by Stephen Tall on August 27, 2007
The South Wales Evening Post has highlighted Lib Dem Welsh Assembly Member (and top Lib Dem blogger) Peter Black’s generosity to party funds in the last four years – totalling an impressive £27,000, which Peter has used to fund his election campaigns:
… the Cwmbwrla ward member on Swansea Council laughed off any suggestions that he was in the millionaire bracket.
‘I only wish I was,’ Peter said. ‘I have made two donations – to fund my election campaigns in 2003 and 2007. The donations were funded by my council allowances. I paid the money into the party. It is for the work I have done. The money goes into a savings account and I use it from that.’
(The full story is here.)
There’s a jarring note of prurience in the newspaper’s coverage – as if, somehow, elected representatives don’t have the right to spend the money they have earned how they wish. I wonder if the Evening Post would have been happier if Peter had blown the money on a new car, or a luxury holiday – which he wouldn’t have had to publicly declare, and therefore the Post would never have known about?
The democratic process has to be paid for somehow – and I’d rather have politicians putting their hands in their own pockets than asking the taxpayer to foot the bill for our posters and leaflets.