Monday, January 29, 2007

Polly has been seduced by The Dark Side

Over at The Fisk, Phil Hendron has taken Polly apart in true style. The whole thing is very much worth reading, but there was one sentence in particular that caught my eye.
Polly doesn't mention that though, after all, she's one of the chosen few in Gordon Brown's Smith Institute.

I hadn't realised that Polly was part of the Smith Institute.
The Smith Institute is a think tank in the United Kingdom. It was founded in memory of the late John Smith QC MP, former Leader of the Labour Party.

A large number of the thinktank's events and meetings are held at Number 11 Downing Street, the Chancellor's official residence, and the organisation enjoys extremely close ties with Gordon Brown. The director of the Institute is Wilf Stevenson, one of Gordon Brown's closest confidants (Brown was best man at his wedding). The Smith Institute is currently the subject of a second investigation by the Charity Commission, which is examining whether its political ties with Gordon Brown breach the rules governing charitable organisations. The Shadow Chief Secretary,Theresa Villiers, has also recently written to the Information Commissioner to request an inquiry into the Treasury's refusal to clearly state the full extent of the links between Gordon Brown and the Smith Institute.

Ed Balls, now Labour MP for Normanton and former Chief Economic Advisor to Gordon Brown, was given a (paid) Senior Research Fellowship at the Institute after he left HM Treasury to stand as a Parliamentary candidate in 2004.

Guido has been hacking away at the Smith Institute for some time, dubbing it The Sith Institute; his contention is that it is little more than a private consultation, campaigning and pressure group for Gordon Brown. Given Polly's obsession with her big Norse warrior, I suppose that I should have assumed that she was, in fact, a member of The Sith.

Now The Sith are under investigation, and Polly is away until March: are the two facts, by any chance, related?

And is there any chance that Polly has fled the country for good...?


Unity said...

And, of course, the Tories would never dream of running their own pet policy organisation as a charity and claiming all that lovely tax relief on donations, would they?

Basically, DK, both Labour and the Tories are at the same game.

Anonymous said...

Unity, I take it you don't come here often. DK is not exactly a big fan of the Conservative Party.

I am however, and I dislike Conservative bending of the rules as much as Labour's. However, there are two further points.

1) Labour is using its position in government to help its little institute.
2) Why should we partisan bloggers be even handed?

G.S.Shaw said...

'And is there any chance that Polly has fled the country for good...?'
We can but dream...

Unity said...


I actually come here plenty, get namechecked by Dk from time to time and have even won a 'Bloody Devil award' from DK in the past.

I'm also well aware of DK's views on the Tories and am passing the info on Policy Exchange to him for future reference.

As far as the rule-bending is concerned, if the allegation is that government facilities are being misused to support the Smith Institute then the right and proper route to take this would the Parliamentary Standards Commissioner, not the Charity Commission.

As I see it, and I've worked in the charity sector for some considerable time, both sides are bending the rules here (and these are not the only two think tanks that look to be on dodgy ground) and what's needed is a clean-up across the board.

And as for partisanship, I'm not suggesting that bloggers need to be even-handed although I would suggest that much of Guido's 'anarchist' stance is nothing but a pretence - he's no more than an old Thatcherite headbanger really.

fido said...

Is this the sort of meeting Polly has in mind for her and ol cyclops Brown?

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