Beware the populism of £40k newspaper ads

Some of today’s papers carry adverts from a group called Enough is Enough calling for the taxpayer funding of our political parties. The advert, in the form of a letter to Sir Hayden Phillips – the man conducting an inquiry into the funding of political parties, calls for a £1 per person levy to fund political parties. It attacks the “undue influence” of secretive financial interests.

But who are they and where did they get the money to run these ads?

Enough is Enough are a group people down here in the Mother of Parliaments have never heard of. Their website is very amateurish and contains a bizarre range of issues which it asks people to campaign on. According to the site, “enough is enough aims to provide simple and easy ways for us to take action and make a difference on things we’ve hopefully all had enough of”.

So far, so far fringe – and of course, there is nothing wrong with asking people to get involved in campaigning on important issues. But nowhere on the site is there information about who runs the group, where is comes from or who supports it. Anyone who has purchased national newspaper ads knows that they cost. There are ads in the Guardian and the Times – making the bill at least £40,000. Where does an organisation with a hotmail contact address (gingamyers@hotmail.com) get £40k to runs ads like these?

Secretive financial pressure indeed.

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