Ritchie is complaining about charities being political

The consequences are obvious, but to take a simple example, the deeply right wing Institute for Economic Affairs is a charity because it, apparently, does not offer political opinion and yet to question the role of the market is, apparently, political. The dichotomy is obvious, unless of course, you’re a neoliberal. Then it’s natural.

This from a man who gets £35k a year from a charity to be political?

25 thoughts on “Ritchie is complaining about charities being political”

  1. “Offering political opinion” and “political campaigning”, although correlated, are not the same thing.

    The dichotomy is obvious, unless of course, you’re a neoliberal. Then it’s natural.

    Stuff that is natural has to be not obvious? I know what the LHTD is trying to say here but he’s not managing to do it using the English language.

    Please note, however, the definition of “dichotomy” (my bold):

    a division or contrast between two things that are or are represented as being opposed or entirely different.

  2. I look forward to his post on how giving special tax treatment to ‘charities’ is, now that we have no useful criteria by which to judge whether an organisation is or should be a ‘charity’, is probably a nonsense and, as such, said special tax treatment should be scrapped, along with the charities commission.

  3. @TTG

    No, no no. You’ve got it all wrong. Charity means helping the poor. Left wing groups help the poor. Right wing groups grind their faces into the dust.

    Therefore* all left wing groups are charities. No right wing groups can be.

    *can’t say ‘ergo’. that is Latin and therefore elitist. Res ipsa loqui…oh fuck.

  4. Interested,

    Do you think he means ‘double standards’?

    That’s what I thought he was trying to say. But I don’t agree with his point given the distinctions between publication, campaigning and lobbying. One of the core objectives of charity in the UK has been education, therefore I can’t get particularly upset regarding publication, discussion etc.

    Also, he suffers the usual confusion between ownership and markets. But, perhaps, this from the IEA website best shows the difference between them and a LHTD putative Fair-Charity-Mark charity:

    The Institute is entirely independent of any political party or group, and is entirely funded by voluntary donations from individuals, companies and foundations who want to support its work, plus income from book sales and conferences. It does no contract work and accepts no money from government.

    Obviously, any such organisation, not dependent on ex-nuLabour SpAds for directors nor dripping with govt or EU money and not even an affiliate of the TUC must be up to neo-liberal ungoodness.

  5. Further to my earlier comment on double standards, Ritchie had this to say today on Zara, the retailer:

    “For those with a conscience, here’s another one to add to your list of companies to avoid”

    He could have added (and in my dreams did add) “Further information can be found in my e-book ‘The Courageous State’ available only via Amazon.”

  6. Sorry for the drip-feed.

    Charity means helping the poor. Left wing groups help the poor.

    I know you were being sarcastic but there is an important point to be made here. The best thing ever for helping the poor – over the medium or long term – has been free markets. As promoted by the IEA.

  7. As soon as Ritchie strays from his old familiar oft-used linguistic props, he trips himself up, as well as his hapless readers. To assist you, here are a few of his mots-amis (along with my understandings of his meanings for them):

    neo-liberal – denotes anyone who fails to agree with RM

    candidly – mainly this is used by RM as a speaker would use as a pause for thought (eg by saying “Well,”), but he does also use this for a multitude of different meanings, many of which have so far eluded me

    Troll – someone who repeatedly disproves RM’s arguments by compelling objective evidence

    right wing – someone who does not read and/or agree with the views of the Guardian or who votes Conservative

    extreme right wing – someone who criticises the views of the Guardian or Civil Society (see below) or who votes UKIP

    Civil Society – a mythical fascist dictatorship run along ideological grounds approved by RM

    Tax avoidance – any deficit in a payment of tax below that which would be approved by RM

    Enemy of Civil Society – Tim Worstall, inter alia

    constructive discussion – brown tonguing and sycophantic comment agreeing wholly with RM, usually with praise for the great man

  8. @SE

    I had rather hoped that my comment was dripping with so much sarcasm that one was in danger of slipping in a puddle of same.

    Needless to say, of course I agree with you re ‘what actually helps the poor.’

  9. So charities help the poor do they?
    Maybe some do. Most of them, it seems to me, are instruments for effectively farming and warehousing the poor. Using the good offices of a rather large coterie of well paid, well pensioned staff.

  10. Where are these well paid, well pensioned staff? I know dozens of charity workers (having worked for charities for years you pick up a number of friends), cannot think of any who wouldn’t be on more money in the private sector rather than the third sector. Pension is commonly the minimum government require – currently about 1% of gross wage by employer I believe, for the largest charities. Nothing for smaller.

  11. @ Martin Davies

    Perhaps you have a limited circle of charity-working contacts. They sound like the sort involved in charities that ‘do things to help people’, or some other such frippery. You should extend your horizons and get to know people whose charities are in the more noble fields of ‘lobbying governments’ and ‘arranging cosy non-jobs for well-connected people with no discernible skills’. There are quite a lot of them, and there you’ll find the people to whom Monty refers.

    Therein, of course, lies the reason for suggesting that the whole ‘charity’ thing is a mess. Any old government funded pressure group gets to be called a ‘charity’, and gets the veneer of worthy credibility that comes with it.. when they should get nothing of the sort. That includes the IEA as much as it does ‘Action on Salt’ and whoever it is paying Murphy to talk shit this week.

  12. @ TTG
    *You* have a very limited circle of charities and very limited knowledge about them. The majority of charities have NO paid employees and indulge in NO lobbying but simply work at providing the benefits (usually, but not always to the poor) that the founder intended when he/she endowed it.
    While there are a number of pseudo-charitie (and the left has periodically infiltrated some genuine ones – Christian Aid has cleaned out Marxist infiltrators at least twice in the last forty years), the vast majority genuinely devote all their efforts to charitable aims .
    I agree with Martin Davies – in my relative youth I was at various times Hon Treasurer of half-a-dozen charities which did not have a single paid employee among them and whose officers claimed not a single penny of their expenses.

  13. I have numerous friends who work for charities. I know roughly what they get paid but, being British, have never queried them on their pensions. However, like I suspect Martin’s colleagues, they are my friends because they aren’t the bottom-feeding top-paid poli-scoundrels that bring the sector in to so much disrepute.

  14. @ Comrade Phil
    It was, so was Christian Aid, Oxfam, Save the Children (though they were fundamentally misguided from day one), Joseph Rowntree when it started, and many others.
    But the vast majority of charities have genuinely charitable purposes such as “bread and coals for the poor in (area X)” or “the support of poor widows in (area Y)” or “holidays for orphans” or education of poor children or…
    Sadly 90+% of charities were badly hit by inflation during the two World Wars (part, but only part, of that in WWI was reversed in the 1920s) and 1945-51 and devastated by the Wilson/Healey hyper-inflation that worse than halved the value of money in five years since they were condemned to hold their endowments in gilt-edged unless they had been specifically left property as their endowment.
    For example, I got exactly the same scholarships to school and college as my father (I suspect that someone mildly tweaked allocation while maintaining equity) but while they virtually completely funded his education they covered less than one-quarter of the cost of mine. By now they are in danger of being scrapped completely as being ineffectual.
    So most genuine charities run by volunteers are disappearing from view since inflation has destroyed their ability to the good that they were intended to do in perpetuity.

  15. Tim

    Totally Agree with the Double standard you’re exposing here – but you Amy want to check out the source article which Murphy is using. The Double standard is quite simply mind – blowing given hatchet jobs on virtually any Conservative Front Bench MP of the last twenty years, Ironman – I know you have quite wisely eschewed the blog for the last week but the comments from our mutual idiots Dickie and Horrocks really have to be seen to be believed…..

  16. Van

    Yep, absolutely brilliant. Andrew Dickie in particular seems to be pitching to Ritchie the idea of converting the blog into a doomesday cult.

    But for sheer lefty text book linguistic contortion I offer you Bill Lawrence:

    “Nozick provided a closely argued exposition of the benefits of libertarianism unfortunately it was devoid of an explanation of the mechanics involved in divesting ourselves from the flawed concept of democracy, to its clinically logical antithesis demoktesis….
    I recently withdrew from a postgraduate philosophy degree course because of the propagandising of the libertarian cause. From eight texts of required reading, seven were neo liberal and one was not…
    Attempts to widen the range of cited communitarian texts resulted in low marks and comments such as “irrelevant” and “this is politics not philosophy”.”

    This is complete bollocks, whether its philiosophy or politics.

  17. The IEA is a charity with some tax advantages, correctly since it is attempting to do public good rather than make profits.

    But I doubt if, as an opponent of big state parasitism, it is a heavily government funded “fakecharity” unlike almost all “leftist” charities (FoE, WWF, Shelter, Bernardos, Terrance Higgins Trust, BBC, all the “N”GOs funding riots in Ukraine etc etc).

    The £10s of billions poured by government into “charities” & “N”GOs to promote government propaganda by organisations posing as charitable is the greatest scandal of the age.

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