Samaritans’ advisory board crammed with Tories? So is the Campaign Against Antisemitism. Who else?

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:

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.

Source: Under-fire Samaritans faces anger over advisory board crammed with Tories

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2 thoughts on “Samaritans’ advisory board crammed with Tories? So is the Campaign Against Antisemitism. Who else?

  1. Dez

    A most unwelcome bias that following their political sucess in kicking the opposition whilst protecting the Cons from critics will now expand to every crevice of the charity schemes in the Cons search for point scoring in their hour of need. The recent press on how much the chairs of several charities got in remuneration does back this situation up bringing a welcome reward for services rendered. This covert situation needs sorting.

  2. meridenap

    The Charities Acts define charity as the relief of suffering, this has been true since Victorian times when charity began to be regulated. The interpretation of that is that preventing the causes of suffering is not charitable, charity can only be given to a person who has fallen foul, and if they benefit, it can only be to the point where they are able to work again. A charity may only alleviate, it may not change.

    To this day, if you put the word ’empower’ as an object in a charity constitution, you will be denied charitable status because to give people the tools to help themselves is not a charitable object (unless you are a private school).

    In that light, it is totally appropriate for Tories to be patrons and on the boards. They collect public money to alleviate the worst consequences of their actions, preventing those consequences from arriving at their doorsteps. And also preventing change.

Comments are closed.