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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

April 25, 2006

On public funding of political parties

I've always been against the idea of taxpayer funding of political parties, and I think the solution to the spending problem is right in front of our eyes. Let's just make sure everyone knows what they actually spend all that money on.

I heard this yesterday on the radio, but the Guardian reports on how political parties might spend taxpayer's money if they were publicly funded.

Over half a million squid, for example, paid by the Labour party to Mark Penn, Clinton's former spin doc. Ker-ching. Talk about money for old rope. "It's the economy, stupid," was public domain, though, wasn't it? So why pay the geezer? Sheesh.

The bloke who organised those lovely focus groups, Philip Gould, got £143,000. Ker-ching. Alastair Campbell, no longer officially Tony Blair's press secretary, still netted £47k for consultancy. I wish someone would consult me. I'd be a lot cheaper.

We already know about the £275 per day that Cherie Blair spent on her hair, but Michael Howard and Charles Kennedy spent over £5k between them on make-up.

Talking of costumes and make-up:
Labour bought five Star Trek costumes for £299 by Labour in order to make a political point against the Tories' Mr Spock figure, John Redwood. The Conservatives spent £3,500 on animal costumes and hired five actors to be "groundhogs" to emphasise that Labour had said everything before.

Those groundhog, costumes, by the way, had to be imported from the United States. You've got to admire that kind of profligacy. Imelda Marcos would be proud.

As with the cost of the NHS and everything else, the point here is about how much people get away with when charging for their services. Spin doctors are like plumbers, I think. If the parties are desperate enough, they'll pay anything.

But you also have to admire the cheek of the people who charged £3,500 for the hire of some tables and chairs for a 90 minute meeting. Including half an hour to set-up and the breakdown, that's about £1400 per hour. Ker-ching!


  • You can just hear the "spin doctor's" sharp intake of breath followed by those inevitable words "Oooh, this is going to cost you mate!".

    By Blogger Numptie, at 3:50 am  

  • And indeed the best friend saying, "They saw you coming, mate."

    Just think of this though. Dressing up as groundhogs and Star Trek characters are some of the ideas that were approved by somebody. Wouldn't you love to see a list of the ideas that were rejected as being a complete waste of party funds?

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 10:56 am  

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