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The lobbyists fight back

(nb. I ain't DK)

charity, n. leniency, an act of kindness; tolerance of faults and offences; a foundation or institution for assisting the poor, the sick, or the helpless

It seems that various fake charities have taken umbrage at being called fake charities on fakecharities.org. Taking time out from lobbying the government helping the needy, three of them have decided to 'hit back' in a magazine/website called Charity Finance:
A new website, fakecharities.org, has been created to highlight those charities which receive state funding and which the site’s creator alleges support the government.

Alleging doesn't come into it. 35 charities have been listed so far. Between them they spend £55 million of taxpayers' money. It's an absolute ruddy disgrace.
Charities listed include Age Concern, which is described as "applauding government initiatives with £2m of public money",

They do, and the government gave them £1,954,000 last year (23.3% of all income from donations).
4Children, "a glorified quango",

They are, and the government gave them at least £2,378,257 last year.
Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), "the original fake charity, formed by the government in 1971".

They are, and they get less than 3% of their income from voluntary donations.
Other charities listed include RSPB, Christian Aid and Stonewall.

Whose combined income from the government was in excess of £38 million last year.
A spokesman for Age Concern denied that accepting money from government inhibits its ability to speak out for older people.

"This has been clearly demonstrated in our recent advocacy work criticising the Government's failure to address increasing fuel poverty and the scandalous state of the social care system."

But should we be forced to pay for your 'advocacy work'? That's the question.

Of course you criticise the government. You criticise them until they do something and when they finally do it you criticise them for not going far enough. That is the modus operandi of all lobbyists, which is why, whenever the government does anything, you can bet your last nugget that some twat from a fake charity will turn up on TV saying "we welcome this move but the government needs to go much further."

The government funds these groups because they help it create a fake compromise while bypassing public opinion. Here's how it works:
  1. The government feels like giving you a good kick in the bollocks.

  2. You don't want to be kicked in the bollocks. You just want to be left alone.

  3. A fake charity turns up wielding some bogus study and demands that you be kicked in the bollocks and pelted with turds.

  4. The government conducts a bullshit consultation with some other fake charities and, in the spirit of compromise, concludes that you will be kicked in the bollocks but not pelted with turds.

Result: you get kicked in the bollocks. The government wins.

And if the charity is very good at its job, this will be quickly followed by the fake loophole:
  1. The fake charity produces a study showing that being pelted with turds is not as bad as taking one in the Jacob's. They say that the government is being inconsistent by allowing people to kick you in the plums but not pelt you with turds.

  2. The government agrees and, having set a precedent, it can't be seen to allow one and not the other.

Result: You get kicked in the bollocks and pelted with turds. Democracy has prevailed.
A spokeswoman for the Internet Watch Foundation, which the website argues is using EU funds to encourage state regulation of the internet, said its EU funding is spent on a hotline for the public to report illegal online content.

"Over 75 per cent of our funding comes from the internet industry, as you would expect from a self-regulatory body."

"We don’t fundraise so we’re not a charity in that sense; the decision to apply for charitable status was more about making sure we are accountable."

So they don't fundraise and they don't assist "the poor, the sick, or the helpless". Am I missing something here? Perhaps I'm very old-fashioned but in what way is this 'self-regulatory body' a fucking charity? Is the Press Complaints Commission a charity? Is OFSTED a charity?

DK adds: the Internet Watch Foundation must be absolutely delighted. They registered as a charity in order to be "more accountable" and, sure enough, we are holding them to account. Job done.
A spokeswoman for Alcohol Concern said none of its government grant is used on its lobbying activities.

Really? How does that work then? Last year, Alcohol Concern's government grant was £515,000*. Its total income was just over £900,000, of which £517,515 was spent on staffing costs. Clearly then, some—and maybe all—of our money went on salaries for people who are overt lobbyists.

And lobbyists they most certainly are, as they declared in their year-end report:
"Our main focus during 2007/08 was ensuring, through our lobbying, campaigns and media work that national alcohol policy on tax, treatment and advertising reflected international evidence as the benchmark for policy decisions."

So their main focus is on lobbying and their main benefactor is the government, and yet no government money was spent on lobbying. Guess we'll just have to take your word for that, guys.
"There’s no consideration in terms of being critical of government when thinking about funding."

I bet it never crosses your mind.
"We are primarily a lobbying charity…"

Indeed you are. You are a pressure group, and therein lies the whole problem. Why are we being forced to fund a pressure group? Why are we not forced to fund, for instance, the Pro-Life Alliance or the Salt Association? The answer lies, surely, in the fact that the organisations listed on fakecharities.org are, to a man, dedicated to expanding the power of the state, increasing regulation and, in most cases, jacking up taxes.

*DK adds: £115,000 of Alcohol Concern's grant was in restricted funds, i.e. was allocated to a particular project. £400,000 was in unrestricted funds, i.e. can be spent on whatever the fuck they like. In practice, of course, the grants all allow Alcohol Concern to operate and, since the fuckers are "primarily a lobbying charity", then this money is, presumably, primarily spent on... well... lobbying.
"…we don’t really do public awareness, and if the fact that we get a grant mattered to the work we do we wouldn’t be able to do it."

I put it to you, you disingenuous set of bastards, that the grant matters to you a great deal, seeing as how it represents 57% of your income. Or would you prefer to live off the £4,991 that you generated from individual donations last year? Face facts: without the government shovelling money at you, you'd be fucked.

It's funny how the charities that the government funds are always the ones that want to change the law, is it not? You never hear a peep from charities like the RNLI or the Donkey Sanctuary. You don't hear the Cats Protection League demanding a ban on dogs. You don't get the RNLI demanding a tax on dinghies. It's always the fake charities—the ones that no one gives money to—who think they can change the law of the land.

We don't play favourites at fakecharities.org. We agree with some of the charities' aims and disagree with others but their agenda is irrelevant. Some were born fake (e.g. ASH), others had fakeness thrust upon them when they started accepting millions from the government (e.g. Age Concern). Some are respectable charities that do good (e.g. RSPB, The Woodland Trust), others are mean-spirited bottom-feeders specifically created by the state to serve the state (e.g. ASH, Alcohol Concern). What they all have in common is our money, taken without our consent, and as my gracious host has said:
... any charity in receipt of any level of government funding is a fake.

It's bad enough that we have to pay the fat salaries of the avaricious shower of shitehawks who make up the House of Commons without having to support whining pressure groups as well. At least the politicos have to stand for election every four or five years.

Far from being, as the Internet Watch Foundation put it, "accountable" these fake charities are unelected, untouchable and, by and large, unspeakable.

So the third sector parasites can bitch and moan about being called fake charities. We can't come to an agreement on this because we fundamentally disagree on what charity means. They think they have a divine right to snatch our money and squander it on themselves and their own obsessions. We think that real charities rely on money that is freely given and use it to help those less fortunate.

So if they don't like being called fake charities, here's a suggestion. First, have a read of this very sensible proposal, then take a leaf out of the RNLI's book and throw the government's money back in its face.

Age Concern—give us that £2 million back and we'll take you seriously next time you say that being in the pay of the government doesn't compromise your relationship with the government. Maybe once you're truly independent, you might find the balls to admit that Harriet Harman's so-called Equality Bill—which you are currently supporting—is the most vile piece of legislation to be put before Parliament in living memory (y'know, seeing as how it will legalise racial discrimination.)

Internet Watch Foundation—either give us back the £467,000 you've taken from the EU in the last 2 years or give yourself a more appropriate name. The EU Department of Internet Regulation has a certain ring to it.

Alcohol Concern—you're not going to get far on five grand a year, are you? Let's have that £515,000 back and you get on the streets rattling tins. Let's see how many public donations you get when you haven't got the government there to swipe it from us under pain of arrest. I'm sure when you explain that you want to ban happy hour and raise tax on beer, the donations will come flooding in.

And to all readers of The Kitchen, please keep submitting the fake charities, and please give as many details as you can. There is still a long way to go.

Comments

The Refuser said…
Looks to me that you have got them running scared.
Dan said…
Brilliant work DK - this should be much more known about.
Prodicus said…
Utterly brilliant spadework and an elegant website, complete with complaints from the pressure groups plus your rebuttals. It could hardly be better. Many congrats.
Old Holborn said…
try this lot

€55 fucking million

http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/sip/index_en.htm
Gareth said…
"Of course you criticise the government. You criticise them until they do something and when they finally do it you criticise them for not going far enough. That is the modus operandi of all lobbyists ..."

Including the BBC.

A good piece Filthy Smoker and DK.
Old Holborn said…
Don't even get me fucking started on Comic Relief

Housing for vulnerable gay communities my fucking arse

http://www.stonewallhousing.org/home.html

Also try actionaid

http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/registeredcharities/ScannedAccounts/Ends67/0000274467_ac_20071231_e_c.pdf
microdave said…
The "Bollocks" analogy was the funniest thing I've seen for ages.

Many years ago my mother helped out at the local Oxfam shop, but she stopped after the well liked manageress was replaced by some over-qualified graduate type who new nothing about the actual job, or how to deal with people. She also found out that barely 10% of the money raised went to help the homeless. I'm sure it's now full of Common Purpose.

The only charities I support are the RNLI, and the local Air Ambulance. Both of them wish to remain genuinely independent, so as not to be dictated to by Central Government.
microdave said…
Damn, the manual spellchecker (brain) doesn't work: should have read "who KNEW nothing about the actual job"
Umbongo said…
Ironic isn't it that despite their manifest self-regarding fakery, the Charity Commission apparently considers that fake charities are of "public benefit" while a slew of real charities (who get most of their funds from private sources) are being persecuted by the fake head Charity Commissioner to prove their worthiness. As Dame Suzi illustrates in this interview she's already failed in her main task which she claims is the promotion of ". . the public’s trust and confidence in charitable activity."
Longrider said…
A nerve has been struck. Well done.
Anonymous said…
Brilliant post FS, and fantastic work on that site DK. You seem to be getting to them!

I think it's worth putting a section on the fakecharities site with relevent blog posts like this so they really get the message?

I'm aware that you make no secret of the fact DK put fakecharities together but do you really expect these dumb fucks to actually find these posts on here? Stick it to them on the fake charities site.

The kicking in the balls analogy is superb btw. That meme needs to keep rolling!

Z.
Shaun said…
Spot. Fucking. On.
Angry Exile said…
Nice of them to give fakecharities.org a little extra publicity, and judging from some of the comments it doesn't look like their case for tax funded sort-of-charity-but-really-just-lobbying is getting a lot of support. I think they may be shutting their balls in the drawer by trying to argue this.
In The Treeline said…
Agree with z. Get these marvellous rebuttals on the fakecharities.org site.

Even better set up a fake charity lobbying group against fake charities and give the bastards a taste of their own medicine.
wh00ps said…
my only regret is that when they wheel these shysters out on BBC breakfast i am still half asleep and unable to google them and email you the details. bastards. that's how they get you they hope to hypnotise you first thing in the morning when you are in a very suggestable state...
Idle Pen Pusher said…
Fucking brilliant.

Well done fakecharities.org

Idle Pen Pusher
DaveA said…
I nearly passed urine reading this.

Also if you look at the comments on the rebuttal website, they seem to support us.

I too am working on a piece which is a hatchet job on ASH and an American fake charity called the American Cancer Society.
Dennis said…
This post is a joy! Sublime!

Gentlemen, you have them on the mat. Now it's time to lace up your steel-capped boots and really get to work.

I am just about to turn in. I shall have a smile on my face as I drift into the blissful world of the unconscious, where UTTER CUNTS like these can never intrude, meddle, or otherwise intefere!
Woman on a Raft said…
Wow - they are reacting quickly. You've struck a nerve. Good. The world would be a much better place for real charity if the fake ones could be removed.

(Dennis - done).
All Seeing Eye said…
Excellent site and excellent work...but...when the Tories get in will they stop this funding?

We should be told, but I can guess what the answer will be.
Dick Puddlecote said…
Top quality yet again. I reckon TFS deserves a Bloody Devil for services to shitting on the righteous from a great height. Or would do if he had somewhere to hang it.

No chance someone from the MSM might pick up on this trough-fest soon, is there?
Savonarola said…
DK you have posted on this before. AAA.

Heard a very good argument by RNLI spokesman on R4 yday as to why Govt money has a corrupting effect.

Large charities exist for the directors, patrons and staff. Think NSPCC, RSPCA.

Maybe BBC or MSM can get out of their comfort zone and do a Panorama on this topic.
wh00ps said…
the msm is never going to cover this... that's why we need heroes like dk and tfs. they've got the ball rolling and now it's up to thee and me to spread the word.
John's New Blog said…
And this government wants schools to lose their charitable status.....strong on education my fuckin' arse
Tim Carpenter said…
Excellent work. Got them to begin to defend themselves.

Problem is, the more they try and defend, the more noise is made and the more their fake status gets revealed to ever more people.

I am very impressed with the idea, the effort to realise it and the results.

Would not surprise me if you get approached by a government agency so they can fund your research (and thus...you guessed it...)
Bill Quango MP said…
This is excellent. I knew that twat with a tin was too good looking to just want to spend Saturday afternoon saying "have you got a second to save the planet?"

I realise it was her job now. A paid agency chugger. Working until 5pm, then off home.
Dennis said…
I have just put up a post about this, and I hope every right-minded (sic) blogger will do the same.

Sample:

Now get this. The Labour Party may have given up on democracy; it may have anointed as king a charisma-free turd who has presided over the bankrupting of our country; it may have binned your reasonable expectation of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty; it may have shown scant concern for the abuses inherent in postal voting (and one wonders why on earth that should be); it may have elevated an assortment of unelected creeps to the House of Gord's and then appointed them ministers, with far-reaching influence over your life: it may have done all these ghastly things to you, and more, but there is still one thing it cannot do, which is to interfere with your discretionary disposal of whatever small sums of money it yet allows you to keep.
rattling my tin said…
Great work, guys.

Also: "The EU Department of Internet Regulation has a certain ring to it."

Personally, I'd go for Mousecrushers.
Anonymous said…
For a time I used to be on the committee of a small charity – a real charity with no funding from anywhere other than raised from public donations – and as the amounts fell over the years the charity was formally wound up.

However, it was made clear to us from the outset that if we didn't follow all the rules of the charity commissioners, if there was fraud or misappropriation of funds, we could all go to jail.

So, with all these fake charities, how do these rules work now?
Deep Gullet said…
Excellent work, DK! Keep prodding -but use a long disinfected stick.

BTW I notice that Sarah Brown (long-suffering spouse of u-know-what) runs a charity twee-ly called PiggyBankKids.

(Considering its provenance, maybe it should be called PiggyTroughKids?)

What do people think about PBK - real charity or faux charity? Any big govt donations there? All we can hope is that somewhere along the line a few kids whose parents are not members of the dacha-owning classes might really benefit from this...yeah, and piggies might fly!
Frank Austin said…
Minor point, maybe. But when I tried opening fakecharities.org with Internet Explorer 6, all the words got crushed up against the left hand margin, with lots of white space on the right.

I know it's *cool* to use other browsers than IE (e.g. Firefox), but I doubt that most people who've bought a PC and are used to using the IE bundled with it will even know that there are browsers like Firefox, or even what a browser is.

And although the article says that there are some 20 or so fake charities listed, where's the list?
Great work but how long before "they" pull fakecharities.org ?


microdave
The only charities I support are the RNLI, and the local Air Ambulance. Both of them wish to remain genuinely independent, so as not to be dictated to by Central Government.

Completly ditto, plus they might save ME one day.
wh00ps said…
on the subject of air ambulance... i think i^ve mentioned on here before and i have definitely ranted IRL to everyone i know, it drives me berserk that kent police have a helicopter flying around 24/7 looking for trouble while the kent air ambulance- a service that SAVES LIVES- has to rely on the largesse of people standing at the bars of the county's ever-decreasing number of pubs. bastards.
Winston said…
DK, you've been namechecked

"Finally, there are the "attack blogs" such as Devil's Kitchen, which are out there to snap at the heels of everyone else and fight for a particular political view. "
Winston said…
The bbc commenting on Orwell, that is fucking delicious irony.

Orwell would want to dismantle today's bbc brick by fucking brick.
Anonymous said…
As someone with the misfortune to have worked in the charity sector for ten or so years, I could give you a list as long as your arm of these fuckers. Coming at it from a slightly different angle, have you thought about looking at how the National Lottery has been sequestered by government? It boils my piss to think of the fools buying tickets imagining that their cash goes to good causes, when in fact it goes to the likes of Tessa Jowell to squander on 2012 olympic bollocks.
max the impaler said…
Excellent post.
Anonymous said…
Ironic isn't it that despite their manifest self-regarding fakery, the Charity Commission apparently considers that fake charities are of "public benefit" while a slew of real charities (who get most of their funds from private sources) are being persecuted by the fake head Charity Commissioner to prove their worthiness. As Dame Suzi illustrates in this interview she's already failed in her main task which she claims is the promotion of ". . the public’s trust and confidence in charitable activity."

How about this example of how it is possible for "charitable" funds to be grossly misused:

http://mccannfundfraud.info/
Devil's Kitchen said…
Frank,

"Minor point, maybe. But when I tried opening fakecharities.org with Internet Explorer 6, all the words got crushed up against the left hand margin, with lots of white space on the right."

Unfortunately, since Microsoft do not make a version of IE for the Mac, I am unable to test this for myself: I may do so at work.

"I know it's *cool* to use other browsers than IE (e.g. Firefox), but I doubt that most people who've bought a PC and are used to using the IE bundled with it will even know that there are browsers like Firefox, or even what a browser is."

Then I really suggest that they learn. IE7 was released in 2006, for god's sake: if you must use IE, at least upgrade to that: it's free.

I'm fucking sick of spending hours and hours of my time hacking shit for IE6: if some people are too fucking lazy to upgrade to a decent (and more secure) browser, I fail to see why I should spend my valuable spare time catering to them.

Besides, IE6 has more holes in it than a fucking colander: if you want to get spyware, have your computer hacked, or whatever, then by all means run it. Otherwise, might I humbly suggest that you do yourself, and the rest of the world, a favour and download one of the many, many free browsers: it'll only cost you a little bit of time, but if everyone still using IE6 did it, it would save hundreds of thousands of pounds in web development fees.

"And although the article says that there are some 20 or so fake charities listed, where's the list?"

Well, not entirely surprisingly, you will find the list under the big tab marked 'A to Z'. Alternatively, you can click on the button at the bottom which says 'charities'.

Or you can simply click here.

DK
burkesworks said…
*When* you guys get things right, you get them right. High time the financial and other activities of these cabals of puritan quangonauts were dragged kicking and screaming into the open.
Anonymous said…
surprised that none of the 4 common purpose charities are on that site.

btw - the mccann fund is'nt a charity although a lot of people believed it was
Dennis said…
Frank, get Ubuntu Linux if you don't want to spring for a Mac + Camino.
JD said…
Why is Common Purpose not listed as a fake charity? I submitted it, number and all, some time ago.
Looks like the site is doing well. JD.


NO TO LISBON MEANS NO TO LISBON!
http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38059363467&ref=mf
Devil's Kitchen said…
JD,

"Why is Common Purpose not listed as a fake charity?"

Because there is no real evidence in the accounts that it is a fake charity. The majority of its money comes from tuition fees – and it doesn't say who from.

That's not to say that it's not a fake charity – it's just that there is no real evidence.

DK
JD said…
Thanks for the reply. Is it not well documented how much Police Departments etc. use tax payers' money to pay for 'tuition' etc. at vastly inflated rates, rather than by any charitable donations?
I am glad to know that you are on the case anyhow. Brilliant idea.JD.
Devil's Kitchen said…
JD,

"Is it not well documented how much Police Departments etc. use tax payers' money to pay for 'tuition' etc. at vastly inflated rates, rather than by any charitable donations?"

Possibly. I shall try to find out, but right now we're spending enough time trying to check the backlog of charities that we've got. Plus, TFS and I have lives to live!

I shall try to get around to it. There are some other things that I want to get onto too, that Douglas Carswell suggested to me yesterday...

DK
JD said…
I will see if I can dig up the reference. Doing research into CP is like having to swim through sewage, but I will keep notes next time I'm in that particular sewer. I appreciate you have much to do. All the best, JD.
Rob said…
Funding these charities so they then support state policy isn't the only reason. How many of these charities rented, or were 'forced' to rent at huge cost a stall at Labour's party conferences?

Labour uses state money to fund 'charities'; these charities then gratefully or not so gratefully give a proportion of it back at the Labour Conference - into Labour's coffers. In effect, Labour is subsidising itself with State money.
Anonymous said…
I made a few changes to wikipedia mentioning www.fakecharities.org on some of the fake charity's pages. All were gone within seconds.

We should keep up the pressure. Most people won't look at this website or fakecharities.org. Everyone needs to update wikipedia to reference this funding.
Good posts fellows!

On the particular subject of Alcohol Concern and their collusion with the government to impose control and legislation on alcohol, there exists a rather incontrovertible rebuttal to their assertion that alcohol, and not the individual is to blame for unruly behaviour.

The problem - as most people know - is a lack of personal responsibility. Addressing that problem would involve building more prisons, courts, police cells and recruiting all the people to run them. This is difficult, so the government, assisted by Alcohol Concern, and the police, want to persuade us that alcohol, and not the chav who drinks it, is the problem because it is easier to pass bad, be-seen-to-be-doing-something legislation than take the measures detailed above. I have heard police officers in particular state with empirical certainty, that alcohol, rather then the individual, is to blame for city-centre disturbances.

However, some events have the secondary effect of producing large social experiments. One such event was the Rugby World Cup in France, 2007. 200,000 Englishmen and many more Scots, Irish, Welsh, French, Italian, Aussies, Kiwis etc etc...converged on France over a six week period and drank heroic doses of alcohol, in unsegregated freedom. If there were any substance at all to the Alcohol Concern/police/government position, then there should have been no small amount of violence among the two million fans. Yet there was none.
Centaur said…
One of the finest posts ever to grace your pages. Excellent stuff.
wh00ps said…
did any of you see that woman on BBC this morning? some sort alcohol "expert" planning to increAse the cost of a drink in scotland. didn't say who she was working for though... presumably one of these charity folk but they wisely didn't specify...
johnny nunsuch said…
I wonder what the average salary is for thee parasites
wh00ps said…
just look in the guardians recruitment pages... expect they all get advertised in there where the useful idiots will see them.
Anonymous said…
Brilliant article. I am so cynical about charities, including household names such as Oxfam. Antonia Bance who is both Labour politician and deputy director of Oxfam's UK poverty programme is allegedly lying on the Oxfam blog when she writes:"Here in the UK, Oxfam's Migrant Workers Project works with migrants, often agency workers, who've experienced exploitation in the workplace. Recently we ran a series of workshops here in Oxford with migrant workers - including some employed at BMW - to let them know their rights at work and how to get help and advice. And, of course, we campaign for better labour rights for the 2m vulnerable workers in the UK." This little piece is linked to the Labour Councillor's sister piece on agency workers on her own blog. However Oxfam insiders tell me that Oxfam does not work with agency workers in England and it has never run workshops for them, as claimed by Oxfam's Labour Councillor Antonia Bance. When an ideologically-driven Labour politician becomes a senior manager in a campaign charity, spin takes over susbstance and their worsd have no basis in reality.
Basil Brown said…
Democracy has prevailed.

The best and most concise explanation I've read concerning nulabor's fake-charity scam.
Dung Beetle said…
The Turd Sector exposed...bravo for your efforts to pop their over inflated ego's.

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