David Cameron has just been interviewed by Andrew Marr. He said that it "beggared belief" that Gordon Brown really knew nothing about the events that have unfolded over the last week. He accused Mr Brown of being a bigger spinner than even Mr Blair – noting that a statement by John Mendelsohn was only released three minutes before last Wednesday’s PMQs.
He said that he would still welcome a £50,000 cap on political donations but it must include the trade unions. He said that Labour’s relationship with the unions was the last corrupt relationship in British politics with the unions getting policy changes in response to their giving.
A £50,000 cap on donations would hurt the Conservatives he said and some extra state funding of political parties would be necessary. He would only accept extra state funding if the cost of politics was cut in other ways. Previously he has spoken about a reduction in the number of MPs. That deal has been called more taxation for less representation by the Daily Mail.
Editor’s comment: "Mr Cameron is missing an opportunity here. The public mood towards politicians has soured considerably since he proposed extra state funding for political parties in return for a cap on donations and fewer politicians. He needs to show that he understands that mood change. Voters do not want more of their taxes going to political parties. Conservatives should be the anti-establishment party at a time when the establishment appears rotten. We shouldn’t look like we want to prop it up. Moulding ourselves as the anti-establishment party could be a much bigger theme for our whole approach. In addition to encouraging political parties to use the internet to fundraise and therefore become much closer to the concerns of voters we should be promising to diversify and localise the processes by which peoples’ lives are affected. There should be less power in the hands of big clunking government departments and their capacity to lose 25 million peoples’ records and more power to local schools, local hospitals and the grassroots poverty-fighting organisations that the Conservative leader has done so much to champion. Conservatives should be on the side of the little guy – not big business, not big charities, not big government and not big political parties."