While the #cashforcameron scandal (as it is being called on Twitter) rumbles on, the calls for state funding of political parties are increasing. But as James said yesterday, and as I argued on Sky News afterwards, this is not the answer — and it seems that
the majority of the public agree. Yesterday’s YouGov poll had 59 per cent of
its respondents opposing the idea of taxpayers funding political parties.
But will transparency work instead? Blowing open the doors on all meetings and donors would certainly help the public see who is donating what and the effect (if any) that money is having on policy
— but only if it is properly followed through. For instance, Downing Street rightly promised to publish quarterly statements of ministerial meetings, but the list hasn’t been updated since June 2011. We now hear that they’re going to rush out details for July to September soon, some six months after the fact.
Today’s release of No.10 dinner lists is a good start, but keeping up the
momentum — especially after the news agenda has moved on — will be the real test of Cameron’s response.