Peak Kinnock 1209

Neil Kinnock appeared on both Dispatches and Panorama this evening bemoaning the presence of socialists in the Labour Party. Neither programme succeeded in finding anything sinister happening, but they did succeed in playing a great deal of sinister music. This must have been a great boost to the sinister music writing industry, for which we should be grateful. I think they have definitively proved that some people are left wing, and would like to have left wing MPs.

But seeing Kinnock reminded me of another bit of TV I saw today, a heartbreaking advert for Save the Children featuring a dying little baby, unable to ask for help. The advert urged you to give just £2 a month to help save her.

If 11,000 people responded with £2 a month, that would not save the little baby, but it would exactly pay the £264,000 per year salary of Neil Kinnock’s daughter-in-law Helle Thorning-Schmidt, Chief Executive of Save the Children and wife of MP Stephen Kinnock. Indeed if 20,000 people gave £2 per month, that would probably cover Mrs Stephen Kinnock’s salary, her other employment costs and the money paid to Sky for the advert. When you toss in Stephen’s salary and expenses, the Stephen Kinnock household are bringing in just shy of a cool half a million pounds a year from public service and charity work.

The salary of Ms Thorning-Schmidt is approximately twice that of her predecessor, Justin Forsyth, who was on an already unconscionable £140,000. I exposed their massive salaries at the time the Save the Children awarded a “Global Legacy” award to Tony Blair. Indeed to meet the salaries and other employment costs of just the top executives at Save the Children would take 80,000 people paying £2 a month. They would be funding executives with an average salary of over £140,000. For those in work paying the £2 a month, the average UK salary is £26,000 a year, and many retired and unemployed people scrimp to find money to give to try to help the needy.

The use of charities as a massive cash cow for the political classes is a real concern. David Miliband is on over 300,000 for heading the International Rescue Committee. When I listed the Save the Children executives, they included Brendan Cox, on over £100,000. He was the husband of Jo Cox, the murdered Labour MP. Brendan Cox and Justin Forsyth were both advisers to Gordon Brown and both moved to Save the Children when they lost their jobs on Brown losing power, sliding in on 6 figure salaries. Jo Cox was an adviser to Glenys Kinnock and left that job to be an executive at Oxfam before she too worked as a highly paid Save the Children executive.

Brendan Cox left Save the Children due to allegations from several women that he sexually harassed female staff and volunteers. Justin Forsyth left at the same time amid allegations he had not effectively acted to have his friend Cox investigated. This has not stopped Forsyth from now popping up as Deputy Chief Executive of UNICEF. Misery for some is a goldmine for others.

1,209 thoughts on “Peak Kinnock

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  • George

    The Kinnock con was fully revealed to me back in ’83 when Thatcher was questioned over the sinking of the Belgrano by Diana Gould on Nationwide. Gould’s point was that the Belgrano was sailing away from the Falklands and could not have been a threat. Thatcher cracked. She was reduced to impotently repeating “I am asking you to accept that that ship was a threat to us.” I had an eerie feeling watching this. I thought: I am witnessing history – the very moment when a prime minister is destroyed. Next day: nothing. Not a peep from anyone. Kinnock? Totally quiet. That was when I knew the whole rhetoric about opposition was a con.

    • Kempe

      ” Gould’s point was that the Belgrano was sailing away from the Falklands and could not have been a threat. ”

      Which was nonsense, doesn’t take long to turn a ship around. The Argentine Navy admitted in the mid 90s that Belgrano and the Argentine aircraft carrier were trying to carry out a pincer attack on the British task force but the wind was too light for any aircraft to be launched so both ships were retiring for the night prior to having another attempt the following morning. Thatcher knew this through intercepted signals but of course couldn’t admit it. Whether Kinnock had been told is another question.

      • George

        Thanks for the link. I didn’t know any of this. Although I had heard of a peace deal that was proposed. I found this link:

        which concludes thus:

        “Did Britain know of the peace proposals? Cecil Parkinson Chairman of the Conservative Party was interviewed on Panorama (19.4.84): ‘Pressed by Emery, Mr Parkinson let the cat out of the bag. “Yes” he said, “we knew all about peace proposals that Saturday morning, primarily those of President Belaunde.” And when I had the opportunity of pressing Cranley Onslow, then minister of State at the Foreign Office, he said “Well the Foreign Office knew all about the peace proposals on the Sunday morning.”’ (Dalyell, p. 32).

        James Prior in his memoirs A Balance of Power wrote that accepting the Peruvian peace plan would have split the Conservative Party: ‘If the Peruvian plan, or UN plan, or Haig plan had been agreed and a negotiated settlement ensued in early May, there would have been a wholesale revolt among Conservative backbenchers with up to 60 members revolting and I think up to 30 refusing the government whip. Now bearing in mind that the Conservative majority at that time was only 35, then Prior is saying that his opinion is that the government would have fallen if it had tried to go for a negotiated settlement’. (Paul Rogers, p.111).”

        All of which makes you realise how murky politics is. It’s an interesting question how much Kinnock knew. But I would guess that he would have been given sufficient warning not to stir any trouble up.

        • George

          I just had to add this re: the Nationwide interview

          “After the show, Thatcher’s husband Denis lashed out at the producer of the show in the entertainment suite, saying that his wife had been “stitched up by bloody BBC poofs and Trots.””

          Ah those were the days!

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Overdue misgivings about the charity industry, Craig. Do keep plugging this one. Too many people are making a fat living from misfortune.
    The Clinton Foundation’s activities are coming under intense scrutiny in the US – one example of a charity acting as a very well-paid broker for money already given or likely to be given under international aid schemes.

    Another may come to mind here:

    ( Farron and the rank and file aren’t singing from the same hymnsheet?)

  • Tom Lovegrove

    Seems to me that some people cover greed and a lack of conscience in a cloak of public service and charity work. How they must laugh at the rest of us for being so blind.

  • Lucy Jordan

    I never donate to large charities. They are simply there to line the pockets of their own trousers.

  • nevermind

    dynasty politics abusing a political system that allows them to prey on the poor.
    To call yourself a socialist and feed on those who work their butts off, who manage to give a little contribution to charity, is depravity.

  • Carol lamond

    I read your article with horror! This stuff should be published in every main stream media in the land! Oh but hey, I forgot , most of media now is controlled by the political classes. Write on , publish everywhere you can , I have no voice, but yours is good and make it louder, I will share this with as many of my friends who care to read it. Thanks for the information , I sensed your anger, more people need that righteous anger, it is an outrage! I feel there is a sense of powerlessness sweeping the country, I feel powerless to some degree, but I remain confident that there are always moral people in any corrupt and unjust society. Thank you again.

  • Juteman

    I would love to see all the details of the charity set up by Gordon Brown and his wife.
    It seems that you can just set up a charity and employ yourself on a huge salary.

  • Anthony Plews

    And so the establishment gravy train proceeds. It rarely matters what label is attached to self serving politicians, Conservative, Labour, UKIP etc. because it seems a large number see in a CAREER in Westminster bubble politics and supporting establishment scams the potential for self-aggrandisement and a life time of cash into their pockets one way or another. It also seems that having joined the establishment club any sexual or commercial impropriety is considered normal and is used as a means of ensuring compliance with the current aims and objectives of the establishment, big business, lobbyists, and complicit main stream media and government propaganda broadcasters like BBC

    • michael norton

      Keith Vaz and the Silver Star charity
      eith Vaz travelled to Goa in India with the Romanian charity worker and parliamentary aide alleged to have paid two male prostitutes on the Labour MP’s behalf.

      A photograph published on the Facebook page of Daniel Dragusin shows the Romanian sitting on a beach in Goa with a plastic bag emblazoned with the Portcullis emblem of the Houses of Parliament at his feet.

      The photograph is stamped with a February 13, 2012 date and Mr Dragusin writes in an open post: “Just me in Goa…!!!!!”

      Mr Vaz, 59, was there at the same time, according to his own website and local newspaper reports, meeting prominent Indian politicians and visiting the Silver Star charity which he founded and for which Mr Dragusin works.

      • michael norton

        Mr Dragusin is listed on his LinkedIn page as Silver Star’s London coordinator and states that he began working for the diabetes charity in April 2012.

        The charity has refused to say whether Mr Vaz recommended him for the post. But in 2012 and early 2013, Dragusin is also listed as a parliamentary aide to Lord King of West Bromwich, a good friend of Mr Vaz. The unpaid role entitled Mr Dragusin to a parliamentary pass allowing him unfettered access to the Palace of Westminster.
        On Wednesday a close friend and parliamentary aide of Lord King said he had no recollection of Mr Dragusin ever working for the Labour peer. Roger Page, who was Lord King’s parliamentary aide from 1999, when he was ennobled, to his death from a heart attack in January 2013, said: “I don’t remember that name. It doesn’t ring a bell at all. I was Lord King’s adviser and [parliamentary] passholder at the House of Lords right up until his death… and that is the first I have known about [Mr Dragusin].”

        Mr Page added: “I can only assume Lord King was persuaded by someone to give Mr Dragusin a parliamentary pass. Lord King was a very trusting man and sometimes he was too trusting and if somebody went to him and said to him ‘could we have one of your parliamentary passes’, he would not even question it.”
        Lord King’s daughter, Nishpal, said she also could not recall Mr Dragusin working for her father, adding: “But I didn’t have much to do with that side of things.”

        Other photographs on 31-year-old Mr Dragusin’s Facebook page show him on the House of Commons terrace with Mr Vaz in August 2011, about eight months before he started working with Silver Star.

        Subsequent photographs show Mr Dragusin in the House of Commons with Patrick Viera, the World Cup winning French footballer in November 2011 at a parliamentary function.

        As recently as April this year, Mr Dragusin posts from the King Power stadium where he watched Leicester City, the team of Mr Vaz’s constituency, play West Ham.

        One Facebook friend posted: “With KV?” presumably referring to Keith Vaz. Mr Dragusin’s relationship with Mr Vaz has come under scrutiny following the allegation in the Sunday Mirror that the Labour MP had slept with two male prostitutes at a flat he owns in Edgware, north-west London, close to his family home.

        The newspaper alleges that on August 24 this year, a bank account nominated by the two male escorts received a deposit of £150 from Mr Dragusin’s account.

        The money was paid 24 hours after Mr Vaz, the former Home Affairs select committee chairman who has resigned from the role, had agreed to pay £150 for a night with the men.

        There is no suggestion that Mr Dragusin, who lives in Harrow, was aware that the money was paid for the alleged services of the two east European escorts or was involved in any way with the gathering. Silver Star has confirmed that no charity money was used to pay for the prostitutes.

        Has the Charity commission looked into Silver Star yet?

        Is it O.K. to set up a charity, to give someone a job, to get them to pay for rent boys for you?
        Is this the new normal for M.P.’s?

        • michael norton

          It is not clear why Mr Dragusin was paying the men. Questions remain about how Mr Dragusin ended up working for Silver Star and the charity failed to say whether Mr Dragusin visited India with Silver Star or whether he was joined by Mr Vaz.

          An Indian politician Valanka Alemao, whose father was Goa’s chief minister, met Mr Vaz on the trip in February 2012. She said Mr Vaz had been accompanied by his wife and family and that the MP had paid for the trip himself. It is not clear who paid for Mr Dragusin’s stay.

          Mr Dragusin is thought to have come to the UK in about 2010 when he was in his mid-20s. He had previously studied car mechanic technology at Iuliu Maniu technical college.

          He took a job in London working for an upmarket car rental service and, according to reports, soon became Mr Vaz’s personal chauffeur.

          In a further intriguing twist, it emerged that Mr Dragusin’s flatmate Maria Costache, 32, also from Romania, works at the Washington Mayfair hotel owned by Joginder Sanger, an Indian multimillionaire who knows Mr Vaz socially.

          The Sun newspaper has reported that evidence from the hotel’s registers show Mr Vaz regularly stayed there between September 2013 and December 2014, including on occasions for free. Neither Mr Vaz, Mr Dragusin or the hotel responded to calls from the Telegraph.

  • SmilingThrough

    This item from Lobster magazine (Issue 67 Summer 2014) by editor Robin Ramsay about Neil Kinnock and the US embassy may be of interest.

    Friends of the Friends

    The emasculation of the Labour Party is generally attributed to Blair and Brown in the 1990s; but it began much earlier, with the 1988/9 policy review which started the process of accommodating the City and the Americans. Leading that review was party leader Neil Kinnock, now Lord Kinnock.

    Adrian Gatton, via Tony Frewin, pointed me at a collection of conversations with former US diplomats *. This is in an interview with Carl Dillery, Political/Military Officer, at the U.S. embassy in London, 1973-1976.

    ‘DILLERY: Take an important case. Thatcher’s current head of loyal opposition, Neil Kinnock, was a junior MP when I was there. Our Labor Party reporting officer, Jack Binns, was a real friend of his. He was a great party guy and would come to all of our parties and talk to all of us. He and Jack were on a first name basis. So Jack became the political counselor when Kinnock got to be the leader of the Labor (sic) Party. Literally, Binns could call up and have access to him at any time.’

    Let me unpack this for those unfamiliar with Labour Party history, writes Ramsay.

    Neil Kinnock became an MP in 1970 and while in his first parliament became friends with the American diplomat whose job it was to keep an eye on/befriend/penetrate the Labour Party. He went to the parties at the American embassy, chatted to the staff there and became a US embassy source – perhaps then source – on the Labour Party.

    All this while he was presenting himself to the Party membership as a left-winger.

    Not that this shmoozing with the Americans did him much good when he became leader of the party: he was still ridiculed and humiliated on his first trip to Washington in that role.


    • Paul Barbara

      @ SmilingThrough September 20, 2016 at 10:08

      That Lobster is a goldmine! Almost too much good stuff – take years to sift through. Thanks for the link – I have come across articles from them before, but hadn’t realised just how good the magazine (?) was.

      I came up with a gem while doing a little searching: I have always strongly suspected that John Smith was murdered, to make way for the Bliar and ‘New Labour’. No evidence, just seemed far too convenient for Bliar and co.
      Now, I am suspiicious even more …

      ‘New Friends – The Israeli Connection’: ew+Friends+-+The+Israeli+Connection&source=bl&ots=JSLmd938cb&sig=eAFEw ztp12eJdTbExU6tEphitNU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjairr48J3PAhWoDMAKHQHyCWI Q6AEIIjAA#v=onepage&q=New%20Friends%20-%20The%20Israeli%20Connection&f =false


      ‘…One of the main differences between Old Labour and New Labour is that New Labour is Fabian.

      John Smith was not a Fabian. Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are Fabians.

      The ultimate objective of the Fabians is to create a One World Communitarian (‘Third Way’) government. This ties in with the New World Order project.

      John Smith was not a One World Communitarian and would have been distrusted by the NWO/Bilderberg brigade who wanted someone at the head of the UK government whom they could manipulate.

      Strange things have been happening in Britain in recent years. For example, the police have lost their common sense.

      This is because Fabian New Labour has a hidden agenda.

      The management mechanism being used to carry out the true and hidden agenda of Fabian New Labour is a fraudulent ‘educational charity’ called Common Purpose. You can find out more about Common Purpose here: and here:

      Remember, the NWO/Bilderberg group are playing for extremely high stakes and have no qualms about getting rid of people who stand in their way. Fabian New Labour are, after all, quite willing to join wars started on the basis of lies….’

      And note the ‘Common Purpose’ link!

      Glad to know I’m in good company with my ‘suspicions’!

  • Buck Moody

    My father quit Help the Aged when he realised he was asking school children to pay for his director’s BMW. When I worked at the IPPF, I was asking people in the Ivory Coast to subsidise those working in Regent’s College to the tune of a quarter of a million pounds per annum. Sickening really.

  • Paulo

    Craig, you forgot to mention the Save the Children ‘Global Legacy’ award given to Tony Blair… And “Justin Forsyth, the UK chief executive of STC, used to be a special advisor to Blair, while Jonathan Powell, who is also on the STC board, was his former chief of staff.” (Jenn Selby The Independent, 25 November 2014)

    • Ba'al Zevul

      No he didn’t. Read it again.

      And if you’re interested in more scams, Google ‘Africa Governance Initiative’ (prop. A. Blair), and ‘The Tony Blair Faith Foundation’ (prop. A Blair). Mind you, you may have a job finding out exactly what their senior executives do for their pretty substantial packages.

  • Terence Williams

    The Kinnock family are amassing a fortune between them through their political posts, the fact that Mrs Kinnock senior left her teaching career to become an MEP speaks volumes. Still I must keep in mind they were all elected there by the people.

    • bevin

      “…they were all elected there by the people.”
      Formally, yes. But in reality the people vote for the party, which is not entirely irrational, so that the crucial thing becomes to control the nominations. And that is the essence of NewLabour- to make sure that the people have a choice between voting Tory or supporting the nominee of the party.
      Hence the “all female” shortlist in Batley and Spen which consists of two women, both, I suspect, Blairites of the sort described by Craig. The local party has to choose one. Then the people have a choice between her and UKIP, personally I’d be inclined….

      • Martinned

        to make sure that the people have a choice between voting Tory or supporting the nominee of the party.

        I’m not sure what’s so particularly Blairite about that. Seems like any other faction within the Labour Party would take the same approach, if they had the chance.

    • Habbabkuk


      “the fact that Mrs Kinnock senior left her teaching career to become an MEP speaks volumes”

      Perhaps I’m going deaf, but I can’t hear anything.

      What does her change of career say, exactly?

      In any case, I have read somewhere that quite a few Labour MPs were previously teachers and lecturers.

      As one example, Mr Kelvin Hopkins, MP for Luton and a foremost supporter of Mr Jeremy Corbyn…..

  • Loony

    British charity fraud and corruption is merely the bastard offspring of US charity fraud and corruption.

    Charles Ortel forensically deconstructs the vast fraud otherwise known as the Clinton Foundation.

    Everything is a fraud and a con. These criminal enterprises are protected by and allowed to flourish by a supine and corrupt media and by a castrated regulatory and compliance branch of the law.

    People like the author of this blog provide a great service in revealing the corruption endemic in the “charity” industry and the facts pertaining to this rotting and corrupt industry need to be disseminated as widely as possible.

    If these corruption filled entities cannot be prosecuted then the public needs to refuse to donate to them and to completely disengage with them. If people want to help the disadvantaged then go find some needy people and donate directly to the poor.

    • Mick McNulty

      People in homeless charities like Shelter and the Salvation Army now say don’t give directly to the homeless, donate to them instead. It verges on crooked, it really does.

      • Loony

        It doesn’t verge on the crooked. It is crooked.

        Orwell nailed the Salvation Army back in the 1930’s – and since then things have only got worse. Check out what they have been up to in Australia, especially where Aboriginals are concerned.

        As for Shelter well they found £650,000 to refurbish the shelter otherwise known as their head office in London. Shelter actually boasts that their Chief Executive gets by on a paltry £130,000 annual salary.

        If only we weren’t all so progressive and forward looking we could maybe look to the past and reflect on Oscar Wilde’s observation that “Charity is not a solution to poverty, it is an aggravation of the difficulty.” Modern charities seem to have taken this observation as a Mission Statement.

      • Kempe

        Majority of homeless people have a drug or alcohol problem so any money you give them direct will be used to by drink or drugs which will do them no good at all. A friend of mine went down that path, lost his marriage, his business, everything and the Sally Ally were the only people who’d take him in, in fact he died in one of their hostels. He was 45.

        • Mick McNulty

          I was made homeless by my mother about ten days after I left school. She was on vallium at the time and a terrible woman to me, her eldest, and I never mourned her passing. This was just before Thatcher’s government and as a youth it was not easy to get on my feet and I was homeless several times. What you say is valid in many cases but not all. I usually give a homeless person a few quid, especially a young person, and now I donate food to food banks. I do not give to charities.

          • Mick McNulty

            If a homeless person wants to get drunk on two or three quid I give him on a cheap cider that’s his business. If it helps him cope with his ordeal I’m okay with that.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Even Thatcher agreed with that view. I can’t find the quote quickly, but I clearly remember her saying something to the effect that what the recipient did with universal benefits was entirely up to them, and nothing to do with the government. Course, she was fond of a snort herself…

          • Republicofscotland


            Thatcher’s speech actually caused the reverse to happen.

            “‘Where there is discord, may we bring harmony. Where there is error, may we bring truth. Where there is doubt, may we bring faith. And where there is despair, may we bring hope”

      • Paul Barbara

        That depends – you should first see what you can find out about them first – I have a feeling that the Salvation Army and Shelter are a couple of the better ones, but I haven’t checked.
        I do know that many ‘homeless’ beggars on the streets are actually getting a fair amount of money, which they don’t use to try to get themselves straight, but on drugs and/or booze. So IF the organisations are straight, they have a point…

  • Sally

    I am so glad you’ve written this piece. I also feel outraged at the charity industry – these organisations who pay massive salaries to their staff or or pay huge sums in marketing should no longer be called charities – this is a business. I became aware of this on a much smaller scale when I did some volunteering work at a local Methodist Mission that helps the homeless – I became aware that the couple who ran the mission had 3 very expensive cars – presumably paid for by the Mission.

  • Tony Crawford

    Below contempt all of them. We should look into some of the houshold names Charities operating here in the UK. Most have CEOs on telephone number salaries while there front line hands on workers are on minimum pay rates. And of course their army of volunteers work for nothing. I have come to the conclusion that most National Charities are just gravy trains for the undpeakable, benifitting from the plight of the poor and helpless at the expense of motivated UK workers. And volunteers.

  • paul

    Milliband’s appointment to International Rescue was amusing due to his uncanny resemblance to younger members of the Tracey family in thunderbirds.
    His ‘compensation’ figures are not amusing at all.
    A nice little earner for a blairite prince across the water who wanted to sit out an unpleasant and tiresome period of opposition.

  • Beth

    The postcode lottery directs some of its proceeds to the Clinton Foundation.I could swear it was first promoted as being for local charities.
    Also just been reading older blog posts — condolences on the loss of your mother Craig, I lost my father earlier this year.

  • Tom

    I wonder what happened to The Save The Children Fund from 1971 directed by Ken Loach?

    According to Save the Children objected to the film and refused to pay for it. They prevented it from being shown until 2011 when they eventually agreed to allow a screening by the BFI. Kestrel Films, co-founded by Tony Garnett and others, nearly went bankrupt in their legal battle with Save the Children.

    Amazingly I can find not a single second of this film anywhere on the WWW. I’ll ask Ken if I’m lucky enough to meet him this weekend at

  • Sharp Ears

    Enough of this rabble rousing! We must never forget the royal patronage of StC.

    Our President: HRH The Princess Royal, Princess Anne

    HRH The Princess Royal has been President of Save the Children UK since 1970, when it was the first major charity with which she became closely associated. Her Royal Highness works to increase awareness of what we do around the world, and to raise funds for our work with children.

    HRH the Princes Royal speaks to guests at the 2015 IFR Awards about Save the Children’s work to combat Ebola and our response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.

    The Princess Royal spends a significant amount of time visiting Save the Children’s projects, both overseas and in the UK. Most recently, she has travelled to Bangladesh, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

    Her Royal Highness says of her work:

    “As President of Save the Children, I am fortunate enough to view the organisation’s activity at home and abroad and I am always struck by the unwavering commitment of the staff to improving the lives of children.

    “From significantly reducing malnutrition in some of the poorest parts of Bangladesh to sheltering, feeding and vaccinating the young people affected by the devastating winds and rain of typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and ensuring children in the UK leave primary school reading competently and able to fulfil their potential, their efforts to ensure that every child survives to live a happy, healthy life are outstanding.”

    In addition to visiting our teams on the ground, Her Royal Highness regularly meets fundraisers and volunteers, and visits our shops around the UK. She also attends and speaks at many of our special events.

    Over the last five decades, The Princess Royal’s work with Save the Children has given her great insight into the needs of children worldwide. In 1990, it inspired President Kaunda of Zambia to nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Gilly Roots

    I don’t really know why I’m so shocked?….The realisation that the way I felt in my late teens and still do to this day, about power & money was so right, and yet I’m still shocked?!…..Or is this feeling just sick to my stomach? !!

  • Paul Barbara

    Craig’s certainly uncovered a big can of worms here.

    The ICRC also colluded with Hitler (I believe one high-up committed suicide at the end of the war – or maybe he was ‘suicided’.

    But there are good charities around – two I can think of are SPICMA (a Catholic charity) and St. Joseph’s Hospice, Hackney.
    No BMW’s or Rollers there! ‘Don’t stop giving – but first do some digging!’ (Blimey, I never knew I was poetic!).

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    The collapse of decent governance for imperial endeavors has resulted in charities galore seeking one’s last bits of assets.

    Love the police charity in California which continues to pursue me for something for the poor coppers. Then there are the vets, Narure.

    You name it.

    Just looking forward to getting out of this foul place.

  • Habbabkuk

    This post – as opposed to the immediately previous one – is deficient because there are too many sub-themes. Is it meant to be about the Kinnock family, the high salaries paid to the higher officers of large national charities or the revolving door between the political classes and charities, or even the question of high salaries in general – each of which would justify a separate and better thought-out, more in-depth, more reflective piece?

    For example; let us assume the focus was meant to be on the high salaries paid to the higher officers of the larger national charities (and that the references to the Kinnocks and a couple of other people were included mainly to mobilise the blog’s troops). If so, then a more in-depth piece would surely have had to mention the following:

    1/. Large, national charities, whether one likes it or not, are in the last resort businesses – or commercial operations if you will: the public is invited to buy a product. They are equivalent to medium or even large sized businesses in many respects, not least as regards turnover and modus operandi. That being so, one question which could usefully be gone into is: how do the salaries of their top executives compare – in nominal terms – with those of executives in similarly-sized more conventional businesses/entreprises?

    In connection with and following on from the above:

    2/. When evaluating more conventional business/entreprises, one of the things one should consider when looking at executives’ salaries is their ratio to turnover (here, inflow of donations from the public and indeed other sources) and profits (here, total sums actually disbursed to the stated recipients of the charities). Is that ratio for large national charities out of line with what happens in more conventional businesses/entreprises? In other words, is that ration more, less or equally favorable to the top executives?


    Disclaimer: I do not work for and am in no way connected with any large national charity (but I do contribute to smaller national ones), the Kinnock family or any of the other people or organisations mentioned in Craig’s piece. 🙂

    • Loony

      The extent to which large national charities are in the last resort business is a questionable contention. Even if it is accepted as true then it is true only as a consequence of elective choice.

      The UK government currently spends around £231 billion per year on welfare and social protection. What precisely is it that these charities do than cannot be done with an annual £231 billion spend?

      The comparison for Charity executive salaries is not with private sector executive salaries but with mid level Civil Servant administrative staff (i.e. the people that administer the annual expenditure of £231 billion).

      Charities are a fraud and a con at every level and there is no shortage of facts to evidence this contention. Indeed you helpfully highlight one of the most obvious cons by proposing a wholly false metric against which to measure the salaries and benefits of charity executives.

      • glenn

        You do realise, I trust, that most of the “welfare budget” doesn’t go straight into the pockets of benefits claimants, as spending money, right?

        A huge proportion goes to the Landlord class. Most of their utility bills goes to the investor class (which is where most of _everyone’s_ utility bills go), then there are all the other profitised “services” which bedevil our lives – crappy public transport, hived off NHS profit-centres and so on.

        Then there’s the “benefits” to bring full time workers’ pay up to a just-about liveable standard. So we’re subsidising tight-fisted employers, money-grubbing landlords, and the investor class worldwide. Good thing there are all these “benefits scroungers” to take the blame for it, eh?

        • Salford Lad

          As previously mentioned on this blog, £25 billion goes on Housing Benefit and also Buy-to -Let schemes, which has distorted the housing and rental market in favor of the Landlord class and Bankers

        • Mick McNulty

          I think one reason we still have a benefits system is because the monied classes needed time to acquire all that the country owned which was worth their having. If they’d withdrawn benefits which many want to do, not only would the unrest have put an end to their acquisition, the destruction could have resulted in coveted businesses becoming costly liabilities.

          • Mick McNulty

            Now they’ve acquired just about everything and anyway they’ve got places like China and India to invest in, we are seeing more punitive conditions for ordinary people to get enough dole to live on within a harsh sanctions regime.

          • glenn

            I forgot to mention that the Tories – as keen to promote the truth as they always are – include in the “welfare bill” things like pensions for nurses, meagre as they are, together with payments to ex-armed forces for widow’s pension, disability allowances, and so on. Gaw bless ’em.

      • Habbabkuk


        “The extent to which large national charities are in the last resort business is a questionable contention”

        Fine – so question it.

        What are they if not, in the last resort, businesses?

        “The UK government currently spends around £231 billion per year on welfare and social protection. What precisely is it that these charities do than cannot be done with an annual £231 billion”


        That may well be but what is the relevance to what I wrote – you wouldn’t be diverting, would you?

        The implication of what you say is that the govt should spend more, with charities becoming unnecessary as a result. Not something I should have expected to hear from a hater of govt like yourself…


        “The comparison for Charity executive salaries is not with private sector executive salaries but with mid level Civil Servant administrative staff (i.e. the people that administer the annual expenditure of £231 billion”


        Only if you deny that large national charities are in the last resort businesses run as businesses. Actually, not even then. Govt has a guaranteed revenue stream for the £231 billion it disburses (it’s called taxation) whereas charities, like businesses, don’t.


        “Charities are a fraud and a con at every level…”

        Ah, here’s a real argument at last! 🙂


        “… and there is no shortage of facts to evidence this contention.”


        So let’s hear a few of them…..


        “.. proposing a wholly false metric against which to measure the salaries and benefits of charity executives.”


        Have you satisfactorily demonstrated its falseness (apart from arguing that the comparison should be with mid-level civil servants)?

        • Loony

          I do not know all of the answers, but I do know when arguments do not add up.

          If charities are a last resort business then they must be providing some kind of service that government is unable to provide. Given that in the UK government spends £231 billion on welfare and social support then the question arises as to what services are being provided by charities that are not capable of being provided with £231 billion per year.

          If there is no answer to this question then it follows that charities are not a last resort business. Addressing this question is necessary to validate to what extent your premise is correct. If you wish to rely on your premise then it is incumbent on you to address this question.

          Nothing I wrote is capable of being interpreted as suggesting government should spend more. Rather the question is what is the most cost effective way of delivering aid to the needy. A comparison of charity executive salaries and average civil service salaries is one component in any meaningful comparison.

          You are in factual error when you claim that the government funds its expenditures from taxation. Take a look at the issuance of government bonds and the ongoing money printing otherwise known as QE. The cost of funding is also relevant is assessing the most cost effective way of delivering aid to the needy. For example the UK government can currently borrow at rates of 0.88% – I suspect charities have considerably higher funding costs.

          I have previously provided ample evidence to support the contention that charities are a fraud and a con at every level. This ranges from the treatment of Aboriginal people in Australia by the Salvation Army, through to a link to a forensic deconstruction of the Clinton Foundation.

          • Habbabkuk

            Readers would be better served if, instead of saying you don’t have all the answers answers and then promptly diverting, you were to tell us what large national charities are if they are not, in the last resort, businesses?

            If you can’t or won’t answer that you’re wasting everyone’s time, including your own….

          • Loony

            Charities are a fraud and a con. What is it about that statement that you are unable to understand?

    • bevin

      “This post – as opposed to the immediately previous one – is deficient because there are too many sub-themes. Is it meant to be about the Kinnock family, the high salaries paid to the higher officers of large national charities or the revolving door between the political classes and charities, or even the question of high salaries in general..”
      Think of those ‘sub themes’ as individual pieces of a puzzle that fit together to form a picture of a society utterly corrupted.
      And your attempt to throw a bucket of whitewash over it simply reminds us that it takes corrupt people to corrupt society.
      There is no excuse for the behaviour of these people. They ought to hang their heads in shame and ask for forgiveness. And so should those who attempt to justify their conduct.
      The truth is that anyone who would accept this kind of coin disqualifies herself from the position sought.
      Isn’t it time that there was an enquiry into what went on at Orgreave? And what Kinnock knew about it?

      • Habbabkuk


        “And your attempt to throw a bucket of whitewash over it simply reminds us that it takes corrupt people to corrupt society.”

        Well actually I only addressed one of the four themes/sub-themes this new post of Craig’s touches on and that was to suggest things which a more serious, more in-depth post might have gone into.

        Why are you so angry all the time, Bev?

        Is it because of Orgreave (mentioned, rrelevantly, right at the end of your splurge)?

        • glenn

          You do seem overly concerned over what you imagine to be the mood of others, you know. This has been a regular feature of your non-contributions over the years.

          Is this because you’re rather keen to avoid the issue at hand? Are you always so anxious to know what’s going on with strangers – do you continually enquire after the state of mind of others (which is no business of yours) as you meet them in real life?

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Your comments duplicate something I found on the topic – almost to the letter – as an apologetic for high charity salaries. This is the standard business approach to criticism of executive salaries in any field, notably the admittedly much better-rewarded banking sector; if you don’t pay top dollar you don’t get top businessmen. Is that true, in fact? Or is it just a function of a sclerotic dead-mens’-shoes, grace-and-favour promotion system? If I were a businessman, and thank the Lord I’m not, Sir, I’d be looking for hungry young execs – or even shop floor workers these days, as so many of them are now graduates or have other experience – rather than greedy old ones. I guarantee I could undercut the market in boardroom wonks. As Private Eye never tires of pointing out, many of the suits in the news are utter failures, and command huge salaries simply because their last salary was big too.

      And it is natural to question a system in which a hardworkingfamily person gives a hard-earned tenner to Save the Pitiable, in order to improve the conditions of the pitiable, then to realise that a good lump of it would have gone to keep someone in considerably better style than the HWFP will ever know. While the people actually doing Save The Pitiable’s hard work in a third-world shitheap are all unpaid volunteers.

      Or, again, Save the Pitiable looks like a business because that is exactly what it is. It pays itself commission on acting as an agent between an international aid source and local small charities, development schemes, and bent politicians. Its function then is principally to provide a secure income for mediocre management with no interest in or experience of the alleged objectives of the charity. If you want to build a safe little empire, there are probably worse options than registering it as a charity, and there are advantages any accountant will help you with, like opacity.

      Not all charities are like this, of course. But some are, and some look remarkably as if they are. Save the Children being one.

      • Habbabkuk


        You make some very fair points.

        My main point was that the post would have been better if it had focussed in detail on one of the four sub-threads. And, interestingly enough, your post reflects one of my examples of what a better-focussed post would have gone into when you say:

        “… a good lump of it [ ie, Joe Soap’s “tenner” ] would have gone to keep someone in considerably better style than the HWFP will ever know”.

        Is that the case? How much of that tenner?

        • Ba'al Zevul

          In terms of public perception, or indeed morality, does it make any difference how much? You may care to do a little research of your own (I jest). But if you did, you’d find that the administrative costs are as legalistically blurred as the amount of revenue actually reaching the pitiable. In some cases, including my favourite one, there is no public accounting whatever of the donations. Their sources, their intended purposes, their final destinations and their amounts are simply not available.

          • Habbabkuk


            Thank you for that, Just a couple of comments:

            1/. I think it does make a difference: the higher the amount a charity is pulling in and disbursing the less important- in practical terms – it is if the (let’s say) CEO is £250.000 rather than £125.000.

            On morality: this is something wider which Craig’s post could have drilled into had he been so inclined: ie, the question of how high some salaries should be in the light of the £25.000 p.a. average wage/salary in the UK. That’s a question which goes far beyond what the CEOs of big charities earnand even further beyond what a single individual (young Mrs Kinnock) pulls in.

            2/. I am not sure if it is for me to do that research, Baal (I am not the author of the post). But it is certainly research that Craig might have done had he decided on a more focussed and in-depth post rather than lashing ot in several directions at the same time. To be fair, perhaps he did do it but decided not to publish information which might have blunted his case somewhat rather than strengthening it…..

            3/. Re the public accounting: I have no reason to disbelieve you but I must say I’m very surprised. I should have thought that it would be one of the conditions for registering as a charity that accounts have to be published and made available (perhaps via the Charity Commission)….at the very lest, the salaries of the top people. How easy it is to decrypt such accounts could be another matter, of course. A charity I support – Centrepoint – certainly makes that information available in relatively understandable form.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            1. What you think does not necessarily coincide with the public at large’s perception. I stand by my point
            2. You asked me some questions – I’m not doing your research for you (and neither is Craig)
            3. You might have less reason to disbelieve me if you did some research of your own. Or you might find some counterexamples (with figures). But note, I accept that not all charities – not even all large ones – are equally devious.
            I saw my point summarised by a commentator on another blog, who observed that he was always suspicious of nonprofits because although there were no profits, there was no statutory restriction on salaries and overheads. As I suggested, they can be, and in some cases are, useful cash cows for businessmen.

            That’s your ration for now.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Well, ok, if you insist…

            The Gandhi World Hunger Fund and the Hungry Children Project appear to be run by the same person, from Witney, Oxon. The former is about to be struck off as a registered business, the latter has already ceased trading as such, but as far as I can see both are still operationg as charities. There is an association with very greedy US tele-evangelist Marcus Cerullo. I believe the Mother Teresa Children’s Fund is part of the same setup, but do prove me wrong, with your sources…


            Test question: If every £1 spent on fundraising generates £4 in income, the books of these charities should be growing exponentially. Are they?

  • Republicofscotland

    If you do give to charity, I’d give to your local one, and not to one of the big national ones. Who’s CEO’s are usually on six figure salaries.

    I’d go as far as to say that some of the bigger charities have become, a lucrative money making business. Is it any wonder then that the smell of mammon, draws in the likes of failed politicians, such as closed shop speaker Gordon Brown.

    • Martinned

      That’s sound advice, but it does put you in a bit of a difficult position if you also care about people who live further than 100 miles away from you.

      • Loony

        Not really. The all enveloping system of fraud allows you to exploit any such concerns you may have. All you need to do is start your own MONGO (My Own Non Governmental Organization). Anyone can do it – this fraud is open to everyone..

        If you happen to care for Ukrainian Nazis who have fallen on hard times then I have no doubt that certain large governments will be queuing up to offer donations.

      • Republicofscotland


        True, but, you could donate clothing or tinned foods to the larger charities, I’m sure that would still sit well with most peoples conscience. Also I’m sure the DfID, contribute to the cause, in poorer nations.

      • Republicofscotland


        True, but, you could donate clothing or tinned foods to the larger charities, I’m sure that would still sit well with most peoples conscience. Also I’m sure the DfID, contribute to the cause, in poorer nations.

        • Loony

          You are correct that the DfId contributes to the cause in poorer countries.

          What you fail to make clear is that the cause is corruption.

          Who could forget the boundless munificence that was the Pergau dam. Just in case you have forgotten here is a brief recapitulation

          Ah yes but the Pergau dam was long ago and far away. How much better things are today. The UK has cut out the middle man and just directly funds corruption.

          • Habbabkuk

            I would suggest that most of the corruption connected with overseas aid comes about through the agency of corrupt local politicians and civil servants.

          • Habbabkuk


            It is certainly true that much Western aid is of the wrong sort in that it is not matched to what the recipient countries really need – which is small-scale projects using local labour rather than costly Western-produced machines (bought from the donor country) and which build up reliance on local labour, talent and enthusiasm ( a sense of ownsership if you will).

            But no one can seriously dispute that much financial aid is dissipated through local corruption, embezzlement and snouts in the troughery on the part of local politicians and bureaucrats.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Given that corruption is known to be a problem in the distribution of international aid (and not just by Habbabkuk) it’s rather surprising that effective measures for sidestepping bent politicians, bent businesses and private militias are not routine in the aid industry. The corrupt continue to have the means, motive and opportunity: The householder has left his front door open, and he’s inviting burglary. This is culpable.

            The problem is that externally-donated aid, other than some immediate disaster relief, doesn’t go direct, but is channelled and its allocation mediated by third parties, whether NGO’s, recipient-state agencies or the Tony Blair Faith Foundation. (which will continue to figure in his portfolio, no doubt, after he has disconnected it from his securities broking business and the rest (if).) In such cases, as in business, the cash flow is biased towards those agencies with the most influential connections.

          • Habbabkuk

            Baal (08h50)

            Agree with that post and especially the first para. The problem is what might be more better ways of controlling from outside are often impossible. Two reasons are the lack of external manpower to do the ongoing and post-facto control and the unwillingness of recipient govts/ministers/civil servants to allow effective controls (the accusation of “colonialism!” – always useful – comes to mind).

            And when a donor does somehow notice post-facto that the $2 million intended for the building and staffing of some schools out in the provinces has been embezzled by the competent minister, what are they going to do about it? The embezzling minister might (or might not) be in gaol awaiting trial but the money has gone and isn’t going to come back. Is the solution that the charity disburses nothing further in tht country for that purpose? You tell me…..

  • Sharp Ears

    Two charities.

    Save the Children Fund Income £389.7m
    Sir Alan Parker chair of trustees

    Save the Children International Income £656.8m
    Sir Alan Parker chair of trustees
    SIR ALAN PARKER is also a trustee of:

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