by the fact that two of the four major British channels, BBClrnand BBC2, do not carry any advertising. Thus the party politicalrnbroadcasts are treated not as advertisements, but as publicrninterest items. This status affects their content, hi contrast tornpolitical advertisements on American television, their Britishrncounterparts arc concerned to praise, not to attack. However,rnnewspaper advertisements are apt to be more aggressive.rnAside from party political broadcasts, candidates arc also allowedrnto distribute one leaflet to every elector in their constituencyrnpost-free. Again, therefore, there is a dimension tornthis electioneeriirg, and its funding, that relates to electoral politiesrnas a public function.rnThe account hitherto has been somewhat static, but thernvery essence of modern politics is its dynamism. It is notrnsimply that issues change. Rather, the very electorate is dynamic.rnEach year there are many new voters, but in addition,rnthe degree of geographical and social mobility is such that votersrn”reinvent” themselves politically in changing their identity.rnThis mobility affects the strength of local political structuresrnand thus their ability to raise funds. In fundraising terms, constituencyrnbranches are weaker than ever before. Party membershiprnfell badly in the 1980’s and early 90’s: first the Labour Partyrnand then the Tories. This, more generally, is an aspect of therndecline of voluntarism in British society since the I950’s. Anotherrnproblem for local fundraising stems from the decline ofrnthe local ownership of businesses. Increasingly, local businessesrnhave been bought out by national, or indeed international,rncombinations, thus reducing the number of local concerns ablernDon’t Show Me Yours and I Won’trnShow You Minernby Katheiine McAlpinernPublishing seasons bring their little oddities—rnone year, reincarnation’s all the rage,rnthen athletes battling AIDS are hot commoditiesrnor tacky actors hog the printed page.rnLately it’s lousy childhoods: “Look how Mama’srnscarred me by her imperfect motherhood.rnTeacher’s harsh words inflicted lifelong traumas,rnand Daddy’s spankings screwed me up for good.rnSec how they drove me into deep depressions,rnbulimia, bad marriages.” Oh please,rnauthors, spare us more piteous confessions,rnyour hoarded hurts, your whole damn family’srndreary dysfunctions. My heart fails to break.rnWe’re grownups now. Grow up, for goodness sake.rnand willing to fund political parties. Shifts in business ovynershiprnhave also affected donations: there arc fewer privatelyrnowned companies where an individual or family can decide torndonate funds. Instead, there are more companies that are c]uotedrnon the stock market, and in the mid-1990’s such companies,rnor rather their stockholders, have become more sensitive aboutrnpolitical donations.rnIf the dynamism of British society has really affected classicrnsources of Tory funding. Labour has also been badly affected byrnthe decline in the trade union movement. The expansion inrnthe “middle class” in the 1980’s and the growth of white collarrnat the expense of blue collar jobs, and of part-time and femalernat the expense of full-time and male employment, has led tornthis decline, which has lessened the political contributionsrnpayable to Labour. Furthermore, trade unions no longer havernthe right to force members to subscribe to the unions’ politicalrncontributions as part of their membership.rnAnother dynamic aspect is the European dimension. Therernare now elections to the European Parliament in Strasbourg asrnwell as to the Westminster Parliament. Fought on differentrnconstituencies and at different times, these elections place newrnburdens on party finances, but also lead to a new timetable andrnscale of polities that requires popular and institutional responses.rnIt is as if the United States suddenly added a new level ofrntransnational elections.rnMore generally, the political wodd in Britain is affected by arndecline in traditional assumptions and practices. This is part ofrna more general collapse in deference that affected Britain sincernthe 1960’s, creating what in effect is a new society. This newrnsociety has traditional political institutions, but a new morernvolatile, and secular, political culture; and reaching out to winrnand retain support is more difficult than was the ease with thernpolitical practices of the 1950’s. Polities is also affected by thernnew consumerism and by the rise of visual means of conveyingrnideas and eliciting responses. The emphasis is on politics as arnconsumed product, and this is expensive. The new politicalrnworld thus creates pressures for new funding solutions. One isrnto raise more money by traditional methods, another to supplementrnthese by new consumer-oriented products, for examplerncredit cards that pay a percentage to a nominated politicalrnparty.rnThe problem of mass polities of the 1990’s has led to increasedrnpressure for the public funding of political parties. Thisrnpressure has almost entirely come from Labour and Liberal,rnrather than Tory, sympathies. It is linked to the dissatisfactionrnwith existing practices and call for constitutional reform thatrnhave played such a major role in left-wing political discussion inrnthe 1990’s. The pressure is also linked to suspicion of privaterncapital and the links between financiers and polities. In particular,rnthere was criticism that the Tories took money from foreignrnbusinessmen.rnThus, on the issue of public funding, the left-wing agenda,rnsupposedly driven into retreat in the 1980’s, is on the return. Itrnis advanced with all the naivete that characterizes such arguments.rnFor example, such public funding to be effective wouldrnbe very expensive. Taxpayers would be expected to underwriternpoliticians yet again. In addition, there is the question of therninstitutionalization of political activity that such public fundingrnwould entail. This is a serious issue, and any naive Britishrnconfidence in the superiority of British political funding shouldrnfade in response to the widespread willingness to adyaneernthe issue. ^rn26/CHRONlCLESrnrnrn