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Wednesday 7 July 2010

A Stroll Across The Astroturf – 14

So farewell then, Mark Wallace: another of those clever people who talk loudly in restaurants has left the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance for pastures new, which of course will not be any kind of sinecure, public service appointment, or one of those non-jobs he has spent his time at the TPA banging on about.

Wallace, who has also contributed many blog posts to ConservativeHome – not that there is any connection between the TPA and the Tory Party, you understand – has overseen some staggeringly inept “research” during his tenure, including the infamous “report” that accused the previous Government of paying firms to lobby it.

Unfortunately for Wallace and the TPA, Mick Fealty at the Slugger O’Toole blog asked the very obvious question: just because the Government were making payments to companies who also did lobbying (among other things), was it not possible that the payment was for something else? Were the TPA making an assumption that they could not prove?

Wallace could not satisfactorily rebut Fealty’s question, and as a result the keeper of Slugger O’Toole had to tell the TPA’s finest that “it stands to reason you have no idea precisely what any of the companies in your research were actually paid for ... you were working on the basis of what their core competences were. In short, the research cannot be worth the paper it’s not printed on”.

This was, however, no problem to Iain Dale, a compliant and reliable conduit for Tory propaganda, who happily reproduced the work of “those excellent people at the TPA” as fact.

There’s lack of bias, objectivity and even handedness for you.

[Mick Fealty, as he points out, is not delving into details of the TPA’s accounts or backers, but simply treating their “research” on its merits. Or lack thereof]

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