Friday, May 22, 2015

From the Archives: the lobbyists fight back (2009)

Although the Filthy Smoker has moved onwards and upwards, he is responsible for some of your humble Devil's favourite posts. This little sample, from a 2009 post in which he discusses the tactics of fake charities, shows why...
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.
Although the fake charities site is no longer up (I know—I keep meaning to sort that out) nothing has fundamentally changed in the tactics employed by these organisations.

For more on these insidious lobbyists, why not have a look at Chris Snowdon's excellent (and free) IEA monographs on the subject:
As I always say, the phrase—and highlighting of—"fake charities" has been your humble Devil's sole effective contribution to public discourse—other than making it coarser...

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