I’ve been taking some of my free time away from watching the antics of Hummingbirds outside my kitchen window (I’ve set up a feeder there) to read Chris Snowdon’s IEA report; ‘Sockpuppets – how the government lobbies itself and why‘. I’ve also been looking up cases where charitable status has been withdrawn and why in search of some form of possible solution to the issue. Here are three suggestions;
Solution 1: Charitable institutions may not lobby government.
Attractive but unworkable. Charities need to have some lobbying component in order to speak up for the cause they represent.
Solution 2: No more Government funding, or funding from NGOs. Again, unworkable, those who run the NGO’s will find proxies to fund people they have sympathy with.
Solution 3: Disband / defund all NGO’s. No more money for these dumping grounds for the inconvenient / incompetent with powerful friends. No more sinecures for retired politicians or their friends. This will still leave charities open to financial manipulation from large trusts with their own agenda, but it will at least stop governments playing the same game. However, making charities more financially transparent (With which true charitable trusts will have no issue) should level out the playing field, and threatening to withdraw the charitable tax status of activists and lobbyists might help.
The test of a true charity like the Red Cross for example, should always be “What good have you done lately?” By ‘good’ I mean lives saved, wells drilled, people helped, infrastructure rebuilt and messes cleaned up. Protest or advocacy should not on their own count as charitable activities. Charities should be seen, as the major part of their activities, to get their hands dirty. Many do. Those that do not, aren’t. It’s not difficult.