Monday, January 19, 2009

Pesticide Action Network: another fake charity, and some proposed action

You may have seen that, a few days ago, Euro MPs voted to put strict controls on pesticides.
The European Parliament has voted to tighten rules on pesticide use and ban at least 22 chemicals deemed harmful to human health.

The UK government, the Conservatives and the National Farmers' Union all oppose the new rules, saying they could hit yields and increase food prices.

The rules have not yet been approved by the 27 member states' governments.

The draft law would ban substances that can cause cancer or that can harm human reproduction or hormones.

UK farmers say the law would "seriously threaten" UK food production. It could wipe out the carrot industry and seriously affect many other crops, the National Farmers' Union has warned.

Certain pesticides are particularly useful in Britain to combat diseases associated with wet weather, such as potato blight.

So far, so utterly unsurprising. However, to extol the virtues of this wonderful new measure, the BBC decided to interview a "charity" called Pestercide [sic] Action Network.

And, as his Ecclesiastical Eminence points out, the Pesticide Action Network are funded... by the EU!

Here are their accounts for 2006 [PDF], when they received £240,715 [page 19] from the Commission of the European Communities (a.k.a. the EU Commission).

And here are their accounts for 2007 [PDF] (the latest available), when the Commission of the European Union handed Pesticide Action Network another £240,419 [page 20] of our hard-earned cash.

What a massive fucking surprise that was, eh?


These fake fucking charities are springing up left, right and centre: see a pro-state charity quoted in the MSM and the odds are that the "charity" is, in fact, little more than a QUANGO. This fake charity will derive a large part of their funds—our money—from the government whose measures it is supporting.

I am thoroughly sick of this: there are so many of them. And, whilst various bloggers have highlighted different ones at different times, I think that it would be a splendid idea to establish a central website—an up-to-date, searchable directory of these fake charities—which people can visit to determine easily and quickly which charities are funded with our cash, and by how much.

I have registered the domain and will set up and style a content management system framework over the next week or so. [Almost done: see update.]

This endeavour will be considerably easier if a number of people participate, so if anyone would like to help me to establish and maintain—which will, I believe, be a valuable resource—could they please drop me an email (published in the RSS & Contact Details section of the sidebar) with the title " help".

UPDATE: five hours later, is taking shape. I haven't debugged for Internet Exploder yet, but it should look (and operate) fine in modern browsers, such as Firefox, Safari, etc.

UPDATE 2: RSS feeds now properly validated and run through Feedburner.


Stop Common Purpose said...

Don't forget to include Common Purpose on your list of fake charities.

You can find out more about Common Purpose here:

North Northwester said...

"These fake fucking charities are springing up left, right and centre: see a pro-state charity quoted in the MSM and the odds are that the "charity" is, in fact, little more than a QUANGO."

Well, nearly: more like "... springing up left, left, and left," but OK, point made.

Looks like a good thing to draw MPs' attention to, and freedom's few friends who ever get invited to be interviewed on the media to expose these statist creeps for the Big Government stooges they are.

Sounds a bit like the American Discover the Networks

Prodicus said...

Note this, from here:

Income is sub-divided as follows:
Gifts, donations and legacies from the public and grants from Government and other charitable foundations which provide core funding or are of a general nature.

Nick said...

Just do an FOI request to the charity commisioners, and to the government.

Ask them about government payments to charities, broken down by charity

Ask the CC about the same.

The Filthy Smoker said...

DK, that is a damn good idea and if I can help, I will. You know how to reach me.

Assegai Mike said...

Count me in, DK. My head has been a-buzz about this for some time and I think I have some top ideas to bring to bear too much to go into here. Probably requires pints and a well heated beer garden for tabbing. I'll email you, look out for it.

Magwitch said...

Nice clean layout for the new site.

However I've tried it out on Firefox and Safari 1.0.3 which I run on my clapped out iBook under Mac OSX 10.2.8 and the menu tabs/buttons top and bottom don't wrap properly at the moment.

Jackart said...

Good Idea.. I've picked out a couple in recent posts too.

Give Racism the Red Card
Alcohol Concern

All predominantly state-funded

Anonymous said...

And don't forget ASH.

£11,000 in private donations. £1,000,000 in taxpayer money and bribes from the big Pharmaceutical companies.

The bastards.

saucepan said...

'Weight Concern'

"Weight Concern receives grant funding to support its activities from the Department of Health"

Hugo said...

Excellent idea - I was just about to do this myself.

Not quite a fake charity, but the RSPB receives £20m out of £100m from taxpayers.

Burning Our Money lists a few others:

"(eg Barnardos is 78% state funded - and now run by an ex-civil servant to boot - with NCH and Leonard Cheshire both on 88%)."

Nick M said...

Great work DK. And a brilliant idea. Dunno where you get the time mate. I've posted about it on Counting Cats already. When you've got a bit more stuff up then it's so blogrolled.

A very good deed sir!

Anonymous said...

Outstanding work.


Bishop Brennan said...

Count me in - I'll drop you an email later.

Room also for another category - charities funded by businesses to lobby for them? A particular favourite of the pharma industry...


Little Black Sambo said...

Is the Red Cross one of these? It behaves more and more like a quango.

Anonymous said...

I submitted Brake, the road safety charity to the site. 15% of its road safety education budget comes from the Department for Transport. They also happen to campaign for greater traffic enforcement measures. Spooky huh?

8thGalaxy said...

Just a couple of things about the new site (which I have bookmarked - grea idea!)

The RSS feed link at the bottom left hand corner of the site is obscured by the bar at the bottom & the contact button on the taskbar dosn't take you anywhere.

Anyway, great idea.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Absolutely stunning DK. Top work. :-)

Devil's Kitchen said...

8th Galaxy,

"The RSS feed link at the bottom left hand corner of the site is obscured by the bar at the bottom & the contact button on the taskbar dosn't take you anywhere."

The Contact Page is fixed now.

The black bar at the bottom is pinned to the bottom of your browser window: as such, if you scroll up, the RSS feed should appear from behind it...


Idle Pen Pusher said...

Brilliant! I had been thinking about this myself. You've done it.

Roger Thornhill said...

Also Charity X funding charity Y.

If Charity X is state funded, it is a smokescreen. If not, then it is a way to "legitimise" directions that the Charity wishes to push, so as to better sell it to their donors or use as lobby fodder.

Tim Almond said...

Good work, DK.

One useful thing would be to have a split shown with a pie chart. Maybe "gov", "councils", "EU", public".

What engine are you using for it?

Scott said...

I get a network timeout for :-(

cookie said... - what a fucking good idea.

Anonymous said...

I get a network timeout for :-(

that's because it's www

Anonymous said...

My mistake. The original URL seems to work, now.

Bishop Hill said...


Did you get my email about this?

Also another idea: design a kite mark kind of thing for real charities that don't accept money from the state.

Anonymous said...

This website project is no doubt a good idea, but I think you're off base with Pesticide Action Network. The financial report you link to does indeed show some £240,000 from the EU Commission, but if I'm reading the report correctly it appears to be earmarked for "Implementing Chemical Conventions and the African Stockpiles Programme". So it doesn't really look like the EU is funding PAN to astroturf on behalf of the EU as you charge. And that £240K is only some 17% of their income, so it hardly looks like this organization is a front group for the EU Commission. Again, I think the website is a great idea. My point is just that PAN is probably not the best poster child for this effort.