Cash For Questions: Would You Crowdfund A Prospective MP?

Chris Lockie
By Chris Lockie Last edited 37 months ago
Cash For Questions: Would You Crowdfund A Prospective MP?

Amelia Womack of the Green Party

Funding of political parties and candidates is a potential issue for all parties as the election hovers into view; witness the minor furore when it turned out even Labour have a hedge fund manager stumping up cash.

But not every candidate enjoys the backing of a character with more money than sense. And now it seems a good many of London’s budding Members of Parliament are turning to, well, you, to get them on their way.

Our investigations have unearthed neither of the two main parties needing to turn to crowdfunding; perhaps to do so would invoke some sort of snobbish embarrassment. The Lib Dems, however, have dipped a toe into the water, with candidates for Ealing Southall and Hendon currently begging for your funds. Given the yellows lost each seat by about 15,000 votes last time around...well, you mustn’t let that sway you. Everyone loves a tryer.

You'd think that sitting MPs might have an edge when it comes to funding, particularly those with a long track record in Parliament. But this election is likely to be particularly tricky for the Lib Dems and few are in as tight a spot as Simon Hughes, who's using a curious site named Nation Builder to scrape together funds for re-election in Bermondsey and Old Southwark.

However, it’s the Greens who are going at it hammer and tongs. So far eight areas of London have met their moderate crowdfunding targets for the party, in Carshalton and Wallington, Islington South and Finsbury, Ealing, Lewisham West and Penge, Wandsworth, Streatham, Hackney and Westminster. That leaves just two to get over the line: time to step up, lefties of Camberwell and Peckham and Brent.

But wait, what’s this? Even party leaders need a helping hand? It’s not quite clear, because on the one hand Natalie Bennett has sailed past her target, but on the other hand, she hasn’t.

The Greens aren’t the only leftward party looking for financial backing — Left Unity also think they stand a chance, though for some reason only one candidate Simon Hardy, is short of cash, as he looks to stand in Vauxhall. Just sixty quid more, and Simon guarantees he will end privatisation, end stop and search and raise the minimum wage to a tenner. Really, those are the pledge rewards.

We’ve managed to track down just one independent candidate who’s turned to crowdfunding: Michaela Young, in Hackney South and Shoreditch. Or rather, we did; in the last couple of days the crowdfunder the link above points to has vanished. We can only speculate what Michaela’s burning issue may have been. Not enough stories about poo, perhaps.

That’s all she wrote as far as candidates are concerned, though no doubt there’s a couple who’ve slipped through our net (comments below, please). But we have managed to track down one more election-related crowdfunding project. Had enough of the monarchy? Apparently election season is the right time to act, though quite what Republic in Parliament will do with the unusual sum of £7,300, should they raise it, is anyone’s. You do though get signed mugs, books and a golf umbrella (?) for coughing up to find out.

Last Updated 25 March 2015

Colin Boyle

"...neither of the two main parties needing to turn to crowdfunding..."
Possibly because they rely on a small number of very wealthy sources for funding (rich individuals/companies and the unions respectively), which makes them beholden to those interests and allows them to ignore ordinary voters.

Greg Kaye

At a fundamental level Womack betrays core principles of a genuine green policy and basic common sense in following the idiocy of Shahrar Ali on immigration. Due to this now insane immigration policies and the catastrophic effects that they will have on any conception of the sustainability of the United Kingdom (also within the context of their abject failure to even consider the fundamental problem human overpopulation) the party that they mislead is fundamentally THE LEAST GREEN PARTY of any major political group in England and Wales. UKIP and, yes, both the tories AND labour are certainly FAR GREENER.

The unavoidably sad fact is that countries with high population densities (such as many in Europe and exemplified by the UK) already have need to import vast amounts of food simply so as to feed their own burgeoning and inflating populations. Much of this food is already imported from a wide range of countries including those from which people are leaving. Many of these countries, especially in locations from Africa to Afghanistan, have exceedingly high birthrates. This is very clearly illustrated on the map of countries by fertility rate presented at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... .

In comparison, the relatively slow natural population growth of European countries remains much more closely in line with the rate of improvement in food production. Never-the-less, the population of the UK is already way in excess of the environmental factor of "overshoot". See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... and https://populationmatters.org/...

The UK is already far from being anywhere near a sustainable situation. This in even in a situation in which we use a relatively very small proportion of our agricultural area for the production of fuel. Our sustainability situation will be critical in any conceivable situation in which we may imagine the UK as being beyond its dependency on non-renewable resources. In short, we already have way to many people. Until we are in a situation in which we stop importing food, It makes no sense to import yet more people.

In comparison rates of population growth in many of the countries that people are leaving are way in excess of rates of improvements in food production techniques.

It also makes absolutely no environmental sense to take people from countries where per capita resource use is low and allow the import of such people into countries where per capita resource use is high. It makes no sense to import both people and food into the same densely populated areas. People should have support and opportunity in their own countries of origin. Destabilizing and prejudiced regimes that prompt attempts at migration should be opposed. Population concern organisations (such as at www.populationmatters.org/) should be urgently referenced and supported.

If anything potential migrants should be informed of the relevant facts regarding the global economic and environmental situation because, every migrant that makes it into countries like the UK, just adds to the problem of the global situation. Problems need to be solved at source. High stands of general education needs to be encouraged with particular attention given to the education and equal empowerment of women across the world, both because these issues are of fundamental importance for human rights as well as because the education and empowerment of woman has been proven to check the spiraling growth of population. Groups that oppose these principles and who act so as to displace populations, themselves, need to be opposed.

For the related David Attenborough documentary search on: How Many People Can Live On Planet Earth

Quote: 'Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.' Kenneth Boulding

Whether we like it or not there are limits

I am a passionate green but I can't stand back and see this wholesale ecological idiocy of this anti-green party. These anti-greens need to either return to practically environmental agendas or leave the party to those that will.

Why the hell does this woman think she has a place in a group called the "Green Party"?