Via Iain Dale, Francis Maude on the most corrupt government of the modern era:
Labour by contrast have entered a resounding veto on any such cap [on individual donations to political parties]. They maintain that the trade unions are a special case. Well, in one sense they are. The proportion of Labour's funding provided by a handful of trade union leaders is around 70%. And there is nothing remotely covert about what is given in return. It is all there to be seen. To pay for the 2005 election campaign, Labour reached a deal with the unions called the Warwick Agreement. The unions stumped up £12 million to fund Labour's election campaign. And in return, there was £10 million of taxpayers' money for the Union Modernisation Fund, extra rights for strikers, and a deal which means civil servants still get to retire earlier than those in the private sector.All true. But this isn't why we are disillusioned with politics. We knew NuLabour would be in-your-face what-you-going-to-do-about-it corrupt when we saw Bernie Ecclestone walking into Downing Street with a big fat shit-kicker smile on his face within days of the 1997 Labour victory. By then, we were so sick of the brown-envelopers that we hardly cared any more. Anything would - or at least might - be better than John "Little Chef" Major and his band of Estate Agents.
This has all the hallmarks of a straightforward commercial transaction. It is precisely this kind of trade - cash for policy, or in the case of the Union Modernisation Fund union cash in return for taxpayers' cash - that has eroded public confidence in the integrity of the political process.
The disillusionment comes from the fact that all the main political parties consist almost entirely of self-serving functionaries, welded to the perpetual surrender of power to unelected and ostentatiously corrupt EUropean plutocrats, confiscating ever more of our incomes, addicted to gesture legislation, contemptuous of voters, fraudulent, patronising, self-aggrandising, unprincipled and steeped in the corruption of democracy that comes from the realisation that you can vote yourself other people's money.
We have a health service that fails regardless of how much money is poured into it - and for all the main parties the only answer they can find is to pour in yet more money; that turns a selfless profession like nursing into a sham of "nurse quacktitioners" qualified principally in "team work studies" and race awareness, then invents a plethora of new jobs - nursing assistant, physicians assistant - to try to get blood taken and bums wiped while the nurses are holding team meetings at the nursing station; that has turned GPs into production line managers; that has so shattered the bonds between the community and doctors that A&E and the ambulance service have replaced routine doctor appointments and home visits; that has managed the astonishing feat of pouring vast sums of new money into the pockets of those who work in the Health Service AND shattering their morale.
We have an education system that refuses point blank to promote academic excellence; that takes pains only with failure; teaches children contempt for their history and for any past achievement including that which has led to the accumulation of knowledge we depend on; betrays the responsibility adults have to feed kids properly, see they exercise, cultivate and nurture them; fakes results with multiple choice tests an ape could pass just by randomly selecting answers and continuous assessment of projects their parents and teachers can help them cheat; pours billions into shiny IT suites that are used for nothing except training children to use the software products of just one monopolist company, and for surfing the internet for wikipedia articles to copy and paste into coursework; and pours out children with such appalling literacy and numeracy skills that businesses and universities have had to introduce remedial classes for new entrants with stunning A grade qualifications.
We have a defence policy that has tried to play the role we had in the nineteenth century when we had the most powerful military in the world while cutting the armed services until they are on the same level as Belgium, that relies on fraud to persuade a bunch of lunatic tossers on the Labour back benchers to vote against the principles they found imagining they were oppressed nineteenth-century factory workers expoited by capitalists in top hats, and in performing the mental gymnastics necessary to whoop up industrial-scale Soviet slavery while at the same time imagining themselves to be saintly Quaker moralists.
We have an increasingly institutionalised, fearful client class of welfare and public-sector dependents, clamped to the teat of the state suckling on taxpayers' money and unable even to imagine standing on their own feet.
We have a burgeoning class of parasitic non-jobsworthies, producing terrabytes of reports, sticking masking tape on desks to show where the pens should go.
We have a fire brigade that makes the Miners Union look like reckless libertarians.
We have a police service that will drive past a bank robbery to arrest an elderly couple suspected of making homophobic remarks.
And we have bartered our freedoms - the universal franchise, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience - for the grant-aided benevolence of organisations of bearded nutters pledged to our destruction. We have even allowed slavery - Eastern European sex slaves, domestic workers from the Middle East and Africa, forced marriages - to return to the country that first outlawed it while our Prime Minister mouthes empty and dishonest apologies to pander to the identity politics that underly every form of fascism the world has ever seen.
We've seen the British legal system shot through the head, and all pretence of due process and the separation of powers abandoned, in order to pander to a theocratic monarchy that executes foreigners and leaves their headless bodies hanging in the streets, yet not one of the main political parties thought this was serious enough a problem to warrant them making a stand.
The House of Lords has been prostituted.
The English now have taxation without representation when their money is spent by the Scottish and Welsh Assemblies. We have a system of devolution designed to ensure one party keeps power in Scotland and Wales by excluding English votes, while trying to keep the same party in power in England by including Scottish and Welsh votes; that has tried to abolish a country - England - with more than a thousand years of continuous history; that tries to buy votes within England through the weapon of selective public spending.
And we have a constitutional settlement that places the powers of a divine monarch in the hands of elected dictators who have no sense or understanding of the liberties and rights of the freeborn citizens of the country they govern.
But we don't have a single, solitary mainstream political party willing to step outside their focus groups and market research consultations for a moment to deal with these fucking problems.
Labour knows what to do: increase central control, increase taxation and abolish the liberties even Mediaeval Kings didn't dare threaten. Oh, and piss on the Anglosphere we gave birth to while embracing a Napoleonic, authoritarian, weak, capitulating Europe.
The Lib Dems know what to do: increase taxation - in response to every single fucking problem under the sun. There have been at least a hundred "extra penny on taxation" announcements. Oh, and piss on the Anglosphere we gave birth to while embracing a Napoleonic, authoritarian, weak, capitulating Europe.
The Conservatives know what to do: copy Blair, mouth dishonest platitudes to try to keep their core vote onside while pandering to the client state. Oh, and piss on the Anglosphere we gave birth to while embracing a Napoleonic, authoritarian, weak, capitulating Europe.
That's why we're disillusioned. Mr Maude. That's why we're disillusioned, Mr Dale. And neither of you is going to do a damn thing about it.