Sunday, 30 March 2008

charities and politics

The Independent on Sunday has a news report and a leader article about this.

First the news report:
Exclusive: right-wing Christian group pays for Commons researchers

An evangelical Christian charity leading opposition to new laws on embryo research is funding interns in MPs’ offices, an investigation by The Independent on Sunday has discovered.

Christian Action, Research and Education (Care) faces inquiries into its lobbying activities by the Charity Commission and the House of Commons standards watchdog after accessing Parliament at the highest levels.

Twelve research assistants sponsored by Care are Commons pass-holders, allowing them unrestricted access to Westminster in the run-up to highly sensitive and potentially close votes on the Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Bill next month. At least two MPs face questions after they omitted to declare they have Care-sponsored staff.

Charities are allowed to carry out political campaigning, but Charity Commission rules state they “must not give support or funding to a political party, or to a candidate or politician”.

Then, the leader column: Leading article: An unsuitable case for charity

The Charity Commission guidance on political activity could hardly be clearer: “A charity must not give support or funding to a political party, nor to a candidate or politician.” Our report today that Care, the Christian charity, has been paying the salaries of research assistants for at least eight MPs appears on the face of it to suggest that the law has been broken…

The whole matter is discussed at greater length on the Church Times blog under Charity Commission investigates evangelical Parliamentary interns.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 30 March 2008 at 11:48pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England
Comments

{said glumly}

Hallo, Brits: Welcome to Wingnut Politics, Yank-style.

(You'll find that, since they believe God's on Their Side, Wingnuts think the laws of Godless Society don't apply to them)

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 3:43am BST

Interns are far less likely to influence policy than MPs themselves. These particular interns are involved in the highly scandalous practice of promoting life. Whoever heard of such a thing? Surely death and disintegrating families are the things to promote.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 1:38pm BST

You're right Christopher Shell. Better fund, pay-off and be involved in kick-backs as a surefire way to influence politicians, as opposed to an argument that is backed up by pertinent facts of everyday living. But then again, when you lived in your biblical pick-and-choose dreamworld, you don't need reality. Just a lot of "chutzpah" after all, you certainly are always right aren't you?

Posted by: choirboyfromhell on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 6:56pm BST

What they promote and how much they influence policy isn't the point. The point is the law says charities aren't supposed to be funding political parties, candidates, or politicians.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 8:09pm BST

Ford,

We do read the scripture differently and strongly disagree on matters, but I am with you in speaking up for language that is fair and to the point.

I hear it in your question to Margaret: "Do you seriously think that you have the right to speak scornfully to people, insult and misrepresent their beliefs, attack them, and if they defend themselves against that, they are persecuting and attacking you?" Actually I think she has raised some critical questions.

But surprise ... surprise ... who is using this kind of sneering or denigrating language? Your credibility will revive when it ceases to be par for the course from your compatriots like JCF who say things about cons like: "Welcome to Wingnut Politics, Yank-style.(You'll find that, since they believe God's on Their Side, Wingnuts think the laws of Godless Society don't apply to them)." I did not make that up!

Ben W


Posted by: Ben W on Monday, 31 March 2008 at 10:20pm BST

“I did not make that up!” Ben W said…

Nor did JCF, Ben, I can assure you ; = )

It seems to me, coming from the r e a l North, as I do (be it Global or not) that it is time for you, Ben W, to start taking things seriously and in earnest.

You're too old to play games with people, its not becoming, its not Christian.

Just anything would do, for starters.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 7:31am BST

Hi Choirboy-

It would be jolly nice if I *were* always right. Then I could just put my money on the 2.30 at Doncaster and hey presto.

Again: proper debate is not person-centred. It is about *what* is right, not about *who* is right. Not that there is any rule that no-one is allowed to be right (or wrong) all the time. Supposing (hypothetically) that they are right all the time (say, in the case of Einstein) - what do we do then? Say: you must pretend to be wrong so that other people can have a chance? That completely misunderstands the nature of truth.

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Tuesday, 1 April 2008 at 1:15pm BST
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