Sunday, January 04, 2009

A New Year's Resolution

Even when most on his uppers, your humble Devil has been wont to donate money to favoured charities—those he has carefully selected as doing good works and receiving no government money.

However, I am fed to the back teeth with "charities" that are effectively government agencies—QUANGOS, if you will—which earn their thirty pieces of silver by parroting government policy and lobbying for proposed government legislation.

As such, I have today cancelled all of my standing orders and direct debits, and sent the following letter to the charities concerned.
Dear Sir,

I have been sending a small amount of money to your charity for some time now. However, I feel unable to continue with my support, and I would like to explain why.

Over the last few years, I have taken to looking up the accounts of nearly every charity that features in the news as supporting government policy: in every case, they have either received vast sums of money from the government or their accounts are so opaque—featuring subsidiary companies and other non-accountable organisations—that I am unable to tell where their funding comes from.

It has always been my policy to avoid giving money to any charity that receives money from the state, on the grounds that:
  1. I am already giving (involuntarily), and

  2. any body which takes money from the government is beholden to the government and therefore bound to advance aims with which I do not agree.

These days, it is becoming more and more difficult to tell which charities are in receipt of government funds, and I have therefore ceased to give any money to any charity the funding of which I cannot accurately trace.

However, over the last decade, the government has racked up ever more its use of the Third Sector for advancing its own aims and I find this utterly unacceptable.

These effective QUANGOs are using charitable status both to dodge tax and, more importantly, to con the public into believing that they are impartially advancing good works when they are, in fact, bound to advance and support government policy.

Furthermore, charitable giving is supposed to be voluntary: when the government steals money from me by force and then hands it to "charities", there is no voluntary element there at all.

What is to be done?

I believe that it is only when genuine charities start to kick up a fuss about this perversion of charitable status that anything might get changed.

As such, I have made it my New Year's resolution to cease all charitable giving until this situation is resolved—and also to inform my friends and family, as well as the charities involved, why I have made said decision.

I hope that you carry on your good work but that, nonetheless, my message resonates with you.



So, that is my New Year's resolution: I shall cease giving to charity but shall, at every opportunity, give said charities due notice as to why I am taking this measure.

I am aware that there is a slight irony in my insisting that charities lobby the government in order to stop lobbying groups being charities, but that's just tough: if they want my cash, then this covert (and not so covert) perversion of the concept of "charity" needs to stop.


Anonymous said...

Loan money to people in third world countries. They invest it in themselves, and pay it back. Then re-loan it.

Instead of giving money to charities (who give it to the Labour Party) just add to the loan pool.

Ian B said...

any body which takes money from the government is beholden to the government and therefore bound to advance aims with which I do not agree.

I think you've got it the wrong way around. It's more accurate to say that the government advances the agenda of the third sector (pressure groups and charities). In most cases the government is doing little more than giving them money then doing what the third sector tells them to do.

These charities were, in the main, set up by collectivist social reformers to advance a collectivist social reform agenda. They are tapping into government money more than they used to, but that's because they've brought the government to heel (in this case "they" being the entire reform movement). The third sector hasn't been corrupted by government. The government has been corrupted by the third sector. Or, another way of looking at it, they have all become part of one giant machine.

Anonymous said...

Excellent, Ian B.

Chris Gilmour said...


the government is doing little more than giving them money then doing what the third sector tells them to do.

then there's no accountability back to the electorate. The government are supposed to do what 'we' tell them to do, not what someone else tells them to do.

John Pickworth said...

In complete agreement with DK.

We should change the rules a little so that people know who they are giving money to. Allow these Government funded 'organisations' to have charitable status but call them "Foundations" - or some other such name. In fact this should apply to any outfit that is funded from a single source. Meanwhile those which support themselves with voluntary public donations can continue to carry the name "Charity".

Anonymous said...

I second the KIVA suggestion.

My wife and I have made sixty loans to date and all except one has repaid or is repaying on schedule. As each repayment is made we simply lend it to somebody else. Recycling that actually works!

Roger Thornhill said...

Unlike IanB, I agree with DK that Charities are beholden, only because the really big Fabians and Collectivists are in Government and not the Charities. He who pays the (bob) piper.

Of course, once they have served their time in Government, the warhorses are put out to comfy pasture in such organisations.

The Charities do dream up many ideas, for sure, but the end result is that Government gets more power over he individual.

Maybe it is somewhere between - symbiotic parasitism.

Anonymous said...

I said something similar to Wat Tyler the other week

Burning Our Money

Half these fuckers aren't at all similar to what the average person would consider a charity to be, they are far more like Quangos.

As for the chicken and the egg. I think the government dreams up something it wants to do, pays a charity to do the research on it, then has the charity lobby them, then the government claims some independent charity (and it's particularly useful if it's a charity because only a real bastard would oppose a charity) has researched the matter and there's popular support for action.

The Filthy Smoker said...

It's a bit of both. If the government set them up or gives them money (eg. Ash, Alcohol Concern) it's safe to bet that they will manufacture a groundswell of support for what the government wants to do.

If they are built on legacies and private donations (eg. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation) they will lobby the government to do whatever nonsense is fashionable amongst the pinko berks who live off them.

I can't see what can done about the second group but I can see no justification for the state ever funding a charity. They should all be closed down. Better still, they should be forced to continue without state funding. Let's see how committed these deeply moral people are when they have to survive on the pittance they get from voluntary donations.

Anonymous said...

"I can see no justification for the state ever funding a charity"

I can see that a body being a charity shouldn't necessarily disqualify it from being a Government contractor. For example, the Government contracts the RSPCA to do the animal welfare inspections it legislated for (if not the RSPCA then it would be local authority employees or some Government agency).

And theoretically the RNLI could be paid to provide specific lifeboat cover.

Dealing with Government is a dangerous game, though, and not always to the advantage of the charity. The RSPCA has utterly compromised itself by becoming a self-serving Governmental army of clipboard wielders (the experience of getting my cats from the RSPCA was even worse than dealing with HMRC).

The RNLI chooses not to take a penny of Government money in order to escape the wickedness of Government bureaucracy (e.g. the Coastguard risk letting a girl drown rather than set to sea in a non-certified boat).

Jon said...

Some years ago I was talking to someone who worked for RAISE, which is a creature of the South-East Regional thingum -- hence also a creature of the EU. I pointed out that, by allowing themselves to get sucked into such an organisation, charities were at risk of compromising themselves and alienating private donors. My remarks met with agreement; but then this guy subsequently got constructively sacked. He's a lefty but obviously wasn't on message enough for their liking.

I too think it's a bit of both -- charities leading govt and vice versa. However, we mustn't forget the influence of the EU, nor indeed Common Purpose, which regards bodies like this as a rich recruiting-ground.

Jon said...

P.S. What did I just find on the RAISE site but this?


05 RAISE May 2005 Newsletter

Uploaded By:

Jaz Binning




Including: Important Change to RAISE Annual Conference & AGM 2005; New FAces at RAISE; Funding News from Big Lottery Fund; Training for Emerging Leaders (Common Purpose) ; Charitable Incorporated Organisations; RAISE Newsletter Evolution




RAISE May 2005.pdf (46kb file - 10 seconds at 56kps)


Anonymous said...

Just to expand on Kay Tie's remarks on the RNLI, I was told by someone peripherally involved that the RNLI walked away from an offer of possible government funds because, among other things, they were asked to prove that they rescued a required proportion of ethnic minorities...

There is a European dimension to this whole problem. Am I right in recalling that such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth get a lot of money from Brussels, then stand arm in arm with the Eurocrats demanding that industrial economies are closed down to save the planet?

Dr Evil said...

The charity Alcohol Concern is having a pop at Witherspoons for selling Green King IPA for 99p a pint. I quite like IPA but it's not to everyones taste and is a session beer if you will. Now this charity gets a lot of money from the Dept of Health (it does accept money from individuals and corporate donors too. It says that it is THE Authority on matters of alcohol and helps to shape government policy. They are a bunch of kill joy bastards hiding behind health stats and promulgating the scientific nonsense and fraud of alcohol units, numbers taken out of the air on a best guess basis.

Ian B said...

They're the Temperance Movement. In fact, most of what we call the "nanny state" in terms of health policy and restrictions is basically the modern manifestation of the Temperance Movement, who from their earliest days were strongly associated with the "Progressive" movement and the "Left" in the Liberal and Labour parties. They go by more subtle names now than that, anodyne labels like "The Alliance House Foundation"... who are the former UK Temperance Alliance.

While normal people were all having a bit of a laugh in the post-war period of social liberalisation, these bastards were worming their way into the international and national bureaucratic cloud that was developing, organisations like the WHO.

Did you know that the Womens Christian Temperance Union were one of the UN's founding NGOs? This war has been running for a very long time. They've cemented their position very well, and we're now in the phase where they're swarming over the city walls. That's why it's wrong to blame all this on "NuLab" as if it all suddenly started in 1997. It just so happens that Labour are entirely of the same mind as the Temperance Movement (especially having gone back to their roots, which are more methodist than socialist) but it would be happening regardless of which bunch of stuffed socks were in power.

We're up against a very large, well funded, well organised coalition with a long history of winning.

Roger Thornhill said...

"We're up against a very large, well funded, well organised coalition with a long history of winning."

I don't care. They don't scare me. They have no right to impose their dysfunctional brain-shaggery on others.

I tend to label them all Fabians. I suspect the Fabians are the gits who opened the gates from the inside.

Shug Niggurath said...

I was talking with a full-time fundraiser (for cancer hospices) today and mentioned this very post. Her arguments were pretty revealing.

If a charity organisation exists at all, it is to raise funds for a pet cause (my words not hers). To some people the cause is all that exists. So if the government offer their largesse on them, and they don't stand to benefit personally from that cash (ignore please that some charity workers take home huge salaries, I'm aware of that) it is difficult for them to say no.

Especially if that largesse might well amount to half as much or more again of the amount they can realistically expect to raise.

Her other point was that of course an anti cancer charity would lobby against smoking as it was something they agreed with.

So government is now forumlating policy by preying on the good (if totally misguided) intentions of the charitable!

A bit of a rant, but hopefully you'll see my point.

A couple of years ago a collector came into my local asking for funds for a 'Teen Kitchen'. I asked her what they did (basically a youth club) and told her that the next week I'd give her a jar of coffee and some teabags. She was furious.

She even refused to take the coffee and teabags off me the following week.

Anonymous said...

I only give to small charities, principles known to met or met,low cost, driven by an individual with a detailed knowledge of area of operation.
There are some good people out there doing very good work especially in Africa. May I mention
TheCharChartrust and Mango.
I have long since given up on likes of Oxfam, Help the Aged and NSPCC.

Anonymous said...

The third sector hasn't been corrupted by government. The government has been corrupted by the third sector. Or, another way of looking at it, they have all become part of one giant machine.

Yes, however.

You call it the 3rd sector, I call it the ESTABLISHMENT at work, while getting us to pay for it.

Charitable foundations have been a vitally important establishment TOOL for hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Devil, could I ask if you ever studied any of the history of your own country???

The big chaps with the big money have been secretly running this country through so called CHARITY since before the first church plate was handed around. They did after all set up and sponsor and still do, Oxford and Cambridge universities.

A simply great system......for them only.

The establishment cause all the real shit in the world. Then they collect all the taxes and charity from us to help THEM to NOT sort it all out. Therefore they always will require ever more taxation to sort out problems they cause, that they never have any intention of actually sorting out in the first place.

Reformist movements are another word for FASCIST movements, that wholly represent the interests of the establishment. If not when they first started, but always by the time they have been successfully subverted. If an organization is successful (eg you have heard of them on the BBC) you can be 100% certain that they have been subverted from the top, by the establishment.

Always remembering that the only thing that is conservative about the establishment is how they expect their own families to behave.

Other then that, they are a horribly nasty combination of Nazis/Communist/Religious Zealots and other types of assorted corporate fascists. While only being libertarian as long as there is no true liberty for anyone and they can continue to make a fast buck out of the concept, whatever side of the metaphorical Iron Curtain they personally prefer for us.

Atlas Shrugged

DWMF said...

You're dead right, DK. If any "charity" is in receipt of taxpayers' money, then as far as I'm concerned, it's not a charity (in the true meaning of the word).

Shug - a "pet cause" can also be a nice little earner. Especially as it brings a nice low-tax way of life.

Nehru has a saying: "The whiter the hat, the blacker the heart."

CityUnslicker said...

For DK's reason, I only give to beggars and people who need the money directly. At least they will spend it on what they want, even if that is to be drugs or alcohol.

it is the libertarian thing to do.

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