Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Ashcroft, Goldsmith, Mittal, Paul - and Michael Brown

A party colleague criticised Speaker Bercow for "wicked inaction" when the massed ranks of Conservatives tried to shout down Vince Cable's second question in the House today. The question was about the amount of tax which Lord Ashcroft had avoided paying since taking his seat in Parliament, and the moronic chanting from the Conservative benches was "Michael Brown". Vince, however, delivered his question with no discernible hesitation, not needing the Speaker's intervention and it was the official opposition which looked stupid.

One assumes that they were not calling for the return of the outed former Conservative MP, but to the Scottish financier who funded Charles Kennedy's poster campaign in 2005. It should be noted that they had to go back five years to find anything to hang round the Liberal Democrats' necks.

This is the point. Michael Brown's money was a one-off, and, being spent on a hurriedly drawn-up poster campaign featuring the leader, of dubious benefit to the party at large. Ashcroft and Goldsmith for the Conservatives, and Mittal and Paul for Labour, have continued to make contributions. Their targeted drip-drip of funds will influence the coming general election, and probably beyond. One can also criticise Labour's current dependency on one or two large trade unions, though presumably Unite and Unison members pay all their taxes in the UK and their attachment to this country cannot be doubted. Their motivation may be politically suspect, but it has also been made plain, not least in adverts by the unions themselves.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

This Liberal Voice article on Ashcroft, by Stephen Tall, is well worth reading.