(nb. I am not the Devil's Kitchen)
The TaxPayers' Alliance has published a list of the top 25 parasitic quangos and so-called charities that the country could well do without. Not only would this save £33 million a year but - better still - Don Shenker and Deborah Arnott would have their mouths ripped from the teat of the state and be forced to get a real job.
As Ed West says at The Telegraph:
By its very nature, a system where the state funds various pressure groups, think tanks and charities is going to be corrupting, especially when these groups advocate within the cosy surrounds of state television.
Let’s hope that when the cuts come next year, the first savings will be from taxpayer-funded “charities”.
According to West, the Tories are "now serious about dealing with this hydra-headed monster". Nick Cohen, on the other hand, thinks a Conservative government will make things worse:
The state does not wither or even shrink when it pays charities to do its work. It merely decentralises the provision of services while expanding the centre's command and control into new areas of public life...
Can a charity that relies on the state remain a charity?
In 2007, thinktank Civitas produced a report which revealed the growing dependency of apparently independent institutions. Save the Children, Oxfam, Shelter and the British Red Cross received between 30% and 70% of their money from government. Barnardo's was 78% state funded, Action for Children 88%, while the National Family and Parenting Institute was almost a fully owned subsidiary.
The election of a Cameron government will accelerate the process.
Meanwhile, our own rogue's gallery of Third Sector tape-worms continues to grow, with the Institute for Public Policy Research, Climate Outreach and Information Network and Global Action Plan UK amongst the recently-added.
But there are more of the ball-lickers out there and, as always, we rely on you to tell us about them at http://fakecharities.org. The only criteria are that they (a) take government money and (b) lobby the government. If you've submitted a suspect organisation to us and it hasn't appeared on the site, the chances are that you haven't given us at least one example of (b).
Unlike the scum we monitor, we don't get paid for our work and we haven't got a lot of time to dick around on Google searching for evidence to back up someone's hunch. So if you submitted one of the following charities in the last six months, why not get back in touch and tell us exactly what it is you reckon they're lobbying for?
The Sutton TrustThe British CouncilNacro Community EnterprisesCentre for Maternal & Child EnquiriesChildren's Legal CentreNational Energy ActionShelterTurning PointThe Global Witness TrustCitizenship FoundationWomen's Sport & Fitness FoundationPersonal Finance Education Group