Saturday, September 06, 2014

Know Your Enemy

"We really want to try and keep charities and voluntary groups out of the realms of politics. Some 99.9% do exactly that. When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money. The important thing charities should be doing is sticking to their knitting and doing the best they can to promote their agenda, which should be about helping others."

New Tory Minister for Civil Society Brooks Newmark. A prime example of nominative determinism - he was clearly born to be a twat.

Not only is this untrue for me and many thousands of others (what point would there be in giving to the likes of Amnesty, Oxfam and Shelter if they weren't politically engaged?), but it's also even more offensive in light of the government's swingeing spending cuts that are leaving charities such as food banks to pick up the pieces. If charities can identify government policy as causing or exacerbating the very problems against which they're fighting, then they should be perfectly within their rights to broadcast this fact. But with comments like Newmark's, the constraints enshrined in the Lobbying Act look even more like a cynical attempt to silence dissent.

(Thanks to Rob for the link.)

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