Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Surfeit of Riches

Also available in Earl, Marquis and Duke
Blogging has been light for the last couple of weeks as real, though much less enjoyable work, as well as a surfeit of opportunities to consume alcohol in convivial surroundings have intervened. It's not come at the best of all possible times as wave after wave of opportunities to lay into a struggling government have come and gone.

The media has also had the occasional tale of the bizarre that I've had to pass on too. I thought nobody was going to comment on the man bites/is bitten bymarries dog story of the week, but fortunately Thunder Dragon picked it up in time to stop me making some tasteless reference to Blair (Mk. I).

Other than the Home Office's daily blunder, most of the serious debate has focused, naturally enough on the subjects of the Queen's speech debates. Overall it is a truly abysmal programme of legislation that is proposed, one that if it shows any vision whatsoever, it is a terrifying one. I guess for myself the most repellent items on the agenda will be the European Communities (Stuff the People) to ratify the EU reform treaty and the Terrorism (Unwitting Promotion of) Bills, but the Political Funding (Preferential Treatment for Labour) Bill runs both of these very close.

The unequal treatment proposed, that uniquely benefits one party and the likely further dipping into the taxpayer's purse is pretty a pretty vile blend of greed and corruption. One thing that has been rather interesting in the opening forays over this piece of forthcoming legislation is the relatively emollient tone of the Lib Dems over it, as they prefer to make facile attacks on Team Cameron. Might they fantasise that with one more lurch to the left, some of the less dogmatic unions might choose to buy a little influence with a third party that may hold sway in the far from unlikly scenario of a hung parliament?

I know the passage of this piece of legislation will frustrate me intensely, but that will be more over the principle of it. On a practical level, I hardly think that the attempts of a governing party to pass one of the most self-serving pieces of law in recent times will endear it to the public, and there have been a number of analyses that suggest that the impact on those not blessed by special treatment in any act should, while doubtlessly unwelcome, would not be as disastrous as the baying hoards on the government back benches may hope.

There is though, perhaps one additional precaution the Conservatives could consider taking. Members of the House of Lords, let's be honest, get the tarry end of the stick when it comes to pay and conditions, compared to the Commons trough diners. Surely, it is time for these downtrodden masses to unite.

It is time for the Union of Conservative Peers. If some if its members should opt in, following all of the correct laws, to paying into that union's properly constituted political fund, for disbursement to political parties whose aims they support, who are we to complain?

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