Paying for our politicians would be a tax too far

At the next roundabout...follow the traffic jam!     (Shutterstock)

LESLEY KEATING: DNA is a powerful tool in discovering your ancestry

0
Have your say

Every time Labour and the Conservatives bicker about party funding, it reminds me of those professional wrestling matches which were the mainstay of Saturday afternoon sport on ITV during the 1960s.

First, the fit young things threw themselves around the ring, shrieking, shouting and rebounding spectacularly from the ropes as they attempted to make a good impression.

Then the old bruisers took centre stage, grunting, groaning and slapping each other with fake fury while lumbering arthritically through tired choreography.

In the end, no-one got hurt, the combatants repaired to the nearest bar to share a drink and the audience – bored by the same old routines - switched over to watch snooker on the BBC.

The fact is that ‘stories’ about political parties dancing attendance upon potential donors are no longer of any interest or consequence.

David Cameron has been entertaining billionaire businessmen to dinner at Downing Street? You don’t say! And there were we thinking he probably spent his evenings breaking bread and enjoying some intellectual jousting with the likes of Katie Price and Robbie Savage.

And was that Ed Miliband turning up in a Rolls Royce to display a previously unsuspected affection for Hull City, who just happen to have a left-leaning, millionaire businessman as chairman?

Are we really expected to muster faux outrage at such opportunism from the party which gave us Tony Blair and Peter Mandelson?

The reputation of parliament – and the Commons in particular – is so threadbare that the mere mention of money and politicians in the same breath has voters sucking their teeth and glowering suspiciously.

However, the only alternative is to have political parties paid for out of the public purse. But with the budget making a stealthy raid on pensioners’ meagre incomes, while simultaneously providing millionaires with a tax cut, the last thing the majority of voters want is for their money to be used to fund the support networks of those responsible.

It’s bad enough having to put up with most politicians. Expecting us to pay extra for the privilege is a tax too far.