Monday, 29 September 2014

Smarter voting

A guy who happens to be a billionaire, or at least very rich by normal standards isn’t like the rest of us. For one thing it is easy for him to buy influence if he so wishes. There are over a hundred billionaires in the UK, but let us introduce a fictional one named Alexander Charles Prosser. Let us also infect him with an irresistible urge to spread his political wings.

To satisfy this urge, Prosser could easily afford to put aside say £500k per year and donate it to a political party. It’s only £5 million over ten years – chickenfeed for a fictional billionaire such as Prosser. So what does that £500k buy our man in terms of political influence?

Firstly it depends which party he chooses to support. Hand over the cash to a fringe party of loons and all he gets is to be is a big fish in a small pond. Which may be nice enough but Prosser also has to speak fluent Loon if he is to enter into the spirit of the thing. A tedious learning process may blunt his enthusiasm.

Apart from which, in terms of political bang for his buck, it is obviously better for Prosser to stick with big parties. In the UK that would be Conservative or Labour. With the Lib Dems there is still too much Loon to be learned. UKIP may be an option, but UKIP might not make it into the big time. Prosser should wait until the fog of political war clears – the moolah will still be welcome to the victor.

Unfortunately Prosser will still have to learn a certain amount of politically correct Loon if he chooses to stuff the Conservative or Labour party with his cash. The big plus here is significant political influence - the thing he really yearns for. He gets to rub shoulders with people who actually pass a few laws every now and then. It’s not quite the EU, but UK MPs are still allowed some residual functions.

So Prosser’s £500k per annum buys him a level of influence far beyond anything the ordinary voter could ever hope to wield. The only trouble is, there are other political heavies in there too, so his money might not go as far as he imagines. Even so, it beats being a voter with only a measly five-yearly cross on a piece of paper to look forward to. 

How do we ordinary voters compete against Prosser's £500k per year? It isn't easy, but we have the power of democracy on our side don't we? So one solution is much smarter voting...



James Higham said...

First world problems of a different kind.

Demetrius said...

Ooofy was not a rational economic man. One trick is to lend to people you know cannot pay back, so they are permanently obliged to you. Also, he liked gaming in casino's, when the money men like to own them. And alas, strawberries in winter, no taste and really quite common in its way.

Demetrius said...

And another thing. Plum was fond of using real names. There was a Charles Prosser, who was a valet and an Alexander, a tailor, in Central London in his time. Using this name for a very rich man would have a delicate irony.

A K Haart said...

James - just more discreet than other parts of the world.

Demetrius - perhaps using money to dabble in politics shows a lack of taste too. Not quite as bad as strawberries in winter!