The Electoral Commission has just published a list of all the second 1/4 of 2007 donors to the Labour Party. People and organisations gave nearly £5m. I think that is cause for celebration. Their donations pay for Labour to keep organisers in the field, fund our internal democracy, run campaigns and publicise our message.
Peter Kenyon is sniffy about large donations. I don't quite understand why. For me the priority is that there is a level playing field financially between Labour and the Tories. If very rich people want to give a donation to the party fighting for a more equal society that is proportionate to their income, surely that's something to be welcomed? Would Peter rather they spent their spare cash on an extra yacht? Would it be preferable for a millionaire Labour supporter to give a spare million quid to their kids' trust funds or use it to fund the salaries for a year of more than 20 full-time organisers in marginal seats, which might in turn help ensure we get re-elected and the minimum wage carries on going up?
Small donors are vital too and often give a greater percentage of their income than the bigger donors, but it's absurd to think we could easily find an extra 10,000 £100 donors to replace each £1m donor whose money Peter seems to be worried by.
Anyway unlike Peter I want to express my gratitude as a Labour supporter to everyone who gives any money or time to the Labour cause, however large or small an amount, and particularly to these people and organisations listed as the biggest Q2 donors:
TGWU - £664k
Amicus - £506k
Mahmoud Khayami - £500k
UNISON - £362k
Muslim Friends of Labour - £300k
Nigel Doughty - £250k
Ronald Cohen - £250k
Jon Aisbitt - £250k
USDAW - £234k
CWU - £203k
(in the case of the unions listed they actually donated more as they gave a lot of smaller donations to individual CLPs too).