Now this is odd. This is a business commentator arguing that companies should spend investors' money funding political parties that their shareholders may not support, or whose policies they oppose. He specifically backs Caledonia Investments decision to fund the Tories, although as I pointed out recently their donations authorized at the 2007 AGM don't appear on the Electoral Commission website yet. Notably they aren't included in the Commission's list of late donations in respect of Q1 2008 either.
Caledonia is seeking authority to make a further £75,000 of donations from shareholders' funds this year, on top of the £60,000 last year. Funnily enough most of the investors whose voting records I have found do not support Caledonia's stance (only Insight Investment voted in favour in the sample I have so far). But two fingers to the shareholders eh?
Trustees should find out whether they have any money in Caledonia and if so make sure they know how their votes are going to be cast. If you don't want your money spent funding the Tories then vote against it. Don't assume your fund manager will do the right thing.