Does this include Citizens Advice? The government has announced the outlawing of intellectual opposition | Tax Research UK


Apologies to Citizens Advice for using the old logo. I wanted to get the article out quickly and happened to have this image to hand.

Forgive This Writer if it seems I’m having another bite of this particular cherry, but Richard Murphy makes some excellent points.

Reading this, it occurred to me to ask what would happen to the Citizens Advice service.

Citizens Advice uses clients’ experience and stories to campaign for positive change – including (perhaps especially) with regard to government and legislation.

And Citizens Advice certainly takes government money – albeit in the form of grant money handed out by local authorities, rather than the mob in Westminster.

Would this silence one of our biggest campaigning organisations?

I am grateful to Ivan Horrocks for drawing my attention to an article in the Guardian on Sunday. As Ivan noted:

There’ll be a lot less academics being communicators come this May unless the Cabinet Office rule that will stop any academic who receives government funding from speaking out is implemented. As The Observer notes:

The proposal – announced by the Cabinet Office earlier this month – would block researchers who receive government grants from using their results to lobby for changes to laws or regulations.

‘For example, an academic whose government-funded research showed that new regulations were proving particularly harmful to the homeless would not be able to call for policy change.

Similarly, ecologists who found out that new planning laws were harming wildlife would not be able to raise the issue in public, while climate scientists whose findings undermined government energy policy could have work suppressed.’

As Ivan goes on to note:

I’d have to add that given the complete lack of interest our government has in compromising on any form of policy this will be “law” very shortly.

This is profoundly worrying. Let me take a simple example. My department at City University organised a public discussion last Thursday on Labour’s world view. It would be impossible to argue that this was not publicly funded: at the very least it took place in publicly funded premises. Some criticisms of government policy were made. Would this now be illegal?

The impression that we are heading for a single party, totalitarian state where dissent is not allowed grows by the day.

Source: Tax Research UK » The government has announced the outlawing of intellectual opposition

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10 thoughts on “Does this include Citizens Advice? The government has announced the outlawing of intellectual opposition | Tax Research UK

  1. Dez

    Feels like a gagging order if the leads of the work were prohibited from speaking out about their academic and similar work especially if for the common good. If the investment inthe work was paid for by the taxpaying public then equally the results should also be made public even if the original instruction was from a government or local department. If the work was paid for privately or by commercial concerns for their own benefit with confidentiality clauses then I believe it should remain private as the property of the instructing Company.

  2. Rupert Mitchell (@rupert_rrl)

    Yet just one more example of how this government really wants run the country; not managing it for all of us but controlling those of us who are not in their multi-millionaire league. However, they should note from current changes of “loyalty and friendship” that there is no honour amongst them when it comes to self gain.

  3. Harry

    Firstly Mike, there is no such thing as Government funds; There is only money owned by the people of Britain, which is administered by the Administration of the day. So all money is the property of the British people, all GovCorp employees are employed by the British people, and all papers, reports, findings and research undertaken using British peoples money likewise belongs to the British people. The GovCorp produces nothing but debt, all assets are the property of the people. Who do these empire clones think they are?

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      You’re splitting hairs regarding “government funds”. Everybody knows what is meant – or should. The money IS our property – but we have elected representatives to decide how it is spent. If you don’t like the way it is spent, what are you going to do about it?

  4. Mr.Angry

    I was waiting for this to happen I anticipated this was something this mob would get rid of during their term in office. They will stop at nothing in silencing any opposition, welcome to nazi britain.

    1. chris

      they will never silence any from of opposition and they wont get rid of this, we will never be nazi britain

  5. mohandeer

    So much of the policies that Tory has or is trying to introduce is indeed aimed at ensuring a one party dominance – that of the Tories. Whether people realize it or not, our freedoms are being eroded and our democracy is gradually being shut down and not enough people are doing anything to stop it. By the time people recognize the threat the Tories will have made it illegal to protest en masse or with the aid of government funded research. The exception would be of course, if the criticism was levelled at the opposition – that would likely be allowed. See another related post of Mike Sivier’s “Right wing blogger attacks political neutrality of Citizens Advice(it would hardly be Citizens Advice if it only played into a 24% minority of the country’s citizenry)

    1. chris

      the Torys will never erode all are freedoms and they will never shut down are democracy no matter how much they try because in truth alot of people are trying to stop them and many do recognize the threat
      the Torys just want you to think no one cares so everyone else gives up its all apart of the Torys propaganda
      and they will never make protest en masse illegal you be a bit foolish to think they will do that, it would cause more people to get angry and protest no matter if it is illegal or not, also they will never take away aid of government funded research so we will never be a one party state no matter how much the Torys try

      but to truly stop them we must keep fighting till the end and not give up or believe anything the Torys say 🙂

  6. Helen Jackson

    This country is sleepwalking into a right-wing dictatorship. It needs to wake up before it’s too late. This latest proposal would give the government a mandate for the total repression of free speech. Once that happens, democracy is ended.

Comments are closed.