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Wednesday 6 February 2019

IEA Ignores Charity Commission

As Zelo Street regulars may recall, the IEA, an Astroturf lobby group which has fraudulently pretended for some years that it is an educational charity, was ordered by the Charity Commission to take down a flagrantly pro-Brexit “report” from its website last December.  This it did, although under sufferance. The “report” was deemed to have “overstepped the line of what is permissible charitable activity”.
Now has come worse news for the IEA, as the Charity Commission has toldThe Charity Commission, the regulator of charities in England and Wales, has issued the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) with an Official Warning, after finding that its trustees breached charity law in relation to a publication about a key government policy”.
There was more. “The warning sets out the ways in which the report and its launch contravened the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to charities with educational purposes such as IEA and amounted to misconduct and mismanagement on the part of the trustees … The warning also criticises the charity’s launch event for including as speakers only individuals who held a particular set of views, thus risking the public perception that the IEA is politically biased and has a political viewpoint on a key government policy”. A public perception that is richly deserved.
So it might be thought that those at the IEA would take heed of the warning, stop and think, then perhaps cut out the more blatant right-wing and anti-EU propagandising. But that thought would have been misplaced: the right-wing and anti-EU bias has continued as if nothing had happened. Like with the pro-Brexit propaganda.
Victoria Hewson, who claims to be from the IEA’s international trade and competition unit, has authored a highly partisanbriefing” in which she considers fears for food shortages in the aftermath of a no-deal Brexit. To no surprise at all, she concludes “that the risk of empty supermarket shelves is largely overblown”. This is pure partisan spin.
It gets worse: one look at the Twitter feed of the IEA’s talking head Kate Andrews, and there is a not-at-all even-handed offer described in the pinned Tweet. “The Road to Serfdom By Friedrich Hayek … Free to download on @iealondon website”. Not The General Theory Of Employment Interest And Money, then. And definitely not The Affluent Society. Or even anything by Paul Samuelson, that greatest of US economists.
Nor has the IEA shied away from media outlets, as Crispin Driver discovered to his horror: “I'm going to call you out on this blatant bias, #r4today - an item about trade and you present Tufton Street-based right wing lobby groups the IEA and the Adam Smith Institute as supposedly independent think tanks and economic experts”. Oh dear, BBC!
Miles King was not happy: “What? Did they not mention that the IEA had been given an ‘official warning’ for flouting charity rules? Astonishing”. But LBC host James O’Brien adopted a weary and resigned tone. “Why would they care? They’ve just had a slot on @BBCr4today to shill for whatever business interests anonymously fund them. Came on straight after & in full agreement with the Adam Smith Institute, there to... shill for whatever business interests anonymously fund them”. Charity Commission? Pah!

Next time it can’t be a warning. That charity status has to be removed. That is all.
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Anonymous said...

Another far right "institute" that isn't.

Plus - Jesus wept - Kate Andrews with a phony Yankified accent. Another dead faced bought-and-paid-for Friedmanite* moron. A sort of short arse carbon copy of Isabel "Double Chins" Oakeshott.

*Even though Friedman admitted before he croaked that his far right "economics" were a load of bollocks and a disastrous failure.

rob said...

Jobs for the girls? Fat chance of oversight?

"An ex BBC corporate affairs is appointed head of - wait for it:
Baronness (Tina) Stowell has been appointed as the new chair of the Charity Commission, despite concerns raised by both sector bodies and the committee of MPs that has oversight over the charity sector.

It was announced yesterday that Stowell has been appointed by Matt Hancock, secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, for three years as of 26 February 2018. She takes over from William Shawcross.

Earlier this week the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee formally rejected Stowell as the new chair, but Hancock, who has final say over the role, indicated that the appointment would go ahead anyway."

Stowell was leader of the House of Lords and the Lord Privy Seal until July 2016. She has said that on appointment she would resign her party membership and the Conservative whip in the House of Lords and become an independent peer and has now done so.

See more at: https://www.civilsociety.co."uk/news/tina-stowell-confirmed-as-new-charity-commission-chair.html#sthash.XHcOA8qn.dpuf