So, notwithstanding my undoubtedly stout yeomanliness, you could have knocked me down with a feather when old two jags himself fights off accusations of monumental corruption on the part of his dear leader by suggesting that this charade clearly demonstrates the need for state funding of political parties.
I shall leave aside the free marketeer's objection (that this will insulate the incumbent big 3 or so from the undeniable signals of market forces: unappetising policies, no grassroots supporters, no money) and consider for a moment some of the unsavoury thoughts...
The meme of state funding crops up once in a while and is knocked down fairly sharply as we all know that, in much the same way that
"democracy is the worst form of Government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time",political parties are a very real restriction on the democratic ideal, but are at least partially necessary to make the whole thing manageable. Oddly enough, I would suggest that blogging and the internet in general are undermining the conditions that made political parties necessary - lack of easy access to information, difficulty of getting one's voice heard - in much the same way - and for much the same reasons - that participation in the party political scene is declining.
Equally, TB knows that he's on the way out and that, given his (semi-demi-hemi) desertions of the cause of the international proletariat on the one hand and his positively Stalinist disregard for both the ancient liberties and institutions of this once great country, he is going to be shafted by the unions (on the one hand) and the sentient part of the electorate (on the other).
I think that some of the top bods at ZaNu-Labour have put two and three together and made forty-seven: they need to get state funding if the party is to survive. The question then becomes how to secure state funding.
And if one is as self-serving and venal as the current Prime Minister, that is child's play: just make sure that the current voluntary donation scheme appears as corrupt as possible...