One of the few things I recall from student radical days was that even outside of my grant (in those happy days we were paid to go to university - no loans) a great chunk of my social life was taxpayer funded. Many of the best parties came in the guise of 'benefits' in aid of some good (left) cause or other. If we couldn't actually get funding for the bash, we'd get at minimum a free hall and PA. Despite the fact that rarely did the cause get as much benefit from the evening as we did, we saw nothing wrong in this.
You can still see this glorious tradition alive and well in London, where Ken Livingstone will stump up taxpayer cash for the right sort of concert.
You don't think the student union guys who made these state-funded parties possible were going to stop when they went into politics or local government and got access to some real money, do you ? One of the things I really wish Civitas would devote a researcher to for a few months is the enormous taxpayer subsidy to the cultural Left. You could start with the Guardian and BBC.
Charities are a favourite way of laundering taxpayer money to the Left. I took a look at the Demos website the other day and went through the 2004 accounts. We pay for them. All over the country there are 'funding streams' washing about. Most start at the Home Office and EU, and meander through swamps of bureaucracy before ending up in some sociology grad's budget.
I started thinking - where are the "right-wing" equivalents ? Civitas are a charity, though they're not exactly right-wing - just not left-wing. Are there any ? Or are right-wing charities illegal under community cohesion laws ?
Take the 1990 Trust, a charity which "is the first national Black organisation set up to protect and pioneer the interest of Britain’s Black Communities. Our approach is to engage in policy development and to articulate the needs of Black communities from a Black perspective." I seem to remember that Lee Jasper was at one time a leading light.
The 1990 Trust don't make their accounts available on their site, but the Charities Commission site reports a 2005 income of around half a million. I'd put the mortgage on the bulk of that coming from Joe Public. I also invite you to consider how likely it is that a charity set up as "the first national White organisation set up to protect and pioneer the interest of Britain’s White Communities" would a) actually be granted charitable status b) get large taxpayer bungs.
Not that I'd be in favour of such a charity, mark you. It's just the double standards that get me. The Charities Commission has a facility to search charities by keywords. Take a search for "ethnic" or "minority" and you'll return hundreds of charities. I don't think you'll find many - or indeed any - devoted to the welfare of, say, the elderly Native British of South London.
The reason I post is that the Government is very decently giving money away. I give each month to the Church, they reclaim the tax, I can get a bit more back in the tax return. But if you run a company, even a small one with one or two employees, HMG are currently doing a couple of very decent offers.
a) if you sign up your company for payroll giving they'll give the company a grant of £300 - even if you only have one employee. Nice of them. You have to be in by December though, so don't hang about.
b) for six months (starting with October's salary, so now effectively five months) HMG will match employee payroll donations up to £10 a month. So if two employees start giving in November, that's still another £100 to a good cause.
The website is here. Get in there - and let me know if there are any decent rightish charities - or kosher religious foundations like this one.
For readers of the LRB
1 hour ago