Blair donation? Yes please!

I am Southend West Constituency Labour Party’s treasurer. In this role I manage the local party’s finances; and this includes the recording and banking of donations.

My legal obligations include ensuring that the donor is a registered voter, and I cannot accept anonymous donations. Since almost all donations are from party members this is quite straightforward.

I do not examine the beliefs of those who donate – they are members and supporters, and are donating to assist in electing us into the council chamber and Parliament.

I opposed the Iraq war. I have opposed many military interventions. My reservations about the Blair Premiership does not end there, but taken in the round those were good years for Labour and the UK.

I am standing for Parliament, but my seat is one that is not on a target list. However, if Tony Blair wants to donate to help me in my fight to oust Sir David Amess then I would gratefully receive it.

I am not going to criticise those who feel that they cannot accept Tony Blair’s generosity, although I wonder whether the membership of the local CLP has been consulted. I just know that raising much needed cash is always difficult (it is in Southend West anyway) and if Tony Blair wants to help an anti-war candidate then I am generous enough to accept.

I suggest that those who are troubled by Blair’s decision on Iraq concentrate on his many fine achievements: the minimum wage, more doctors and nurses in the NHS, refurbished and rebuilt schools, Sure Start, free admission to museums – and the list can go on.

Please make cheques out to ‘Southend West CLP’.

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One Response to Blair donation? Yes please!

  1. I am standing for Parliament, but my seat is one that is not on a target list. However, if Tony Blair wants to donate to help me in my fight to oust Sir David Amess then I would gratefully receive it.

    But given that you accept that you are not in a target seat and therefore only likely to win in a landslide (which will be due more to national sentiment than due to local electoral spending), should you, as someone wanting to see a Labour Government, not be directing major donors to party headquarters or to somewhere like Thurrock where the extra money is likely to yield votes that might lead to a Labour Government? (I presume £1000 would count as “major”?)

    And conversely if you are in a marginal seat should you at least feel obliged to take donations from anyone not nationally disowned?

    With our electoral system this election will be more of a lottery than ever, but if you can stack the odds by putting your money on the right numbers (mixing my metaphors) surely you must? I am sure that the Conservatives (a.k.a. Lord Ashcroft and the Hedge Funds) will be – and the others probably would if they could impose the level of party discipline required.

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