After maintaining total silence over the costs to taxpayers of the Thatcher funeral, and the premature recall of Parliament, the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA) has at last reacted to a prompt from Gerry Braiden, telling that they don’t know about the costs (despite estimates being widely available) and that they will not be commenting further as the matter “is too partisan”.
Well, the TPA does describe itself as “non partisan”, but then, it also describes itself as a “grassroots” organisation, despite not having any grassroots. I confirmed this personally when their “day of action” in the Manchester satellite town of Ashton-under-Lyne in September 2011 turned out to be brought in from outside the area, with the “grassroots” support counted on two fingers.
So just how “non partisan” is the TPA? This investigation does not get off to a good start for them: one look at ConservativeHome shows that they get a regular column there. That would suggest that they certainly are partisan, and so would the movement from ConHome to the TPA recently of one Jonathan Isaby, who is now the TPA’s Political Director. Perhaps this is a one-off?
Sadly for those pretending otherwise, no it isn’t: recently appointed as ConHome’s “Executive Editor” is Mark Wallace. Wal used to be the TPA’s Campaign Director, and still keeps in regular contact with his pals on the second floor at 55 Tufton Street. And, as the man said, there’s more: former TPA staffer Susie Squire left to become a SpAd for none other than Iain Duncan Cough.
Ms Squire then progressed to become the Tories’ head of press, before last October becoming Young Dave’s jolly good Press Secretary. But this is just a change of job, isn’t it? What about some more obvious links to the Tories? You betcha, says Sarah: check out last September’s Conservative Renewal Conference at Windsor, co-sponsored by none other than, er, the TPA.
Present at this conference were TPA co-founder Matthew “Gromit” Elliott, current CEO Matthew Sinclair, and once again Mark Wallace. The gathering was also blessed by the presence of Roger Scruton, who headed the Salisbury Review in the days when it was advocating “voluntary repatriation” for Black and Asian Britons. All were gathered under the Tory Party logo.
And just in case anyone thought that the ties between the TPA and the Tories had been loosened recently, there is a tribute event after the Thatcher funeral tomorrow where the speakers will include such cures for insomnia as Dan, Dan the Oratory Man, Mark Littlewood of the IEA, and ... Matthew Sinclair of the TPA. That’s an awful lot of coincidences for a “non partisan” outfit.
The TPA are Conservatives. Full stop. Any suggestion otherwise is rank dishonesty.