Labour gets ever more mired in the cash for peerages mess. The Tories find themselves funded by obscure trusts in Liechtenstein. Questions continue about the Michael Brown affair amongst the Lib Dems.
Some commentators now believe that political parties should be funded directly by the state. After all, goes the argument, it is necessary for the workings of the political system to have vigorous, well funded parties and it is better to have these openly funded rather than by foreign or other questionable sources.
Bluntly, this is self serving bulls**t.
If the political parties can not manage to fund themselves in a legal or orderly way, then I have no quarrel with the idea that they should go under.
Why should what is, in effect, a private club that seeks to fund a massive advertising campaign every few years get its money from the state, that is to say, from everyone else?
If Labour or Tories can not run themselves without recourse to unsustainable levels of debt, then tough- they will have to scale back what they do. As it is, Labour and the Tories rely on the support of Trade Unions and shareholders of major corporations who may not actually support the ideals of either of the two parties.
As for the Liberal Democrats. I believe we should return the money to the defrauded shareholders in Michael Brown's companies- it will be tough, but at the end of the day it will demonstrate that we are serious about being funded only by our members and supporters.
The party funding scandal will just get murkier- the strange and private groups of business people who are scouting for money for the Conservatives are likely to get Mr. Cameron into just as much trouble as "Lord" Levy and Mr. Blair.
Meanwhile, state funding profoundly disadvantages any new parties- and frankly I think that the current set up could do with more competition. With the current absurd electoral system in place, state funding will make the political system even less responsive- more professionalised, less rooted in the wider community- than it is already.
I do not see why I should pay a penny to the Conservatives or Labour, so the idea of funding tens of millions in advertising for them is totally repellent.
It is up to the electorate to punish political parties that are prepared to bend and break the law, and state funding just rewards politicians who can't stay honest...