Posts By: Matthew Sherrington

Transparency and politics in think tanks and charities

The Centre for Policy Studies came out last month with a report criticising larger charities for a lack of transparency over the extent of their public funding.

The CPS is the right-wing think tank set up by Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph to champion the rolling back of the state. It reveals its bias with talk of charities “refusing” to provide the information, even though they meet the Sorp’s accounting requirements. Beneath the report’s disingenuous concern about the sector’s viability lurks an agenda about outing the kind of public spending through charities that the CPS would hope to axe. Read more on Transparency and politics in think tanks and charities…

Now the Electoral Commission is acting like a spy

Taking a stand and speaking truth to power takes some courage. When the response of those in power is an overbearing and disproportionate attempt to shut you up, you can bet it is because what you are saying is an uncomfortable truth.

So we have the chancellor, George Osborne, in his Tory party conference speech this month, calling on business to take a stand against the charity sector, as though it were some fifth column. McCarthyesque. Read more on Now the Electoral Commission is acting like a spy…

Scotland: it was feelings wot won it. Remember that, charities

The deciding factors in the Scottish referendum were all about emotion and not the rational arguments, no matter what politicians would have you believe.

Now that it is decided and the United Kingdom is still united, the experience of the campaign is a good reminder to charities that leading with the facts is not the right way to connect with and engage the public. The political noise and debate may have been all about the economy, the currency and the viability of an independent Scotland. But it all boiled down to how it made people feel. Read more on Scotland: it was feelings wot won it. Remember that, charities…

It’s official – preventing poverty is not charitable

For some time now, the UK charity sector has been under pressure from government and from parts of the media that want to stop it speaking out. Just as the term “political correctness” is used not to highlight bureaucracy gone mad but to signpost that the speaker is about to come out with something objectionable, so “political” has become a term thrown at charities specifically to put them on the defensive.

Read more on It’s official – preventing poverty is not charitable…