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Thursday 18 August 2011

TPA – Let Them Eat More Whoppers

As the supposedly new and original book Let Them Eat Carbon by Matthew Sinclair, head non-job holder at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA), is launched onto a less than ecstatic market, it’s increasingly clear that much of the material it contains is neither new nor original. As I’ve shown previously, Sinclair’s talk of “excessive green taxes” was merely a recycled January TPA document. And there’s more.

In the frame for demonisation by the TPA’s finest is something Very Bad called Environmentalism. This subject may also be already familiar to TPA watchers, as it was covered in a piece of “research” last December titled Taxpayer Funded Environmentalism [.pdf]. In characteristic TPA style, this contained page upon page of detail on grants given to environmental groups.

Then, Sinclair made a leap of logic to assert that funds given to what he categorised as “environmentalist groups” were effectively being used for political campaigning. From this followed the usual mean-spirited TPA call for funding to be stopped. The approach follows that used in the now notorious 2009 Taxpayer Funded Lobbying report [.pdf].

The notoriety of the latter was substantially down to Mick Fealty at the excellent Slugger O’Toole blog, who nailed Sinclair’s leap of logic. This was, basically, to examine payments from Government to bodies among whose core competencies was lobbying and then declare that the payments were for lobbying. No evidence was cited to back up the claim, as there was none.

Fealty was not taking sides in any debate on whether taxpayer funded lobbying existed – he was merely calling out the TPA for what he called a “decidedly dodgy dossier”. The ventures of Matthew Sinclair into the comments following the post are revealing, as he appears abusive and petulant, as well as raising his FoI fishing expeditions to the status of “empirical, real world, research”.

So when anyone comes to read or review Sinclair’s new magnum opus, they would do well to remember that not only is much of the content not new, but that it has also already been shown to contain false assumptions that have rendered the conclusions reached utterly worthless – except, of course, to the more gullible part of the Fourth Estate.

As I said before, Let Them Eat Carbon is effectively a bogus book, filled with bogus figures, by a bogus expert.

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