Time for “No” campaign to disclose its donors

Yesterday the Yes to Fairer Votes published its donor list and is calling on all its opponents to do the same.

From the Yes website:

We are campaigning for better politics and as part of that we have decided to declare who is funding our campaign in a spirit of openness and honesty. In doing so, we are giving more details than required by law and we are giving these details far earlier than required.

We are doing this because if people are going to re-connect with politics, then the people seeking their votes must be open and honest. We will update the list again before polling day. The figures disclosed are from the point at which the ‘Yes to fairer votes’ campaign was formed in August 2010, and accounts for every penny in the campaign, and every gift in kind such as the secondment of staff.

£117,798 has been raised in small donations from 2,708 donors, mostly online. You can read the list of the eight donors who have given more than £7,500 plus the organisations who have donated in kind, on the Yes website.

Commenting on the Yes to Fairer Votes’ disclosure of their major sources of funding, Chair of the Liberal Democrat Yes to Fairer Votes campaign and Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron said:

The Yes to Fairer Votes campaign is an example of how politics can and should be transparent on who provides the money.

A diverse group of people support a Yes vote in May and that is welcome news.

The No-to-AV campaign is a different story: increasingly it is becoming clear they’re a campaign full of wealthy individuals who are trying to protect their own interests and keep the disreputable status quo.

The No-campaign doesn’t want to show people what is really going on behind the scenes. I call on them to now come clean on who funds them.

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  • This may be an important issue – but the main thing the Yes campaign should focus on is to call the No camp out for their blatant lies, and to get journalists (especially those who ought to be impartial) to do the same. There simply doesn’t seem to be enough high profile publicity to counter what the no-camp is saying, and it looks as if they can just lie with impunity at the moment.

    Whether it’s Lady Warsi again repeating that falsehood about AV giving an advantage to the BNP, or that new ‘save one man one vote’ slogan, or the £ 250 Million ads which are still being printed – if the Yes campaign can’t show the voters that all these are blatant lies – by peope who must know that they are peddling falsehoods – it will be at a serious disadvantage. Once the lies have bedded in, a campaign in the last two weeks or so won’t be able to dislodge them so easily.

    To be honest, the whole cause of disclosing funding sources (however worthy) seems like a technical question for the geeks compared to the real issues which ought to be addressed right now.

  • Old Codger Chris 30th Mar '11 - 9:11pm

    Although I oppose AV everyone should applaud the campaign’s openness. The official No campaign – whose claims are certainly far more misleading than the Yes camp – should do the same.

    Just one question. A £15,000 donation is listed from C A Church Ltd. Remembering the fuss back in 2005 about donations to Charles Kennedy’s office from this source, is this a donation from a tax exile not entitled to vote in the UK? I only ask.

  • The official No campaign’s ‘claims are certainly far more misleading than the Yes camp’, yet you oppose AV? Makes a lot of sense that Chris….

  • Old Codger Chris 1st Apr '11 - 1:36pm

    Actually it does make sense – at least to me!

    AV allows the second preferences, and possibly even the third and fourth preferences, of relatively few voters to override the first preferences of a much greater number of voters. That’s why I believe that – on balance – it’s even worse than FPTP, although it’s a close-run thing and both systems are rubbish.

    But that doesn’t make me a fan of the officlal No campaign and its hugely misleading (I’m choosing my words carefully here as the libel reforms have yet to be enacted!) claims.

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