which looks to serve the many, not the privileged few. A party I am proud to be associated with.