Sky News and Tortoise Media have created an extensive record of financial interests in Westminster since December 2019, when the current parliament was formed.
Sky and Tortoise have gleefully focused on individual MPs who “accepted thousands of pounds in donations without knowing the source of the funds”.
As shocking as all that is, the thing that jumps out at me, are the amounts of money each party receives, and where those donations come from.
Since 2019 The Conservative Party have raked in a staggering £76 million in donations. More than double The Labour Party’s £32.4 million. Which is more than double the The Liberal Democrats’ £15.1 million. Think about this for a second, the Conservatives received over £24 million more than all the other opposition parties combined, combined! That’s a stark financial illustration of the fight for power in the United Kingdom. It’s like Ukraine fighting Russia without the support of the United States or Europe.
The other thing that interests me is where this money comes from. When Unite the Union donates £8.8 million to The Labour Party, they’re using the money they got from their 1.4 million members. That’s 1.4 million people given a voice by Labour. In that same period JC Bamford (JCB) gave The Conservative Party £3.3 million. That’s one person’s interests, Anthony Bamford, given a voice by the Conservatives.
Please don’t try and tell me donations don’t buy influence. Why would anyone give money if it didn’t benefit them one way or the other? I’m not talking corruption, bungs, manila envelopes under the table, although I’m certain that happens. I’m talking funding those who align with your interests. I know that’s a really obvious thing to say, but it’s never framed that way if and when it’s reported.
This same pattern plays out when you look at all party donations. Very wealth individuals donate to the Conservatives, while unions with millions of members donate to Labour.
One party represents the voice of millions, the other just a few.