You know that Astroturf lobby groups like the IEA, still pretending to be an educational charity, are becoming anxious about the level of criticism they receive when they resort to having the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog spin for them. And the resulting post, “Revealed: Who Funds The Institute Of Economic Affairs”, is the kind of own goal and victimhood combination that only makes matters worse.
Kate Andrews - still not transparent
The Great Guido tells anyone not yet asleep “There is currently a concerted campaign by a coalition of left-wing groups, green zealots, remainers and left-wing journalists to delegitimise right-of-centre campaigns and think tanks. Any right-of-centre voice is to be shouted down”. This post is about the IEA, right? The same IEA whose FAQ has a Question 6 telling “Are you ‘right wing’? No.” Oh what a giveaway!
But do go on. “It is a fact of life that people in the private sector prefer to be in the private sector and tick the ‘no publicity’ box. Who can blame them? They would otherwise be on the receiving end of pretty nasty campaigns, potential commercial boycotts and the unwelcome attention of social media’s resident idiots”. Shine a light, who writes this stuff? Can’t Staines get himself some half-competent gofers for once?
Ineffective heavyweight defence
Then comes the victimhood playing. “Look at … just some of the horrendous replies to tweets by the IEA’s Kate Andrews, the Taxpayers’ Alliance’s Chloe Westley, the Adam Smith Institute’s Sophie Jarvis, or the CPS’s Ems Barr whenever they appear on TV. Why would you volunteer for that abuse?” Abuse like “Who funds you?” for instance.
Anyhow, what about transparency? “Right-of-centre organisations tend in consequence to be less transparent about their funding … It lets the left paint them as funded by scary sounding “dark money”, rather than generous civic minded individuals who just prefer to remain anonymous in the circumstances”. Generous minded civic individuals? As Billy Connolly said, there’s going to be some swearing. F*** OFF. Just F*** RIGHT OFF.
Having shredded not only their own credibility, but also that of the IEA, the Fawkes massive then get to the point. “The IEA is trying to go some way to answering the question as to who funds them by breaking it down into categories”. Ooh interesting! Let’s have a look and see where all the money is coming from, shall we?
And the first thing we find from the IEA’s response to the question “Who funds you?” is that they are still not saying. They admit some of the money comes from outside the UK, but that is not shown separately. Breaking their income down into “Foundations and trusts”, “Large businesses” and “Individuals, entrepreneurs and family firms” is meaningless - as some donations could easily straddle all three categories.
Moreover, the IEA pie chart has something wrong with it, something that should be obvious to an organisation that likes to talk economics. Look at the percentages shown for each category of funding. Then add them up. 23% plus 23% plus 20% plus 20% plus 15% equals … 101%. More than 100%. The IEA can’t even get its own propaganda right.
In any case, this graphic, and the Fawkes smokescreen, do not deflect from what we already know about the IEA and its fellow travellers. Who’s paying? They’re still not saying.
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“Right-of-centre organisations tend in consequence to be less transparent about their funding:.
He doesn't actually see the problem with that claim?.
And while we're at it who funds Spiked and the terminally boring Brendan O'Neill?. The site carries no advertising and it isn't a cheap one to run.
Is there anything to the rumour some US billionaires decided in the 80s to fund faux Libertarian outfits which covertly push right wing themes?.
O'Neill is currently bemoaning the "bullying" of right-wing Viktor Orban and his Gerry-mandering Hungarian government that is threatening to shut down all manner of unfriendly media outlets and NGOs. Not very Libertarian.
As Peter Jukes has tweeted the UK needs a Foreign Agents Registration Act to regulate foreign lobbyists.
Whether they would actually comply is another matter given that powerful people with leverage (financial or kompromat)seem to be above the reach of the law. And that our law keepers appear to be compromised too. Why else would Leveson 2 be quashed?
They may (just may) be telling approximately the truth about their direct UK fundraising efforts
But that, of course isn't the same as their income: there's probably a wholly separate, and much much larger, pie-chart for income which just got mysteriously donated from overseas friends
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