Grah politicians rah!We do stand in danger of losing the woods for the trees. Simon Jenkins wrote an eminently sensible comment (the man varies from being utterly correct on politics and disastorously incorrect on science), which I broadly agree with. Political funding, as it now stands, distorts our political system. The politicians are not reliant on the people to get funding, and are stead fast in not wanting that to happen. It'd certainly be harder work, and it might force them to be- gasp- more democratic! The conservatives get their money from wealthy donors such as Ashcroft, a person who is clearly going to have an undue influence on politics. The person with the purse strings often does. Labour is equally beholden to the unions, which really aren't a terribly democractic way to get ones funding either.
This is important, this is vital. Changing this would make politics fairer. It would vitalise politics, because fund raising amoung ordinary citizens would be completely essential if there was a donations cap.
Sadly, we get focused on other things, such as politicians riding first class. Apparently, after politicans have undoubtedly abused the funding system they had, they should therefore be given practically nothing. These people are meant to be running the country, I don't think its too much to ask for them to be able to work on long train journeys. The anger people have is incoherent and unfocused, and too easily distracted and stirred at obvious targets- we obssess over Fred Goodwin rather than the entire system which means that the richest remain rich even in such a crisis.