It comes as no surprise that the Co-operative Group is an "indirect provider of gifts to Labour". What is, however, is the fact that £50,000 of that support was to "fund one of Ed Balls`s policy researchers"! That`s not far off twice the national average earnings, and hardly good value. As policies emanating from that section of the Opposition party have amounted to restoring the 50% income tax rate for very high earners (rocket science), restoring old ideas like 10p rates(scrapped in 2008) and a mansion tax(Lib Dem idea) it seems some "researchers" must be taking someone for a ride. Not even one or two progressive ideas? No increased rates for high earners of the £80-149k variety, nothing radical like a sliding scale of taxes going up to 60%, a level even tolerated by Thatcher? A land-value tax? Clearly and sadly, not a hint of the policies being influenced by trade unions, and certainly no intimation, whatsoever, that the 50 grand was wisely spent.
The Tories will be planning some Aussie-inspired "sledging" for the next PMQs, but Labour should perhaps be getting their retaliation in first with attacks on the Tories raising funds through private clubs like the Carlton Club and the United and Cecil. By using this method, the "identity of donors is hidden from public view", and the Tory support for transparency is again revealed as a total sham.