Deripaskagate risks encouraging the roaches for statefunding of political parties from the dark corners of the Palace of Westminster where they have been lurking since the effective collapse of the Hayden Phillips Inquiry two years ago. The pros and cons are set out here.
Democracy would be strengthened if politicians were encouraged to rely on membership subscriptions and small donations to fund their party organisations.
The success of Barack Obama in adopting a 50-state, grassroots organisational approach in his US presidential election campaign has had eye-watering success raising funds. Latest statistics show $259 million or 43% of Obama's campaign funding is accounted for donations of up to $200.
That's a salutory reminder that if a politician cannot persuade people to support her/his political values and ambition by putting their money where their mouth is, then the aspiring politician doesn't deserve to be in politics in the first place.
I'm encouraged to see that at the forthcoming London Labour Party bienniel conference 'Membership - the backbone of the Labour Party' is being offered as a workshop. Let's hope it doesn't get cancelled due to a lack of interest.