“What we have seen in Britain over the last fifteen years is a politicisation of 'civil society' and the rise of state-funded astro-turfing. Under the leadership of Suzi Leather, the Charities Commission has actively encouraged NGOs to campaign while the government has encouraged them to take statutory funding. It should be no surprise that this subverts and undermines democracy. That was surely the intention. When businesses do this, we call them what they are: front groups.”
So says Chris Snowdon, who could almost be talking about the Isle of Man, except that we don’t have a Charities Commission - or indeed any recognisable professional or governmental oversight of the island’s biggest licence to subsidise incompetence with public funds, spread superstition and peddle extremist claptrap.
For a glimpse of the model for taxpayer funded behavioural change that we are increasingly seeing over here too, see
http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-are-we-paying-for-this-part-1.html which deals with the admission that the UK government is, after all, underwriting a bogus anti-smoking ’charity’ and using it as a means to push through behavioural change that taxpayers have not signed up to.
And there’s more on a similar theme at
http://velvetgloveironfist.blogspot.com/2012/02/why-are-we-paying-for-this-part-2.html, where the links between various local authorities, the NHS and a ‘grassroots’ website, asking people to sign up to a campaign to introduce a minimum alcohol pricing law, are clearly outlined.
“Why”, asks Snowdon “…. is the government—which has supposedly not made its mind up about minimum pricing—allowing taxpayers' money to be spent on an astro-turfing project designed to get people to sign up to a "movement"?
Happens all the time in the Isle of Man, Chris, except here they’re called ‘government consultations’, and run by people who just happen to be employed by the bogus health charities which benefit most, having been chosen to do so by people who just happen to be paid-up members of extreme pro-life groups in their spare time (some would say in our time, and certainly with our money, which makes us unwilling sponsors of such faith-led fascism too).
Snowdon concludes: ”Regular readers will be familiar with fake charities and state-funded NGOs masquerading as 'civil society'. It might take a little homework to find out that ASH, Alcohol Concern, Friends of the Earth, Brake, Sustain et al. are largely dependent on statutory funding for their existence, but it can be done. This website is not unusual in using government money to lobby for policy, but it is unusual in that it is doing so anonymously and without disclosing the source of the campaign. If this is not against the rules then the rules are worthless.”
In the Isle of Man it is worse. Here the rules are made by the worthless.
5 years ago