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Thursday 2 December 2010

TPA – False Assumption

There are, out there, groups of people who are dedicated to maintaining and improving our environment. They may be unpaid volunteers, not-for-profit groups, or – whisper it quietly – Quangos. Their work may be taken for granted by the wider public, but thus far there has been no dissent.

No longer: the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), representing less than one tenth of one per cent of all taxpayers, and still not publishing full accounts or a list of donors and hangers-on, has decided that any environmental group that receives grant money from Government – any Government – is good for their hyperbolic and mean spirited demonisation.

The TPA has discovered – shock horror – that environmental groups obtained a total of just over ten million notes in funding during 2009-10 from local Government in the UK, and from the EU. But, so what? Well, when you’re the TPA, you just make up something to suit your argument, that’s what. So TPA Director Matthew “C5” Sinclair blithely states that “environmentalist campaigns are politicised groups”.

See how he does that? Environmental groups become “campaigns”, so they can then be demonised. And in a characteristically turgid and overlong “report” (see HERE [.pdf]), Sinclair attempts to smear a range of bodies, such as BirdLife Europe, the Town And Country Planning Association, and International Friends of Nature.

Fortunately, only one and a half pages of the 87 page “report” is given over to “analysis”, the quality of which is typified by this gem: “European Union funding ... is designed to substitute for genuine democratic engagement”.

So says the spokesman for a group that nobody elected.

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