On sleaze

25 Oct

The Guardian has a report on some sleazy, if technically lawful, donations to the Tory party from a Ukrainian Oligarch ::

A British businessman who represents a Ukrainian oligarch is paying tens of thousands of pounds in donations to the Tories, the Guardian can disclose. Payments made by the businessman’s company have caused concern to the Electoral Commission, which queried some of the donations earlier this year.

Pauline Neville-Jones, shadow security minister, former chair of the joint intelligence committee and a key Cameron foreign policy adviser, currently has her office sponsored by Robert Shetler-Jones, a close associate of the foreign billionaire Dmitry Firtash.

A company linked to Shetler-Jones is also making payments to Conservative central office. It is called Scythian Ltd. Shetler-Jones chairs and part owns it…

Just why would a foreign gas-baron, and an all-round scum-bag by all accounts, be funnelling money to the Tories?

What’s in it for him? (Have they no shame?)

Of course all parties are equally guilty. Labour have little reason to be proud. And the Lib Dems? Don’t get me started. They’re pretty much all as bad as each other. The entire system is fucked.

Of course those with a stake in the system will explain how this justifies public funding of political parties. I think this sleaze actually proves just how illegitimate the ‘big’ parties have become. If people are not interested in becoming members or donating to political parties, what’s the point of their very existence?

Do political parties merely exist to perpetuate the vapid and pointless status quo?

If there is any future in party politics it must be that it is nourished by the masses. If parties are forced to source their funds from shady foreign ‘businessmen’, then they’re just demonstrating their irrelevance and proving how pointless this archaic system has become.

If politics isn’t energising the people then it isn’t democracy.

The only sphere of politics that’s on the up is that of single-issue groups and small agenda-driven parties. As the internet continues to connect the dispersed, single-issue parties will continue to gain relevance and activists.

To stifle these movements by artificially financing the lumbering political system, would be to stick two fingers up to the people who are fed-up with Westminster self-interest, not to mention pissing all over what is left of our flagging democracy.

All three parties must clean up their act and re-engage with their base. If they fail to raise the necessary revenues from legitimate donations, then they should be allowed – nay forced – to die.

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