Media controversy over Socialist Alliance finances

Socialist Alliance fends off executive scorn over finances

In breaking news, an Electoral Commission spokesperson has confirmed that Socialist Alliance has not received any electoral donations from any Fortune 500 company in any previous election it has contested. "Similarly, no individual from the Business Review Weekly Richest 200 list has made a donation," the spokesperson said. "We expect that results will be the same after we get final returns from the 2007 NSW election."

An advisor to Morris Iemma is reported to have responded with glee to the announcement: "How do they every think they will be able to run the country if they can't get support from the business community?"

"These socialists don't understand the practicalities of running in election campaigns - how would we be able to run expensive TV advertisements if it weren't for the donations we get from our developer mates?" the ALP insider said. "And this is not to mention the prominent (and often favourable) media coverage we get - you can't get the media on side unless you have policies friendly to business."

Admittedly the evidence did seem pretty overwhelming when a coalition of leading business organisations headed by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued a statement explaining "Well of course we didn't give any money to the socialists - we couldn't see anything in it for us". Nevertheless, Socialist Alliance candidate Pip Hinman caused a stir among journalists at a media conference when she didn't even try to deny that the party has had no donations from corporate executives.

"If you truly want to build a movement to advance the interests of ordinary people then you have no choice but to rely on the resources, including the financial resources, of the most conscious workers, students and pensioners," Hinman said.

"Most of the donations we have received are $100 or less," she said, "although a number of generous people have given larger amounts".

"Obviously we welcome the larger donations, but the point is that we can pull through if everyone contributes what they can."

With three days to go in the election campaign, the Socialist Alliance is still in need of more donations to cover campaign expenses. If you can help, please phone Alex Bainbridge on 0413 976 638, post a cheque or money order made out to "Socialist Alliance" to PO Box 114, Broadway NSW 2007 or drop off cash at the Resistance Centre, 23 Abercrombie St, Chippendale. Phone 9690 1977 for bank account details for direct deposits.