It is certainly shameful that the Samaritans’ advisory board is crammed full of Tories.
Scratch the surface of any charity, though, and how many of them would be similarly… shall we say Conservative?
Take the Campaign Against Antisemitism, for example – the organisation that is more accurately described as the Campaign of Hate, most particularly against the Labour Party.
It doesn’t appear to have an advisory board but among its patrons we see the following:
Eric Pickles – Tory.
Matthew Offord – Tory.
Mike Freer – Tory.
Bob Blackman – Tory.
Baron Ahmad – Tory.
Conservatives outnumber everyone else with a declared political allegiance on the list of patrons (it includes a crossbench peer and two Labour politicians).
How many Labour members has the CAA attacked recently? According to a friend of This Site, the total is approaching 40.
And how many Tories have been attacked? Two.
That’s not because of any huge amount of anti-Semitism in the Labour Party; it’s because this is an organisation run by right-wingers with an agenda.
That’s exactly what is happening with the Samaritans.
Who knows how many other charitable organisations have been similarly infiltrated? I don’t, but I can promise you that the people running these charities are playing a dangerous game?
Want to know why?
Because charities have to be non-political, otherwise they lose their status. Those are the rules; ask the Charity Commission.
Postscript: After I posted this piece, the following tweet appeared – providing more proof of my point:
Years ago I looked for a friend into how the Motability scheme worked. I was shocked to see Cameron, Clegg & IDS were patrons. The same people who were taking vehicles off disabled people.https://t.co/mKybqRi0UL
— Lin #CorbynWasRight #SaveOurNHS (@ZoekGtto) February 2, 2018
A mental health charity that refused to criticise the government for ignoring links between claimants of out-of-work disability benefits and suicide attempts is facing criticism after it emerged that more than half of its advisory board are influential Conservatives.
Disability News Service (DNS) revealed in December that the Department of Health (DH) had failed to highlight claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) as a high-risk group in its national suicide prevention strategy.
DH had failed to act even though its own survey showed that more than 43 per cent of ESA claimants had said in 2014 that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.
But when told about that failure in December, the mental health charity Samaritans – which focuses on suicide prevention and support for those in mental distress, and is itself part-funded by the Department of Health* – refused to criticise the government.
Now mental health system survivors have raised concerns that at least seven of the 11 members of the charity’s advisory board are prominent Conservatives or Conservative supporters, or have close links to the party, including two Tory peers, a current and a former Tory MP, and a leading Tory donor who is married to another Tory peer.
They are particularly alarmed that the newest member of the board is Esther McVey, the new work and pensions secretary, whose appointment to head the Department for Work and Pensions last month caused widespread anger among disabled activists.
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