Cash for influence in the UK

The Telegraph has a story on how evil corporates are exchanging cash for policy in the UK:

For as little as £2,000 the businesses can secure membership of the management committee in target seats and a direct influence in policy making at the party’s annual conference.

In return for the money the local parties set up Constituency Development Plans and agree to a raft of demands. They include appointing ‘business officers’ to branch committees, encouraging recruitment for the branch from within the business, and in return for their funding, Labour MPs must do their bidding.

In return for a massive increase in financial support businesses are drawing up a shopping list of policy changes which include making it less expensive to dismiss staff, new rules to protect bosses of private equity owned firms, and push to make get rid of equal pay audits in the private sector.

The negotiations between the businesses and ministers over a new deal – known as Warwick II – will see a raft of new concessions that will further deregulate workplaces and are designed to help businesses recruit more non-union staff.

The demands are set to become ever more important to the Labour as ministers increasingly rely on backing.

In 2006, 70 per cent of Labour’s donations – £8.5million – came from businesses. Since the beginning of 2001, when parties were required to declare large donations, businesses have given £55million to Labour.

The blueprint for financing local parties is contained in a web site  which states: “A robust CDP agreement will also include targets and activities that the Constituency Labour Party pledges to undertake.

“If a Constituency Labour Party has a CDP in place with a business, then the should take an active role in ensuring that the terms of the agreement are fulfilled; and take responsibility for writing six-monthly activity reports.”

In return the businesses will provide: “…polling or opinion surveys among the electorate; recruiting and retaining members; producing and distributing literature; informing and encouraging dialogue between the party and the community.”

This all sounds very shocking.Surely there must be an investigation into how these businesses are purchasing inappropriate influence in politics.

Be aware have made some minor changes to the article, and people should read the original.

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