No to AV donors: a question for Charlotte Vere

This entry was posted on
Thursday, April 21st, 2011
11:10 am and is filed
under Tories! Tories! Tories!.

I had to laugh when I heard David Cameron making a distinction between the ‘No to AV’ campaign and the Conservative ‘No to AV’ campaign, because while the ‘No to AV’ campaign may have a few useful idiots from leftish neighbourhoods on board, there is no question about it being a very Tory animal.

(Psst! Here we pause very briefly to look in detail at the evidence David Cameron presents against the Alternative Vote… which amounts to a gut feeling. My trick knee is telling me that this is a rancid pile of foetid dingo’s kidneys.)

After weeks of dodging questions about their funding with some bullshit pre-emptive promises, the ‘No to AV’ campaign were finally pressed into revealing a partial list of donors in good time prior to the referendum, but after days of polite questions to their previously chatty Finance Director, Charlotte Vere, they have refused to answer any questions about what the total amount donated might be (though they have implied that information will emerge after everyone has voted).

The ‘Yes to AV’ campaign team, by comparison, have not only published a similar list, but also the total amount donated, and the total number of donors.

When you look at this useful annotated list of the ‘No to AV’ donors, the reason for the secrecy becomes clearer; from what they have revealed to date, ‘No to AV’ appears to be funded almost entirely by Conservative donors.

Below is a pie chart based on the figures released by ‘No to AV’ and this annotated version of their list, breaking down donations between sources that are definitely Tory or almost certainly Tory, sources that are unclear at this stage, and £10,000 from a single union:

No to AV - Fig 1

What follows is speculation made necessary by the curious level of secrecy ‘No to AV’ insist upon…

Here is what the charts would look like if, as with the ‘Yes to AV’ campaign, just under half of the ‘No to AV’ donations were under the £7,500 threshold:

No to AV - Fig 2

And here is what the charts would look like if ‘No to AV’ pulled a fast one and had all 650 local Conservative associations donating amounts just under the £7,500 threshold:

No to AV - Fig 3

So, considering how bad it can look if ‘No to AV’ insist on these figures remaining a secret, I will ask their Finance Director Charlotte Vere again to reveal (as the ‘Yes to AV’ campaign have) the total amount of donations to date, and the total number of donors… now, and not after people have voted.

Those of us in the electorate have a right to know if electoral reform is being blocked mainly by the party (almost) in power and the ultra-rich backers and bankers behind them, especially if the ‘No to AV’ campaign claims to have a widespread grass-roots movement supporting the interests of the less-moneyed classes.

UPDATE (03 May) – It should also be noted that (via the Guardian) that “the No to AV figures do not include donations it received prior to the referendum bill passing in parliament”. There has been no response from Charlotte Vere to any of the questions raised in this post; Vere was awfully chatty (even boastful) about the ‘transparency’ of this unfailingly negative and dishonest campaign before these questions about the total amount donated. Now, not to so much. I’d say the cat’s got her tongue, but it’s busy elsewhere:

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