Friday, 25 February 2011

A Guest Post

By Edward Spalton. It links to my previous post entitled "Fiddling with AV" and broadens the debate.

Here is a new, unexpected class of electoral "player"! There are hundreds of "Third Sector" charities which owe their existence or sustenance in one way or another to the EU and HMG. For instance - The World Wildlife Fund, Friends of the Earth and Oxfam all receive massive EU support (and doubtless many more names which people love and respect). Perhaps just by chance these above all sing the official tune in the global warming debate! Oxfam provides its staff as paid agitators for "climate change" - like the one at Ratcliffe on Soar power station. Also there are those which rely on the "market"
in public services whose role Mr Cameron wants to expand.

Then there is the Electoral Commission itself. It's a very long time since I read the Act but I seem to recall that it has a statutory duty to inform the public about the institutions of the EU. So it too could become a "player" under this guise.

A while ago Private Eye ran a story on another voter registration company. called Opt2Vote Ltd which, it claimed, had close links with the Labour Party: many councils entrusted it with their voter registration.

Charity law has been altered considerably so that the "Third Sector" (as it is called, i.e. not state, not private enterprise) has more freedom to campaign on political issues. I wonder which ones the Referendum Pledge people have lined up - at least for an approach. The EU and government paymasters will have all their clients lined up well in advance of any referendum.

The actual, official referendum campaign will only be the home straight of a much longer race (without any rules) which may decide the outcome far in advance - as happened in 1975.

Whilst some newspapers now may be more Eurosceptic than in those days, a whole new bloc of corporate interests (ultimately funded by the state and/or eurostate) has emerged to take the place of people like the British Motor Industry which believed that joining the EEC would be a great thing for the sale of Austins, Rovers, Triumphs etc. Only the new groups are already bought and paid for by the enemy - but that is not obvious to the well-intentioned, charitable public who support such groups because they genuinely want to relieve the victims of famine and save those cuddly polar bears.


TomTom said...

Germany once had lots of charities but under Gleichschaltung all became incorporated into The State. Today the ONLY charitable purposes recognised in German tax law pertain to Education and Scientitic Research.

It may be that Charitable Status will need to be drawn very tightly in future and most Charities incorporated into the Government is not just those mentioned currently living on taxpayer largesse - try Stonewall, Asylum Groups, and don't forget the Lottery slush fund

Edward Spalton said...

New Labour redefined "Charity" and put one of its own, Dame Suzi Leather, in charge of the Charity Commission. She is out of much the same stable as Catherine Ashton, a "Quango Queen" who has been in politically influential organisations all her life - always selected and never elected. Much the same goes for the Electoral Commission. The first chap in charge was a former BBC man. Now there is another Quango Queen.

Germany has many institutions, like the Bertelsmann Stiftung, which enjoy status equivalent to charities under British law. This one owns most of the shares in the huge Bertelsmann group of media companies and draws the income from them which it uses to spread its own ideas of good governance all over Europe .The Bertelsmann group has companies which specialise in providing administrative services for public authorities. One of them, Arvato, provides all the administration for the East Riding of Yorkshire. Presumably it makes a profit from this which flows back eventually to the Bertelsmann Stiftung (tax free) which can then spread its net wider. The principal trustees of the Stiftung (Foundation/Institute) include members of Bertelsmann's original owners, the Mohn family, who were amongst the earliest supporters of Hitler.

There many more similar organisations plus those sponsored by political parties with taxpayers' money which qualify as "Gemeinnutz" (Community use or benefit).

Some of them are distinctly creepy - like the Foederalistische Union Europaeischer Volksgruppen (Federal Union of European Ethnic Groups), originally founded by convicted Nazis but now funded by German and Austrian public authorities and officially recognised by the EU and UN.

Such groups are frequently used by the German government as deniable instruments of foreign policy in places like Eastern Europe and the Balkans.

TomTom said...

the Bertelsmann Stiftung,

Yes, but these are tax dodges to circumvent inheritance taxes rather than pure charities. The kicker is this phrase:

Initial projects focus on political and corporate leadership, the media, culture, education, social welfare and healthcare sectors.

Clearly not interested in bottom-up help

Edward Spalton said...

I quite agree, Tom Tom.

However, these organisations exist. They are well-funded and influential. It is most unlikely that they will refrain from using their influence in (for instance) a referendum on the EU. Government and European Movement manipulation of the media in the Seventies was successful in converting a 66% majority in favour of independence into a a 66% majority in favour of EEC membership. Eurofacts did an excellent short report back in 2000, "How they swung it in the early Seventies" There is also a website called A Case for Treason which carries the complete text of the Royle report, which shows how it was done from the inside of government. It was released under the Thirty Year rule. With far more of these strange quasi-charitable, public/private bodies around, the scope for manipulation of public opinion is vastly increased.