Harriet Harman, the Labour Party's chairman, has secretly discussed with senior colleagues ways of stopping Lord Ashcroft from using his private wealth to win more seats for the Tories by using a loophole in the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000. The wording of the Act allows support for candidates between elections to go uncapped. Sir Hayden Phillips, who is carrying out a review of electoral law, is expected to call for donations between general elections to be capped for the first time in a report to be released in autumn.Firstly it violates the principle of free speech to prevent somebody campaigning effectively for the candidates they support. Secondly incumbent MPs are given phenomenal resources to run de facto permanent propaganda blitz, whereas anyone who is usefully employed elsewhere cannot devote even all of their own time for the purposes of campaigning.
Hayden Phillips is the same patsy who produced the report demanding that political parties be funded by the tax payer, another proposal that is of great benefit to established candidates in general and the Labour Party in particular that has mismanaged its own affairs as badly as it has the country's. The Labour Party has nominally spent less than the Conservatives in General Elections, although usually the Trades Unions run simultaneous campaigns which would push Labour's figures much higher.
Labour MPs are now enjoying the spoils of office so much that they genuinely see nothing shameful about rigging the system even more heavily in their favour and are in fact sincerely outraged by someone trying to unseat them:
One Labour MP with a marginal seat said: "The trouble is we don't know what effect this is having. He could be funding mail shots but we won't know until it's too late. I'd love him to be closed down, but we can't get the legislation through until the end of next year."Not mail shots surely!? It isn't as though sitting MPs have access to unlimited mail facilities courtesy of the House of Commons is it? Oh it is.