In the story, a widow donates two small coins, while wealthy people donate much more.Jesus explains to his disciples that the small sacrifices of the poor mean more to God than the extravagant donations of the rich.
I was reminded of this (I sound like a preacher giving a Sunday sermon) . When I saw Ed Milliband on the Andrew Marr talking about party donations.
He started of well calling for a £5,000 cap on donations to political parties, and when challenged included those Millions of pounds from trade unions.
He told the BBC this would remove the influence of "big money" on politics.But he then went on to say said he wanted to keep the system under which union members are asked whether they want to keep paying £3 a year to Labour and are given the option (not always clearly spelled out) to opt out from this. Rather than to voluntary opt in.
Around three million currently do so. That's about a third of those who voted Labout in the last General Election and it is questionable whether 100% of those who failed to opt out of the "political fund", voted Labour,in that election.
What it means is that Milliband wants to cap donations to £5000 for individuals whilst receiving a tidy £9 Million from the collected "Workers Mites".
Which would give Labour a huge financial advantage over other parties .
The origins of a political fund to back the Labour Party at a time when MP's weren't paid and the Labour Movement was being formed in the latter part of the 19th centenary had great merit.But it does not exist today especially when Labour represents "Middle England" and not the ordinary worker,.
The issue of Party funding has led to all the major parties to consider capping donations and it looks like a good idea.
If there is to be a cap then it should voluntary take place well before the Bill is even discussed in Parliament.
What's to stop the big donors making huge donations before the cap legally comes into affect and simply wiping out smaller Parties for decades as they cannot compete with expenditure?
Just imaging Big Business making say a total £20 Million donation to the Tories and the Unions and some Big Business a similar amount to Labour. Whilst the LibDems get £ 5 Million just before the cap becomes Law. Where would that leave the smaller Parties?
And if they introduced State funding of Parties based on their percentage vote The big parties would have a built in advantage. Having a huge War Chest already.
They would then fight the next General Election and outspend smaller parties by Millions and then claim state money for further campaigns based on the vote they just bought.
Building a perpetual funding on the state which it would make it almost impossible to break
Can we trust Milliband and the other Party leaders to act in the interest of the democratic process when it comes to Part funding? I doubt it.