If you remember my special diary for the Liberal Democrat Voice, I said that it would be a good idea to keep an eye out for the quarterly statements from the Electoral Commission.
Well, now they are in, and on the whole they look a little more promising for Mr Frown, but probably not enough for him to call an EXPENSIVE election, unless he has some secret source of funding ready to spring into service.
The Labour got most from donors with about £5 million received. The Conservatories, however, got more actual money because in addition to their £4.6 million in donations, they received £1.7 million from public funds.
The Liberal Democrats received in total £1.3 million (£ 1,288,062.10) being £ 582,538.84 in cash and £ 597,169.90 from public funds and £ 99,975.38 non-cash (i.e. free office rent, legal bills paid, leader's car provided etc).
So how near to having the BAILIFFS sent round are we all?
The Labour are now £20.2 million in debt;
The Conservatories are £16.3 million in debt;
The Liberal Democrats are £1.0 million in debt.
(In fact, £1,049,957, half of which is an overdraft with the Royal Bank of Scotland; a quarter of which is a loan from Lord Alliance-and-Loan and a tenth of which is a loan from Lord Razzall-Dazzle.[*])
Significantly, the Liberal Democrats are the only one of these parties who owe less than one quarter's worth of income, while the Labour are still in quite a LOT of trouble even if millionaire donors now feel more comfortable giving their hard-won dosh to Mr Frown when even they were a bit uncertain about handing over the readies while Lord Blairimort was in charge.
Further down the league tables:
The Scottish Nasties owe three-quarters-of-a-million pounds;
The Welsh Nasties two-hundred thousand pounds;
Respect the Pussycat Leotard Alliance owes £35 thousand pounds and
The UKPnuts Party owes a mere twenty grand.
The Scottish Nasties received a hundred thousand pounds in public funds and half-a-million in donations (three-hundred-and-twenty-five thousand or sixty-five percent of that being from Mr Brian Souter); the Welsh Nasties received just forty-seven thousand pounds in public funds.
UKPnuts received forty-seven grand too, though all in donations, half of it from a Mr David Bick. They also received twenty-seven thousand pounds worth of advertising from J Whitaker and ten-thousand pounds worth of legal fees and postage from Alan Brown Ltd of Margate. Respect the Pussycat Leotard Alliance got nothing.
Not to leave anybody off the list:
The Progressive Party owes two-hundred and ten thousand pounds, exactly half each to the Royal Bank of Scotland and Mr Robert Durward.
Scottish Voice owes one-hundred-and-fifty-thousand pounds Keir & Cawder Estates Ltd. All this and Cawder too?
The English Democrats owe one-hundred-and-one thousand, four-hundred-and-seventy-seven pounds to three individuals.
The Scottish Socialist Party owes seventy-three thousand pounds to the Co-operative bank.
Better Bedford Independent Party owes thirty-four thousand three hundred pounds to Mr Francis Joseph Branston. Who pretty much IS the Better Bedford Independent Party. And CO-INCIDENTALLY is the Mayor of Bedford. And CO-INCIDENTALLY owned the local paper.
Solidarity Scotland's Socialist Movement owes eleven thousand pounds to Mr Gordon Morgan.
And the People's Party for Better Government owes seven thousand eight hundred pounds to Mr Christopher Prior.
[*]and since I'm practicing such FULL disclosure for the Liberal Democrats, perhaps I can also mention the following.
The Conservatories biggest creditors are Big Ben Films, Morain Investments (UK) Ltd, AIB Group Plc and Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay to whom they owe two-and-a-half MILLION pounds each, closely followed by a MILLION pounds owed to both Ironmade Ltd and Lord Laidlaw of Rothiemay again (and they owe another three-hundred thou to AIB group too).
The Labour's largest creditor is the Co-operative Bank to whom they owe a single amount of three-and-a-half MILLION pounds, together with ten other loans taking the total to an amazing three-million, eight-hundred-and-thirty-eight thousand, two-hundred-and-eighty-nine pounds. Second is Sir David Garrard on two-million three hundred thousand. In third is the Unity Trust Bank with a single long-standing loan of two million pounds and six other loans taking the total to two million, one-hundred-and-seventy-three thousand and eighty-three pounds. Lord Sainsbury (where good government costs less) and Mr Richard Caring are each due two million. Dr Chai Patel CBE (Peerage Pending) is still owed one-and-a-half million pounds. And there are five people – Mr Barry Townsley, Mr Andrew Rosenfeld, Prof. Sir Christopher Evans, Mr Nigel Morris and Mr Rod Aldridge – who are owed a cool million each.
All of these individuals and companies are owed as much or more than the whole (all right, very nearly the whole) of the Liberal Democrats £1.0 million borrowings. These 17 names between them control 76% of the Conservatory Party's debt and 93% of the Labour's (even excluding the two banks that is 63% of the Labour's debt owed to nine people).