Daily Archives: July 8, 2010

Today’s hearing by the public standards committee (see Jim’s earlier post) on party financing began well

Jack Straw, Labour negotiator at the last negotiations on party funding

Jack Straw, Labour negotiator at the last negotiations on party funding

enough. Sir Hayden Phillips started on an optimistic note, saying, as he did earlier this morning on the BBC that he had been only inches away from a binding agreement.

He was followed by Francis Maude, Jack Straw (right) and David Heath, who all – to a certain extent – personified reason and moderation. They agreed that state funding would help bring resolution, but that it would be politically unpalatable. Maude and Straw promised major concessions, Maude on the issue of state funding and Straw on the issue of donation limits.

But all this was known, and none of this is why the agreement collapsed in 2007. Then, as now, the sticking point is union donations to Labour, which the Tories want to limit, but Labour insists are a key part of the party’s genetic make up. The Tories want union members to have an active choice over whether part of their affiliation fee goes to Labour, and would prefer them to opt in to such a scheme rather than opting out if they would prefer that money to go elsewhere. Read more

Nick Clegg has an uncanny knack of finding agonising dilemmas to solve.

Before Sunday’s World Cup final, he will have to chose between upsetting his mother or his wife.

His formidable wife Miriam González Durántez and the Clegg boys will be backing Spain all the way.

But Clegg of course speaks Dutch, the native tongue of his mother Hermance van den Wall Bake. Read more

There is more to economics than austerity — Michael Hudson, FT
Cameron scraps “top down targets” for new performance “tools” — FT
Gove’s problem on schools — John Redwood
There’s no money for the ambassador’s reception — The Independent
Blair “exaggerated” threat from Iran claims former ambassador — Guardian
Ed Miliband wants to level out pay — Left Foot Forward
Italians drop cash from helicopters? — Money Supply