Will today’s news make state funding more likely?
With the two by elections having been known for some time is it just a coincidence that the news about the cash for honours investigation not going to lead to charges is coming out at the same time?
Is some news management going on here and if so why? Friday, of course, is usually the best time to announce things that you think might be controversial because they are less likely to be scrutinised by the media which is preparing for the weekend. To do it at the same time as the by elections means that it will probably get a little less attention.
So the political story that has dominated headlines for almost a year and a half is all over and no charges are going to be forthcoming.
The big issue as we go forward is what Gordon is going to do about party funding? Are we going to see fixed spending and donation caps? Are we also being warmed up state funding? It looks like it.
Labour clearly wants something that allows trade union funding of the party to continue but puts constraints on the Tories.
Certainly with this out of the way it makes it a lot easier for Brown to do this because everything would have been seen in the context of any proceedings which might not have shown the party in a good light.