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What villainy is this?

“Will the courts protect charities?” wails the Guardian.

Good heavens, thought I, what is this villainous threat to the Cats’ Protection League and the Distressed Gentlefolk’s Aid Association that requires the courts to protect them? And how can it be that the ability or desire of the courts to protect charities, repositories of all that is best and sweetest in this land of Albion, is even in doubt?

Trembling, I read on…

Will the courts protect charities

Yes, we already had that bit in the headline -

against cuts?

Huh? What difference do government cuts make to the cats and the gentlefolk?

Late last Friday afternoon a judge quashed a drastic programme of local authority grant reductions. This would have lopped a £10m slice from a budget which funds around 400 London-based charities and community groups.

Aaah, I see. By charities, the Guardian means “charities”. By “protect” it means “stop the elected government from doing what it was elected to do, namely cut the deficit.”

You can read the rest of the article by clicking the link at the top of the page. For those strapped for time here is a summary:

… process of consultation was flawed and unlawful … failed to meet its legal equalities duties … entire process would have to be re-run. … one of the threatened charities, Roma Support Group … current economic climate … properly assessed for their gender, disability and race equality impacts … hundreds of voluntary sector groups and tens of thousands of members of the public who would be affected … wibble … Labour-led, Tory-supported London Councils has already scaled down its cuts package … wibble wibble … proceeding with even greater cuts… Framework Housing Association … judicial review … Supporting People funding programme wibble … without proper consultation … wibble wibble … co-ordinated response to the identified needs of the poorest Londoners. Wibble! Charities funded under the scheme include homelessness groups, wibble legal and wibble centres, crime prevention charities, and cultural access wibble such as theatre companies.

18 comments to What villainy is this?

  • No part of it boils the blood of this simple American more than the use of the (new-to-my-ears) British phrase “voluntary sector” which appears to mean anything but. A true voluntary sector would be one in which payments into the sector are also voluntary; i.e. the PRIVATE SECTOR.

    In fact, clearer and better still is Rothbard’s dichotomy of “productive” and “parasitic” sectors!

  • Paul Marks

    Charity financed by violence – threats of violence (tax).

    This is not charity – it is goernment.

    Nor are the people in charge of these charities volunteers – on the contrary they are paid administrators.

    Who got their jobs (from other paid administrators) by replying to ads in the GUARDIAN newspaper.

    Hence their commercial interest.

    Their ideological interest is obvious – the desrtuction of real civil society, and its substutiion by a fake “civil society” financed by the state.

    Just as they wish to replace real communities with fake “communities” (with community organizers) financed by the state.

  • RRS

    A Question:

    How does all this (as described by Paul Marks) “fit” into the British constitutional system; or does it?

  • It fits fine. The only British constitutional principle is “The State can do whatever the hell it likes”. There is a myth that we have an “unwritten constitution”, but that is a polite euphemism for, well, for “The State can do whatever the hell it likes”.

  • RAB

    A sharp cookie is the Judge. He is using Harriet Harridan’s new Equality Act to delay the implimentation of the cuts to these fake charities.

    Mr Justice Calvert – Smith has form here of course. Ex director of the DPP, he was one of the first to politicise that department by making the DDP lawyers the ones with the main say in bringing any prosecution, rather than the police.

    A privileged leftie to his bootstraps (Eton and Oxbridge educated), he knows the new Act is a “Victims Charter” that will be a goldmine for the grievance culture, and shyster lawyers everywhere.

    A pox on him!

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Take a look at the “Fake Charities” site, an invaluable online resource looking at how so many voluntary organisations have been absorbed into the maw of the state and often rely on grants for a high share of income.

    Here it is.(Link)

  • lucklucky

    Well here in Portugal is impossible for a center-right Government govern as a center-right.
    I think England is there also. The coal miners showed it.
    Every Government from the Right needs to be prepared for a low level warfare.

  • “By charities, the Guardian means “charities”. By “protect” it means “stop the elected government from doing what it was elected to do, namely cut the deficit.”

    Spot on Natalie – the Left’s devious use of language doesn’t get exposed often enough; they rely increasingly on the connotations of words such as “charity” to obscure what they actually mean by those words. Another example would be their corruption of the “positive” conception of liberty into what is actually nothing more than political power, which they then parade around under the banner of “freedom”, or use to undermine any notion of a “free-market” as distinct from State interventions.

    “The State can do whatever the hell it likes”

    Indeed – but the ethical collectivists may give themselves away to those not yet asleep with this particularly Orwellian dress-up of that point: that the compulsion underlying the State’s ability to act ought not to be considered compulsion simply because it rests on democratic sanction. Legal = Ethical. Might = Right.

  • Samizdata’s smitebot seems to be getting stricter all the time…

  • Paul Marks

    Ian B. – yes you strike to the heart of the matter.

    When Blackstone (back in the 1700′s) laid out the doctrine that (what had been known as) the High Court of the King in Parliament could do whatever it liked – violate the most basic principles of law (and so on) he was playing a game.

    Blackstone assumed that a Parliament dominated by landowners (not every seat was under the influence of such people – but enough were) would never do much that he (Blackstone) really hated, so he could lay out this doctrine with a light heart.

    But as every American Founding Father (even Hamilton) pointed out IT STINKS.

    “Parliament can do anything it likes, but do not worry mate (wink) they are people like us – so they will not do lots of bad things” is not a constitutional principle (written or “unwritten”) it is just a freaking joke.

    Of course the modern doctrine (“human rights” in the “equality” or “social justice” sense) is even WORSE.

    This holds that if Parliament happens to want to do something decent – for example stop robbing the taxpayers to fund fake “charities” controlled by PAID Guardian readers. Parliament will NOT BE ALLOWED TO DO SO.

    That is what the Guardian means by “will the courts save charites” – i.e. even if Parliament does not want to be a bunch of robbers (in this case) they should be FORCED to be a bunch of robbers.

    So much for “democracy” – let along “limited government”.

    The idea of a constitution is to limit government (so that even if the majority of people want to do something , for example gas the Jews, they are NOT ALLOWED TO) , but modern (leftist) “human rights” (“equality” “social justice” “anti discrimination”…..) doctrine turns this on its head.

    Instead of being prevented from spending money (or imposing regulations) government is FORCED TO DO IT – even if (for once) the polticians do not actually want to do it.

    This is why modern “human rights” treaties and conventions are so dangerious – as, in part, they are the exaxt opposite of such things as the old British Bill of Rights (the thing that Blackstone wiped his bottom on) and the Constitution of the United States.

    They are not limits on the growth of the state – they are an excuse for the growth of the state.

    That is why the Guardian readers love them – on both ideological and personal financial grounds.

  • Derek Buxton

    I could never understand why many “charities”, so called, could get away with as much as they do. But then I saw that a noted socialist, Leather I think is her name, is in charge. The first priority should be to cleanse the Augean Stable that is the Charities Commission and start again. Basic rule number 1, no government payments as that is not charity.

  • Derek Buxton

    I could never understand why many “charities”, so called, could get away with as much as they do. But then I saw that a noted socialist, Leather I think is her name, is in charge. The first priority should be to cleanse the Augean Stable that is the Charities Commission and start again. Basic rule number 1, no government payments as that is not charity.

  • Following on from the excellent points raised by Paul Marks (as is so often thus), the new legislation makes the implicit but transient one-sided set-up into an explicit entrenched set-up with the force of “law”.

    Over time the implicit set-up could have shifted depending on which bunch of brigands were in power. With the Fabian legal ratchet welded into place, it only clicks one way.

    We are on the rack, ladies and gentlemen. The Fabian ratchet is at work and will not let up until we not only “recant”, but become ourselves willing ratcheteers for the cause.

    As others have said, a Charity that takes State coin ceases to be part of the Voluntary sector and enters the parasitical/coercive sector. Shame on them. The label “charity” should not be acceptable under basic laws of misrepresentation.

    The ease by which “charites” take coin and the associated and never too distant control (implicit by funding hoops or explicit) has been paved by way of other “sterling” work by other Fabians in the educational industry, allowing vast ranks of the population to be bereft of critical reasoning that would make such moves jar and stick in their craw.

    Fabians cannot contemplate that they may be wrong. The law must kick the ladder away. The Czar must be shot, for there can be no going back…

  • The problem with the old British “constitution”, exemplified well by the 1689 Bill Of Rights, is that Britain once had a sort of separation of powers. The monarch was the executive and the Parliament was intended as a check and balance against that power. Hence the BoR keeps saying “only parliament can do this” because the idea was that the Parliament would stop the monarch (executive) doing the whatever thing arbitrarily.

    The problem is that gradually all the executive powers were transferred to Parliament, leading to it having all the power of the monarch, and no other institution to check and balance it. So you end up with an unlimited government again.

    As Paul points out, we now have the even worse “solution” (sneer quotes) in judicial activism, in which unelected judges make decisions based on deeply flawed positive rights documents passed by the parliament. So we’ve literally gone from bad to worse.

    In one sense, just as the Parliament slyly or overtly usurped the monarchic power to themselves, that is now being slyly usurped by the halo of “infragovernment”; the judiciary, NGOs, quangos, charidees, etc, thus moving us from a flawed democracy to a “post-democracy”.

  • “By charities, the Guardian means “charities”. By “protect” it means “stop the elected government from doing what it was elected to do, namely cut the deficit.”

    Spot on Natalie – the Left’s devious use of language doesn’t get exposed often enough; they rely increasingly on the connotations of words such as “charity” to obscure what they actually mean by those words. Another example would be their corruption of the “positive” conception of liberty into what is actually nothing more than political power, which they then parade around under the banner of “freedom”, or use to undermine any notion of a “free-market” as distinct from State interventions.

    “The State can do whatever the hell it likes”

    Indeed – but the ethical collectivists may give themselves away to those not yet asleep with this particularly Orwellian dress-up of that point: that the compulsion underlying the State’s ability to act ought not to be considered compulsion simply because it rests on democratic sanction. Legal = Ethical. Might = Right.

  • ben

    they should make further cuts to recover the court costs that were awarded against them and their own costs of litigation.

  • PeterT

    Did you know that ‘charity’ used to mean ‘love’. I think in a recentish revision of the Bible they replaced the word charity with love so as to accord better with the original meaning. Now who would cut love?

  • Always a tough call – better to put all the pieces on a table and zero base it…only can add what you can afford and let people choose what they are willing to do without, etc.