Sunday, February 01, 2009

Fake Charities: Barnardo's

Just because is temprorarily down, that doesn't mean that we can't continue to look into these effective QUANGOs. In fact, Ambush Predator has highlighted yet another interfering, brain-washing, state-propaganda-spreading bunch of thieving cunts that I hadn't heard of: Bookstart.

Today, however, whilst browing the Grauniad's site (no, I don't know why either), I saw an advert for Barnardo's, which declared that "Barnardo's needs you!"

"Really?" thought I, "maybe I shall help Barnardo's and their angel-faced children!" After all, Barnardo's is one of the oldest and most established charities, being set up by Dr Barnardo in 1866 for entirely worthy purposes.

But first, of course, one needs to make the customary trip to the Charity Commission site in order to see where the cash comes from...

The first sight to greet me upon downloading their accounts was this sickening picture which adorns the front cover of the Annual Report.

Equal numbers of male and female? Check.

All ethnicities represented? Che... Oh, wait! Are Chinese people and other Asians of that extraction not wanted at Barnardo's? Obviously not. Bad Barnardo's, naughty Barnardo's: that's a smacked bottom for you...

Anyway, I digress. Does Barnardo's take public cash? Do bears shit in the woods? The report is scanned and so I cannot copy the text directly: however, reproduced below are the donations from statutory bodies. Which take up over two pages of the report.

Now, at some point, I am going to have to add all of these up and see what they amount to, but I reckon there's a good few million there. And that isn't counting the eight Barnardo's subsidiaries and offshoots (the accounts of which I shall examine later).

So, Barnardo's needs my help, does it? Well, it seems to me that Barnardo's is getting quite enough help from me as it is, so they can stuff their fund-raising attempts up their collective arseholes, as far as I am concerned.


Morus said...

DK - I am in complete agreement on most of the fake charity concerns that you raise, but I'm not with you on this one.

The equal races/genders etc for the photos is because there are people who care about that - you might find the tokenism unedifying, but there are plenty of people working in the third sector for whom it is jus the automatic way of working. If you were working to do the PR for them, would you honestly counsel them to do it differently. This is so much bigger a cultural thing than just Bernardo's, and I'm loathe to hold it against them when almost every public, private and third secotr organisation does exactly the same.

Also, I am usually in 100% agreement on taxes being used to fund charities (esp ones designed to lobby government), but this might be different. Might it not be that Bernardo's are doing work for which the government is essentially paying them?

If Bernardo's are running activities or providing services that the Government can't supply, or that Bernardo's are simply better at providing (and surely a good Libertarian would like the general idea of charities rather than the State running services for looked-after children?) then this is revenue, rather than donations.

Clearly a good Libertarian might not want third-sector provided services to be paid for by compulsory taxation (although surely the State does have to step in to care for orphans etc if no family can?), but if government has the money to pay for this, can you fault them for taking it?

The audacity in asking for money is fair because tax money only goes so far if they are offering large-scale service provision, because the government only provides so much, and they might prefer to increase the proportion of funding that is independent, which I again assume you would support.

I think Bernardo's is a different case, because I was under the impression that they actually provide services in the realm of childcare to government - so this is payment for work done rather than freeloading off the taxpayer.

If I'm wrong, I'm happy to apologise, but of all the charity cases you've raised, I think this one is perhaps a little different.

Your humble servant etc.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Have you looked at Kidscompany yet?

That's the amiably mad Camilla Batmangaylid's organisation. I reckon they must have received a handsome wodge of taxpayers' recently, because they could suddenly afford massive posters in Tube stations.

Devil's Kitchen said...


According to the accounts, Kids Company got restricted funds from central government of £897,750, which was less than 2006's figure of £1,176,750...


Old Holborn said...

you might want to look at Stonewall, the military Gay wing charity.

They recieved in excess of £300,000 from the Department of Trade and Industry (? wtf?)

Head of Department?

Lord Fondlebum of Boys

Dick Puddlecote said...

During a trip round the EU building on Wednesday, a researcher mentioned that the only 'big' charity he could find that wasn't 'controlled by the EU' was Greenpeace. Perhaps gummint 'donations' are at the behest of the EU.

DavidNcl said...

Blow it out your ass Morus.

Really go an investigate the history of Banardoes - it's not pretty.

you could start with looking into forced child migration.

JuliaM said...

Thanks for link - I hope your website gets up and running again soon, I think we're going to need it.... ;)

Morus: "This is so much bigger a cultural thing than just Bernardo's, and I'm loathe to hold it against them when almost every public, private and third secotr organisation does exactly the same."

'Everybody else does it!' went out as a good reason to do something when I was five.

Morus said...

DavidNCL - I haven't looked into their history, and am not refuting what you say. My point was there is a difference between charities being paid by government to lobby government, and charities that take on work from the public sector and get paid for it. Failure to appreciate the difference blunts the case against sponger charities. There may be other problems with this charity, but that's not what I was discussing or defending/

JuliaM - I don't like tokenism, but if you're going to use this as a basis to criticise a charity, then there should be some exceptionalism at play. Every charity does it, every company does it, and it isn't particularly repugnant a practice - just the tokenism is a little irksome, generally.

I'm not defending it because it's common practice, I'm saying that there is a stronger case to make. If there's a case to make about them being a sponger charity defrauding the taxpayer, I want to hear it - more sausage, less sizzle.

DavidNcl said...

No it doesn't blunt the case about the sponger charities if anything it strengthens it. If these charities are being paid by the fucking state to do things that the state did and does (like oh... brainwashing children, or fucking up parenting, or giving brown people abortions or paying disabled people a pittance to work in dodgy factories making shit furniture, or messing up venture capital overseas or stealing kids or dogs ... whatever wank the state does) then they ARE - to all intents and purposes - the state. That's the point - these are not voluntary collective actiors, they are the state, disguised. And they should be opposed. By all necessary means.

judith said...

I used to be a volunteer in the local Barnardo's charity shop back in the 80's.

The (damn good)manageress was paid, the rest of us weren't, and we all did our best to raise money.

But around '89, we started to get visits from management teams who were buying new goods for us to sell and putting in place complex accounting systems. Then, they put in fancy new decor, because, they said, they had to spend their budget before year end.

I realised that because of the new goods policy, the shop was undermining private businesses in our little High Street (don't forget the reduced rates and almost no staff costs), so I left.

The same shop has had yet further makeovers, and now stocks nothing but a small amount of new products, probably ends of ranges - yet presumably it still benefits from reduced rates and voluntary staff.

JuliaM said...

"I'm not defending it because it's common practice, I'm saying that there is a stronger case to make. If there's a case to make about them being a sponger charity defrauding the taxpayer, I want to hear it..."

It's not an 'either/or' option - they can (and should) be criticised for both...

Judith, that story is a very familiar one.

Three years ago, Age Concern ran an old folks activity club near me. They had three office staff running it and al the other clubs in the borough.

They closed it last year (not cost effective, they said) and sent the old folk to various other clubs in the borough, but not before they'd:

a) increased the subs paid,
b) decreased the activities on offer, and
c) grown the office staff to fifteen.

And people wonder where the money goes!

John East said...

Here's a quote from their website:

"Barnardo’s ran hundreds of children’s homes across the UK from Thomas Barnardo’s day until the 1970’s. We don’t run orphanages and children’s homes anymore."

I suppose it's so much easier to manage this charity these days when they no longer have to deal with all those bloody kids.

The Filthy Smoker said...

A friend of mine worked for Barnado's for a few years. She told me to never give them any money after seeing how it was squandered.

That aside, there is a difference between long established charities which provide some sort of help to those who need it and those, like ASH and Alcohol Concern, that are state-sponsored lobby groups.

What defines a fake charity? As a rule of thumb, I would say any 'charity' that gets less than 10% of its revenue from voluntary donations. That's probably not the case for organisations like Barnado's or the British Heart Foundation, but the state should still not fund either.

The voice of charities is given special weight in public discourse because it is assumed that they are funded by voluntary giving. State-funding degrades that and it has to stop.

Stuffed White Cabbage said...

Intrigued by Old Holborn's comment I popped over to the Charity Commission's website and downloaded the accounts for Stonewall.

Department of Trade & Industry
The grant was for awareness-raising work around the 2003 Employment Regulations.
£191,354 was for DTI Great Britain,
£10,191 was for DTI Wales A,
£44,334 was for DTI Wales B,
and £57,763 was for DTI Scotland.

I'm outraged that money is taken from me at gun point and given to a "charity" and this is just the first set of accounts I've looked at.

Absolutely scandalous.

Anonymous said...

Is it just charities that get state funding that go on the fake charities site?

Surely another indicator of a fake charity would be where they spend the money they get.

CRUK would be my first choice in the above category as after doing some calculations from their accounts it seems to me that they spend around 85p in every pound they get on themselves or give it away to other fake charities such as ASH.
I'm led to believe that the BHF is not far behind.

Bald headed John.

FuckAQuangoADay said...

Have you not seen all those TV ads from Barnados that have been on recently? They must have cost a fucking fortune.

They are really fucking obnoxious too - showing a loop of a girl being a junkie, getting shouted at and smacked on the head by some male father-figure e.t.c. - very emotionally manipulative.

Old Holborn said...

You might like to read a little something I scribbled on Barnardos last year and a response to their vile advertising campaign

Anonymous said...

Another example of fakery in the state media this morning:-
Selfish adults 'damage childhood', "a major independent report" by "a panel of independent experts" (The Childrens Society), which reckons individualism (as opposed to socialism?) is damaging kids, calls for further restrictions on alcohol and junk food advertising, etc etc.

Quick look at the Charity Commission website, and guess what...? The Childrens Society gets about £300,000 a year from the Dept of Health; about £500,000 from the Dept for Children, Schools and Families; plus vast sums laundered through lottery quangos.

Hmm... Not all that "independent" then...

Old Holborn said...

Look what I found

"POST 1 – Policy Adviser – Local Government (permanent appointment)

Purpose: This role will develop policy on embedding the role of the third sector into the new ways of working by local government and their partners such as local area agreements, local strategic partnerships and the new comprehensive area assessment.

Main duties:

To lead on work to develop relationships between the third sector and local government, through working with Communities & Local Government, Government Offices, key local government and third sector partners.
To lead on identifying and sharing good practice in local delivery of the environment for a thriving third sector, using the online Third Sector Indicators Community of Practice, work with the Government Office and other methods.
To support the implementation and reporting on the National Survey of Third Sector Organisations "

Anonymous said...

Good work, but to strengthen the project I think you need a definition of a "fake" charity.

This should be linked to the percentage of its money that comes from the government (at all levels) as opposed to voluntary donations.

It could also be linked to how much control the government exercises over what the charity does. So heavily regulated charities (housing associations, adoption agencies, soon to be schools) would also be fake.

Anonymous said...

Fabian Government set up-Stonewall.