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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Osborne fears donations collapse

The global financial crisis could lead to the collapse of political donations, shadow chancellor George Osborne has warned.

In an interview with the Stupid Times, he accused the prime minister of being "deeply irresponsible" by not putting in place a system to ensure that billionaires and corporations could continue to bribe MPs on yachts in the Mediterranean. 

Dodgy donations have fallen sharply in recent months amid fears of recession and revelations about Osborne, Lord Mandelson and great big wads of cash.  A Labour spokesman said Mr Osborne was being "hysterical" and insisted that graft, corruption, and blatant greed would continue under Gordon Brown's leadership. 

On Friday, the number of brown envelopes being slipped into jacket pockets slipped to a 13-year low. The former Conservative treasurer Lord Kalms has told the BBC that things are almost as bad as when he was in office under Iain Duncan Smith.  During that debacle the Tories would be lucky to raise £7.80 at a cake sale.

BBC political correspondent Iain Watson said there had been unease among some Conservatives about Mr Osborne's performance during the credit crunch but up until recently they had been placated by all the dosh flowing into their accounts from questionable sources.  

But last month, Mr Osborne was embroiled in the so-called Corfu yacht row. He admitted he "made a mistake" by meeting Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska several times while on holiday in Corfu in the summer. But he denied claims he tried to solicit a £50,000 donation for the Conservative Party. The true figure was nearer £100,ooo he said. 

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