This post has been rather superseded by events, in that I have now named
my backer financially as Mark Constantine of the Cosmetic Company Lush.
Help in kind has also been received from Dave Wells. and numerous others.
Well, what a busy week for the PPC Election and funding issues!
Over the weekend a candidate in Lincolnshire faced a national newspaper
story over his alleged funding by an American Corporation keen on police
Let me say now that I have no connections to Mervyn Barrett or his funders.
Then yesterday the Bournemouth Echo printed a letter from the Police
Federation of Dorset Police, stating they are not funding any of the
Candidates. The clear implication being that as an ex-police officer, I might
be favoured. Let me say now that I have had no support or funding from
the Police Federation locally or nationally., and they were quite right to
At about the same time, Rachel Rogers (Labour PCC Candidate) wrote a
“transparency” blog, outlining her funding streams, and the details of any
organisation she has met or had contact with. What Rachel did was quite
right and shortly afterwards Nick King (Conservative) and I did the same.
In my blog I stated that I am receiving help “in kind” from one Dorset
based businessman who is helping me post fliers to far flung areas of Dorset.
The cost of the postage will be considerable, and will amount to about £8,000.
I also stated that I have received £15,000 from a Dorset based businessman,
who supports my campaign, and I am using this money for printing and
advertising. This businessman, like me, wants to keep “Party Politics Out
Both of these businessman have no connection to the Police, and believe
like I do, that Dorset Police should not be overseen by a Party Political
I have immediately come under pressure to now name my supporters.
And I am not going to do that until I face a level playing field.
Let me tell you why.
The field is hardly level from the start. After the election, I am required
to detail ALL donations received over £50. The political parties only
have to declare donations OVER £1500. And even then it is done
through their supporters associations, Bournemouth West
Conservatives for example.
Hardly fair that is it?
And, although Nick and Rachel have named their funding streams,
no individuals are named because their funding streams come from,
say, the West Dorset Constituency Party or Bournemouth West
So, just to sum where we are….I am being asked to name my main
supporters in the interests of “transparency”, yet the parties hide
behind their supporter associations.
Hardly fair is it?
At the moment we have a status quo. No-one has yet named an individual
who has donated.
And, significantly, none of us are required to. The law is quite clear, until the
election is over, none of us have to name amounts or individuals.
For the record, my main supporter who donated the £15,000 is a successful
businessman with core values similar to mine. His company is a household
name. He wants nothing in return for his support. He just wants to see an
Independent person having the chance to oversee Dorset Police in the
So what now? Well, all I want is a level playing field. I want all of the
political parties nationally to name their supporters who have donated
money to the PCC Campaigns. I will then happily name my supporters,
both the businessman supporting me in kind, and the businessman who
has donated £15,000. Although I cannot speak for other Independents, I am
sure others will enter into the spirit and disclose as well. Lets all do this
nationally, lets all be transparent!
There is so much “mistrust” of Political Parties, this will help to rebuild
confidence, and help to reduce this mistrust.
I have spoken to both of my sponsors and both are happy to be named
before the election.
I have nothing to hide here, there is no smokescreen, my supporters support
me because they believe in me. Nothing more. And remember this storm
blew up because I was transparent and named my funding streams.
These supporters are not terrorists, pseudo police providers or huge
American Corporations, they are local Dorset people who believe in a
cause, believe in me.
And I will not be bullied into naming them.
I think it is naive to think you can run a “Countywide election” against the
Tory machine in Dorset without help financially. Reaching Dorset voters
is a huge and daunting task.
Finally on this note, I await Andy Cannings “transparency” statement with interest.
Now, talking of smokescreens, I have been harangued by Tory tweeters
over the above,because they are trying to distract from the main issue!
I have demanded Nick King issue a manifesto to the voters of Dorset,
something he keeps refusing to do. Nick says he needs to consult the people
of Dorset before he can issue one, and will issue a manifesto once in place after
the election, if he wins.
I don’t think that’s good enough.
The Home Secretary said in the summer that she believed the PCC Candidate manifesto
would be the building blocks of a Policing Plan, and she’s right.
And my view has clearly stuck a cord with the media (see here)
I issued my “Headline Priorities” 8 weeks ago, having spoken to hundreds of people
since starting my campaign in March 2012.
Yes, consultation is important, yes, I agree none of us have reached the majority of
the people in Dorset. But we need to have a “starter for ten” for the electorate, they
have to know what they are voting for. From Friday, my manifesto will unfold,
building on my ten “Headline Priorities” one item a day, accompanied by a video.
At least that way, voters can see my vision, see my values and see my
“Dorset Solutions for Dorset People”.
At least, in relation to me, the voters have a level playing field. Will the other
Candidates join me on it?
Thanks for reading this.