The reason is it very quiet is because this all looks suspiciously like National’s ‘Cabinet Clubs.’
At least, they used to be called Cabinet Clubs but underwent hasty name changes after controversy over them in 2014 and are now known as Anything But Cabinet Clubs.
National said the Cabinet Clubs (which also existed when the party was in Opposition) were harmless groups of supporters run by individual electorates who would pay to go and hear MPs, ministers or sometimes even the Prime Minister bang on for a while at a party fundraiser.
It was standard fundraising fare, they said.
However, Labour was very critical deriding them as ‘cash for access.’
Haworth claims the distinction between the Cabinet Clubs and his President’s Club is that the President’s Club is run by the party and donors are not paying to attend events with MPs at them.
However, sometimes MPs might happen to stumble upon the same events as President’s Club members. Just by coincidence, you know. It is, after all, hard to have a policy announcement without an MP to announce it. …
Haworth has also claimed since Labour is in Opposition no ministers are not involved, unlike National. That is ridiculous.
The whole point of the President’s Club is to set up a long-term framework for funding the party from regular donations.
Labour presumably expects to be in Government at some point in the future, at which point it will have ministers and they will likely do what all ministers do – make policy announcements and help to fundraise.
What Labour is trying to say is that ‘donor’ is only a dirty word when it is a National Party donor.