Between 2004 and 2008, the Standards Board for England investigated a total of 2937 complaints. Of those 2344 either had "no evidence of breach" or "no further action".
That means that 80% of the complaints that were made were, for want of a better word, spurious and/or baseless. The total cost of investigating these complaints was £21,024,225 of which £16,274,604 was spent on the spurious or baseless complaints.
Is there, or can there be, a justification for the existence of quango that spends 80% of its time investigating things with no outcome at a cost of £16.2 million? I'd say there isn't.
Me neither. And all of this really does throw complaints by right-wingers about how democracy is all a waste of money, and that politicians are doing politics (and lavish lifestyles to boot!) on the rates.
If you were to argue that £21 million should be spent on state-funding for political parties over a four year period, I expect that you'd get the usual barrage of abuse from the anti-politics hardcore that we all (and most readers of this blog - yes - I do mean you) give an easy ride to most of the time.
But £21million to fund a group of bureaucrats with a brief to create an effective rival for politicians? No bother. Not a squeak. Or not until Dizzy squeaked, anyway....