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Political donations — all money is not equal

Political parties need money to function. However some money is more valuable than other money.

Posted 12 August 2022

As a general principle, all money "spends the same." However in politics, some money is much more useful than other money.

When a political party receives your donation just before an election, there are few useful things it can do with the money. What is most worthwhile for a political party is having regular money that it can rely on.

While this seems obvious, many people do not focus on it until it is pointed out. Accordingly I made this the theme of my talk when I spoke at the 15th anniversary celebration of the Liberty Network.

I wrote out the speech in advance, to ensure it would fit within my allotted time. Accordingly you can read it below.

My Liberty Network talk on 27 July 2022

I’m Mohammed Amin, a Board Member of the Liberty Network. I want to share three things:

  1. why I’m a Liberal Democrat,
  2. why I give money to the Liberty Network,
  3. what Liberty Network membership gets us.

Before that, let me thank you for braving the train strike to get here. And thank XXXXXX XXXXXXX for sponsoring tonight’s event.

Why am I a Liberal Democrat?

I’m 71, and I’ve been a politics junkie since I was 10. I was a Liberal for six years, and then a Conservative for 36 years, until the day Boris Johnson became the Party Leader.

I’ve been a Liberal Democrat since the General Election. I joined because I agree with the Liberal Democrats more than I agree with any other political party.

Why do I donate to the Liberty Network?

Political parties need three things:

  1. Ideas and national visibility.
  2. Volunteers to campaign on the ground.
  3. Money.

Money pays for the full-time staff who glue the Party together, for technology, for national infrastructure, and for some advertising.

However, all money is not the same. The best political spending happens long before election day. The most useful money is steady, regular, money you can plan with.

Once I understood that, in August 2020, I started giving £250 every month by standing order. I picked that as a number I could give for ever. The morning I heard we had won Chesham and Amersham, I was so delighted I raised my standing order to £350 per month.

What does Liberty Network membership get us?

The most important thing membership gets us is more Liberal Democrat MPs, more Liberal Democrats elected to councils and to devolved Parliaments.

But there are also some personal benefits.

We get invited to events like tonight. Not just social events, but policy discussions, meetings with speakers not just from inside the Party but also academics and other thinkers. The Party’s leadership also stays in touch with us via regular Liberty Network newsletters.

Enjoy the rest of the evening, and if you’re not already a Liberty Network member, please join.

Thank you.


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