Just back from an evening out to discover that taxpayers have been spared the prospect of lavishing more cash on the political class. Former civil servant Sir Hayden Phillips today announced that the inter-party talks on political part funding have been 'suspended'. Iain Dale blames Labour for refusing to cap trade union donation. Unlock Democracy has got into an extraordinary lather here. Considered comment I would humbly suggest involves remembering the provenence of Hayden Phillips Inquiry. I can recommend this piece here. The main losers are the Liberal Democrats.
The end of these talks offers Gordon Brown another opportunity to distance himself from the stench of his predecessor's cash for honours affair, tighten up on MPs expenses for 'communication' and set out a bold plan to encourage people to join political parties, by setting out the stall for Labour. Plus of course, we mustn't forget that legislation is still necessary to set tough spending limits on elections. The public really isn't interested in being showered with junk mail, bombarded with telephone cold-calling or confronted with billboard wars. It expects politicians to deliver preferably in person, not through a mail shot. Roll on the Queen's speech next week.