Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drinking, charities and state-funded corruption

Your humble Devil has been getting involved in a project that is yielding dividends far, far sooner than anticipated and—whilst this is excellent news from a rent-paying point of view—it has, alas, meant that blogging has taken something of a back seat.

And the trouble with blogging taking a back seat is that I end up with about 83,000,000,000 pages of stuff that I want to write about in my Dock and the idea of trying to pick up the threads and remember what it is that I wanted to say becomes increasingly unattractive.

This, coupled with the frustration of feeling that I have said it all before, has led to a quiet few days at The Kitchen. Because, despite the fact that new readers may not know it, I have, in the main, said it all before.

Let's take this all-new, all-out assault on our right to drink booze whenever, wherever and in whatever fucking quantities we like; I could scream at the fucking medical profession who...

Actually, let's start there—doctors: shut the fuck up. Especially Professor Ian Gilmore of the Royal College of Physicians and all of his hangers-on: why don't you shut your fucking faces, you cunts. Increasingly, you medico chimps are becoming massively discredited in your fucking advice on how we should live our lives.

It was only a couple of weeks ago, after all, that it was revealed that you had pulled the "safe" alcohol limits out of your collective arse, and then there was the crap talked about red meat and cancer and now, as The Englishman points out, the salt intake advice was utter crap too.
In a paper published in the October issue of the European Journal of Epidemiology [PDF], prominent Dutch scientist D.E. Grobbee and colleagues in the Rotterdam Study concluded that urinary sodium is not significantly associated with myocardial infarction, stroke, or overall mortality...

For fuck's sake, even your own are starting to get embarrassed by the stream of utter bollocks which is being peddled by some medicos in the name of all of them.
Delving deeper, [Dr Peverly] states: "However, my remit is a wider one. This is further evidence that it is us, the medical profession, who don’t know what we are talking about. I never fell for the bollocks about salt, but I have been as guilty as the rest of spreading disinformation and inaccurate advice about a whole manner of other medical subjects. It is becoming embarrassing."

You're not fucking kidding, sunshine.

After this catalogue of errors and... well, let's face it... the discovery that you bastards have been peddling lies, there are still some fucks who just don't get it. So I'll spell it out for you.


But even so, where does this desire to regulate our lives come from? Well, John Trenchard makes the connections.
What the BBC does NOT mention is that the get-tough-on-alcohol policy originates from the World Health Organisation and the European Comission.

Don't believe me? Have a read of this.

The policy project is called Bridging the Gap—alcohol policy network in the context of a larger Europe

Note how the BBC report focuses on young people drinking, and yet in that EU link we find:
"to improve young people’s participation and information as priority themes of the Commission’s 2001 White Paper on youth policy (as suggested by the Commission’s proposed set of objectives to Member States on 14 April 2003)"

This leads on to another EU document entitled Combating alcohol-related harm in Europe—evidence of effective and cost-effective measures.

It has a series of recommendations and I quote verbatim:
The World Health Organisation European Region Framework on Alcohol policy
The WHO framework is to succeed to the WHO regional action plan, with more concrete strategic guidelines for policy options.

The framework aims to encourage and facilitate the development and implementation of global, regional, national and local policies to prevent and reduce the harm caused by alcohol.

After having reviewed the most recent data about alcohol in European and the existing initiatives—among them, the Bridging the Gap project is listed—, the report identifies 10 areas for action:
  1. Information and education,

  2. Public, private and working environments,

  3. Drink-driving,

  4. Availability of alcohol products,

  5. Promotion of alcohol products,

  6. Treatment,

  7. Responsibilities of the alcoholic beverage industry and hospitality sector,

  8. Society’s capacity to respond to alcohol-related harm,

  9. NGOs,

  10. Formulation, implementation and monitoring of policy.

According to the framework, a strong case can be made to restrict the availability of alcohol products through an effective taxation policy and limiting the hours of sales.

The frameworks also emphasizes the participation of civil society as essential in prevention, treatment, and reduction of alcohol related problems in society, as well as in advocating to ensure that Member States develop and implement effective alcohol policies.

Non governmental organisations are also recognised as "vital checks and balances by highlighting practices or policies of vested interests."

It foresees that a progress report on the framework should be produced every third year, together with the organisation of a high-level forum on alcohol to discuss the outcomes and recommendations of the progress report. The progress report shall highlight levels of implementation and emerging challenges and threats to public health.

My emphasis in bold—ah yes. Those NGOs crop up.

"Well, so what?" I hear you cry.
One of them is "Alcohol Concern". You can download their accounts over here at the Charity Commission.

It's supposed to be a "charity", yet it's funding is:
  • 38% Department of Health

  • 31% "Project Grants"

It had funding of over £1 million in 2006, some of which breaks down, in part, to the following:
  • Department of Health: £440,000

  • Comic Relief: £50,000

  • Parenting Fund: £170,736*

  • National Treatment Agency: £34,900

  • AERC: £6,050

£440,000 of taxpayers money to a lobbying charity is a sizeable wad of cash in comparision to their total of £1 millon. So, you can see what is going on here - it's a merry-go-round designed to fool the electorate into believing that independent lobbying on alcohol policy is going on , when it's actually the government funding the lobbying to lobby themselves.

It is rather similar to what Friends of the Earth do with the EU: the EU pays FotE funds so that FotE can lobby the EU. In fact, it's exactly the same.
In brief , the merry-go-round can be summarised as such:
  1. EU Commission issues a "policy".

  2. Lobby "charity" issues a report in response.

  3. Media , particularly the BBC, laps it up, not telling you about point 1.

  4. Government responds and "does something".

  5. Government funds lobby charity.

  6. Go back to step 1.

It's a self-serving endless loop in which the ordinary electorate are not involved, are not fully informed, and it also serves to hide EU policy as UK government policy.

That is why the electorate feel apathetic—because they aren't fucking involved in these policy decisions in the first place and are being lied to by the MSM at the same time.

We need to take a very close look at all of these government-funded, pork-barrel NGOs and really look at what they do, where their funds come from and what their relationship to government is. And we most certainly cannot rely of the BBC to do it because the BBC is one of them.

* John Trenchard looks at The Parenting Fund accounts and, sure enough, they are almost entirely state-funded.
The vast bulk of it's income in 2006 was the £9,806,916 granted from the Department of Education & Skills—i.e. the taxpayer, out of a total income of £11,613,991.

Voluntary donations to this "charity" in 2006 totalled a mere £2,500.

Not so much a charity—more of a government department.

So, do you want to know who is in charge of this lovely, taxpayer-funded "charity"? Yes, you do...
And who is in charge of this organisation?

Over here we find out :
"Fiona Millar is a journalist specialising in education and parenting issues. She started her career on the Mirror Group's graduate training scheme then worked on the Daily Mirror and the Daily Express, as a news reporter, lobby correspondent and freelance feature writer. She co-authored a book of interviews with prominent women' By Faith and Daring' with Glenys Kinnock in 1993.

Between 1997 and 2003 she worked at Downing Street as a special adviser to the Prime Minister. She now writes a column in Education Guardian, is a contributor to the Guardian comment pages, LBC radio, the New Statesman and regularly takes part in television and radio debates about education.."

No chance of her being a radical far-right libertarian.

None at all, and there's another reason why that should be so: as I pointed out in the comments, Fiona Millar is also the partner of Alastair Campbell (who is the father of her children, as Wikipedia so coyly puts it).

Well, who'da thunk it? Who would have thought that the person running a charity which receives huge chunks of taxpayers' money generously doled out by the NuLabour government would have a husband who was, at one point, very high up in the NuLabour government?
They also have a very extensive press release archive—you can see what is going on here. It's the usual ruse:
  1. "Charity" releases report or press release.

  2. Media laps it up.

  3. Government "does something" in response.

  4. Government funds "charity" , on the quiet.

  5. Go back to step 1.

Next time you see the "Parenting Fund" being mentioned in the media, note how it's never stated that well over 90% of the funding of this "charity" is from the taxpayer.

Charities like the Parenting Fund are paid for, in the main, by the taxpayer and yet the voters have no means of redress, no democratic control over these deeply corrupt organisations. All of this is very important; after all, these charities comprise a huge part of the "Third Sector" that David Cameron is so very keen on using, effectively, to replace government departments.

Given Cameron's plans, this problem really isn't going to go away. And I can only see one proper solution to all of this mendacity: make it illegal for the government to fund charities at all.

Either that, or any charity which obtains, say, more than 10% of its funds from the government must be prefixed with a code—GC (Government Charity), for instance. So, it would be GC The Parenting Fund—in any public mention of the charity in the media, so that we know that they effectively work for the state...


rory meakin said...

Facebook members can register their annoyance at these fucking fascists by joining the group "Fuck Off Alcohol Alliance"

Mark Wadsworth said...

John Trenchard has totally cornered the market in 'state-funded-charity-quangocracy' porn.

Top blog, that one, if you want a glimpse into the true horrors of how Nulab splashes the cash.

verity said...

I wonder if Fiona Miller and the people running all the fake charities and quangoes have a membership in common. As in, Common Purpose? Aka The New World Order. Jes' askin'.

Roger Thornhill said...

What Mark says.

JT has done some excellent work.

I flicked the ears of the Schools Food Trust, or was it the Schools Councils Trust or such and got within hours one of their (clearly busy) bodies puffing away saying how neutral they were. Yeh, right.

p.s. congrats on the revenue stream.

Nicodemus said...

It will be the eating of meat and the consuming of dairy next - for our 'own protection' of course......

Pascal said...

The main problem as DK indirectly points out, is that we have to work for a living when those people are paid for making all this shit.

El Draque said...

Completely agree - no funding for charities (or political parties)they should be completely independent. And have to depend on people paying them voluntarily. The clue is in the name: "the voluntary sector". Not "pseudo-civil servants without the scrutiny or the non-political ethos."

Thomas Gordon said...

Evening Chaps

And it doesn't stop there:

NATO funding anti-war moonbats

Home Office funding radical lefty steet poets

An off shore company in charge of MHRC's physical security.

And I see that Gilligan's pal on Newsnight is peddling some crappy 'anti-nukes' story when she has blood on here hands.Peter Hennsey has already covered it in 'State Secrets'.

What a bunch of cunts the BBC are.

The further down the fucking rabbit hole we go,the deeper the shit the 'vested interest' groups have.

What a blundle of fucking joy the chattering classes have got-all paid by the tax payer of course.

Of couse the JT blog will keep on tracking these' wankers

Thomas Gordon said...

And timing is everything in Blogging:

If you enjoy the JT blog then you guys are going to enjoy looking at the snouts in the trough BBC.

They are the very embodyment of everything that is wrong with UK PLC.

And seeing as the Fib Dems are the political wing of the BBC its time to stop paying the telly tax

BBC BIASED-Kicking the cunts whereever they crawl.

FlipC said...

I do like the pretty BBC graph at the bottom of the article showing a steady price of alcohol against an increase in some vague 'Cost to Health'. The note at the bottom tells us we should ignore the apparent unchange in price as in real terms it's got cheaper.

Hmm so why not use the CPI adjustments to show this, that's what they're designed for? Perhaps because if they did (and taking as a base £3 in 2005) they'd show a massive indifference in the price from £2.20 in 1996 to £3.08 in 2006.

Nah much better just to tell you to ignore what you see and just trust them.

mark gardner said...

How nice to see there's an NGO called Alcohol Concern. I think I should be a member — I am always concerned about where my next slug of alcohol is coming from.

Probably why I live in Spain, not far from the Rioja.

Bottoms up.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Of course, nearly all charidees will breach your 10% limit, because they can reclaim 22/78 of the Gift Aid donations they receive as a tax refund from HMRC.

Word verification = ladorg, as in 'jobs for the boys'. Nice.

the a&e charge nurse said...

The Devil highlights [in his usual trenchent fashion] the growing faultline between medical paternalism and respect for autonomy, especially when it comes to alcohol/smoking, etc.

Medics are MANDATED to respect patient choice, no matter how barmy a particular choice may seem [providing the patient is competent, of course] - a mute point when it comes to some of the ring wing fanatsists here.

Recently, doctors were compelled to stand by while a young Jehovah's witness haemorrhaged to death after giving birth to twins - presumably she feared Jehovah [aka god], not to mention the other 6.5mil nutters worldwide...... sorry, witnesses.

So, if doctors can do no more than watch young women exsanguinate, perhaps clutching a couple of units of "O-neg", just in case [because the patient would have refused to be cross-matched] why do they take a diametrically opposed stance when the Devil and his substance loving cohorts insist on their right to a few extra nips, fags etc ?

Wrap your excesses up in a religion Devil, then doctors will be far too frightened to object to your alcohol and nicotine fuelled existence, no matter how damaging these habits become.

Letters From A Tory said...

'Medico chimps' is a great phrase, might have to steal that at some point.

Falco said...

A&E Charge Nurse. It's bindun

My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them.
Winston Churchill

JuliaM said...

"Recently, doctors were compelled to stand by while a young Jehovah's witness haemorrhaged to death after giving birth to twins..."

And why not? She was presumably of sound mind, so her wishes (stupid as they may seem to us) should be respected.

Yes, even by the medical establishment who just know so much better than everyone else.

That was your point, I take it...?

John Trenchard said...

thanks for the linkage DK. much appreciated.

this story needs wider coverage. and thanks for doing just that.

Shug Niggurath said...

Fiona Millar happens to be the partner of Alastair Campbell, the reformed drunk who has by his own admission been an awful man on drink - has she a view on alcohol clouded by her and her families experiences of alcoholism?

Ogre said...

The next time a doctor tries to give me advice about the food I eat I'll just tell him I would prefer to take advice from someone more qualified, such as a dietitian. Hell, my mum can give me better advice, "Eat your vegetables and don't fill up on junk before dinner." That's about the only decent food advice I've ever received.

Fitaloon said...

Have a look at this link in the Scotland on Sunday which attempts to link drinking by pregnant mothers to Autism. Another piece of "hack" journalism I have commented on here

female political and social comment said...

i haven't read the whole of your piece but i think it's similar to mine on my blog
the nuffield report out last week, they tried to pass this off as an independently assessed report by some, and again, stressing, we knew this 'cause there was some mild criitisisms of the government in the report. by some merely concerned experts in the field of alcohol? this report was specifically commisioned by the government, and more specif' by one certain scottish presbyterian prime ministe.
read about it on my blog uneder the nuffield report.
comments please