This didn't really get the coverage it deserved, so in case anyone missed it, Straw has recently argued that the best way to solve the whole political funding crisis is to impose a strict cap on the amount of money parties can spend, which would (as in practice the parties would have little choice but to do this) result in the parties having to, in his words;
"...recruit, retain and involve more members and supporters..."
To say that that would be a great thing for democracy is something of an understatement. Better still it would, finally, give Labour the incentive that it needs to build up a strong organisation across the country, rather than just in our ancient strongholds and the old recent hotspot.
Straw also claims (correctly IMO) that;
"...the more local and personal our politics becomes, the more that trust and confidence in the system will be built up..."
All of this would be a simple change. A very simple one indeed. It would also be one of the most radical shake-up's of British political culture for a very long time. And it's something that the Labour Party as a whole should come out strongly in favour of; unless we want politics to become a vapid wasteland populated by vicious negative advertising and extremists, then what choice to do we really have?