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A strange convergence of interests



The Telegraph reports that complaints have been made to the Charities Commission about green NGOs campaigning on Brexit. 

The charities watchdog will on Monday issue new guidance on political neutrality after Friends of the Earth, The Wildlife Trusts and Greenpeace all made public comments backing EU membership.

The charities have all insisted that Britain being a member of the EU is vital to protecting Britain’s wildlife - with one suggesting that those backing Brexit want to make the country “the dirty man of Europe”.

The author of the piece, political correspondent Ben Riley Smith, seems to have missed the fact that Friends of the Earth and the Wildlife Trusts are heavily funded by the EU.

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Reader Comments (79)

Mike Jackson on the subject of a USE said:

Ask any sane European politician and he will tell you that "ever closer (political) union" will only ever happen if it is clear that the people of Europe want it.

That is a 'No true Scotsman' style fallacy. And also not the same as saying 'if the people of Europe vote for it'.

But back on topic...!

I don't like charities taking such nakedly political stances. *If* they want to they should cease to be charities. And it would be nice to have some easily identifiable markers to determine how much taxpayer money charities receive. A traffic light system perhaps. Greater than 50% of funding and they are red. 10-50% and they are yellow. Less than 10% and they can be green.

Mar 7, 2016 at 6:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterGareth

I can't stand being in the company of the creeps on the other side.
Present company probably excepted!
No further comment should be necessary, Harry. I prefer not the be associated with Farage, Cash, Fox, and the rest of the English nationalists. Which is not to say I believe everyone that chooses to leave is a creep. Gove, for example. Or, from my experience, most of the people on this site, though I do tire sometimes of trying to explain to people on here how the British parliamentary system works.
Re the BCC. If other board members have expressed their intention of voting Remain and are still in post then that is wrong. Though remember that a Director-General is the servant of the Board and is not supposed to express a political opinion ever — certainly not on a contentious subject like this.

Mar 7, 2016 at 7:37 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

James Evans, I recall some writer making the case that there has never been a successful currency union that wasn't preceded a successful political union. The EU has attempted the opposite.

And that without a full linguistic union. In modern times, a constructed political union without a common language seems even harder. There can only be one winner in European languages, and you're reading it. But the EU won't concede.
I suspect the UK would actually probably be quite willing to bend-down and lube-up if the EU honestly announced that the long-term (i.e. 50+ years) intention was English.

The Germans were, probably rightfully, accorded primacy of currency. There should be a quid pro quo for language. France can have the sex.

Mar 7, 2016 at 7:41 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Mar 7, 2016 at 5:29 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

I gather you were a part of the 'hunt for Reagan's brain' but do you remember where they found it? ^.^

Mar 7, 2016 at 7:59 PM | Registered CommenterDung

"...the amounts involved when compared to the license fee are very small beer." --SandyS

But qui bono? Baksheesh doesn't have to be very large to affect a much bigger issue, project, or organization. For example, does that "small beer" permit hiring a vat-full of biased staff members? Follow the money.

The EU is the proto-global State. Failure would appear to be a severe set-back for the UN eco-totalitarian visionaries and their 4000 NGO's that comprise 'civil society'
British genetics appears to be instinctively expressing what it may have always done since Roman times, refusing to willingly become immersed in a identity crushing kollectiv. The 'charities' do as they always do. They weep their crocodile tears and betray themselves at every turn.

Mar 7, 2016 at 9:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

Manfred, us Angles have had slight 'issues' with Saxons, Romans, and Vikings, really since written records began. The last 1000 years or so, have not seen a significant improvement, starting with the Normans of France.

The Eurovision song contest only confirms that we no longer fit in with the modern 'harmonious' Europe.

If UK charities have now realised that charity begins at the EU, rather than at home in the UK, that is their look out.

Mar 7, 2016 at 9:51 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

The failure of the wildlife authorities to declare the trump an endangered species may be America's last hope of political salvation.

The revival of fox hunting in Britain will enable Delingpole to invite the Donald to join the Quorn, where the field will instantly mistake his hair for the quarry, and beat him to death in a hail of stirrup cups even before the pack gets wind of him.

Mar 7, 2016 at 11:18 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

golf charlie - exactly. Now, was there a particular reason you omitted the Picts from your list? Even the Romans had the Antonine and Hadrian walls.

Mar 8, 2016 at 2:52 AM | Unregistered CommenterManfred

Golf charlie haslong been our go-to guy for inaccurate depiction.

Mar 8, 2016 at 3:59 AM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

Yes why indeed. Certainly left them open to claims of taking millions, which to most people is a huge amount.

Mar 8, 2016 at 8:20 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Some of the peoples of what is now the UK managed to keep The Romans after a bit of a struggle, the Angles, the Saxons (sassenach) after a bit of a struggle, The Norwegians after a bit of a struggle, The Normansby invitation only by David 1. Becoming good friends of The French and The Hanseatic League along the way. Finally surrendering our sovereignty voluntarily on 1 May 1707 by Burns' "Parcel of Rogues". This part of the UK's history is ignored by and unknown to the majority of the population, you'll have to excuse them it's not their fault.

Being run by politicians and functionaries in a foreign not that strange for some of us!

Mar 8, 2016 at 8:30 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

Let's not forget that many of today's Greens were yesterday's Reds (or are the progeny therefrom). The Soviet Union and its satellites showed no interest in preserving nature. The dried-up Aral Sea, for example, is the classic demonstration of this, where, in Brezhnev's time, the fish and the fisherman were likewise starved of water, all to create a doomed cotton industry in Uzbekistan, then a "Soviet Socialist Republic" in Russia's empire.

European and American Reds had nothing to say about such disasters during the Brezhnevschina, affecting their unconvincing love of all things "natural" only after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now they and their komsomol, transformed from Red into Green, are dragooning us to vote for Brezhnev Mk.II.

Mar 8, 2016 at 10:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterOwen Morgan

Mike Jackson, regarding myself as an EU-denier I rather object to being termed a "creep" - if only by association. Actually, calling Leavers Cash, Farage etc, creeps is a new one on me, and I thought I had heard them all. I wonder how they compare to the Remainers Mandleson and Blair in the creep stakes? I would have thought the latter creeps would out-creep the first creeps. Wouldn't you?

As to your eccentric view that "[the] United States of Europe is anything but a pipe dream" and "ever closer (political) union will only ever happen if it is clear that the people of Europe want it", it is clear that you know far less about the EU than AGW.

When the UK signs a normal treaty, the specific agreement is limited and unchanging. Unlike treaties signed with the EU. Treaties of Rome, SEA, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice, Lisbon (by way of Spinelli, the Constitution) to create the TEU and TFEU, have all increased the power (competences) of the EU step by step. EU treaties are enablers rather than specific agreements. This results in the continual transfer of power from the nation state to the EU in a one way process that is so well known (except by you, apparently) that it is called "the ratchet".

What we know of the EU, then, is that it has relentlessly increased its power over the states in the time we have been part of it. That is, ever closer union has occurred in the last 43 years. Your notion that this will not continue has no basis in evidence. There is already rumoured to be a new treaty in the offing, and the economic union part of EMU is certain unless the EU/EZ collapses as a result of its current crises. In the past the EU has always outmanoeuvred UK negotiators (as they have Cameron) to spring new disruptive obligations upon us. There is no evidence this will not continue, either.

Mar 8, 2016 at 11:14 AM | Unregistered CommenterBudgie

Manfred, there is a distinct lack of recorded history concerning the Picts, that has been written by the Picts. The Mel Gibson film Braveheart, rather proved the point.

Travel guides throughout history might have described the Picts as "Troublesome, best left alone". The Roman 9th Legion may have contributed to this brief summary, if given the chance.

Mar 8, 2016 at 1:00 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mike Jackson,

I disagree concerning all about the EU but have also said, perhaps the biggest problem is not the EU itself but actually our very own HMG. I deem that, you are a very polite and eloquently spoken and all round a good bloke, a seriously right minded thinker. Plus, I don't want the UK (Scotland, England, Wales, Ulster) union to be sundered.

I will say this though, certainly residing and championing the cause of the remainian side, its candidates inclusive of Mandelson, Blair, Branson, Clarke are all inveterate liars, charlatans fraudsters and worse. Speaking vehemently, personally, metaphorically; if they were on fire....ah but then, humanity, as we all sit waiting in the departure lounge - immolation in eternal damnation is not so very far away for some.
We are, all products of a super nova and back to dust we will be, perhaps it's best not to break up with friends. Though, I would argue, I love Europe and Europeans but have never regarded some in the EU as 'friends'. Enmity runs deep, as does the human condition, I have always regarded RealPolitik - to mean just that and a nation, its people are best served by making and ensuring that, their own governance and governors are accountable and ultimately representative only and responsible to, the people who voted for them.

Mar 8, 2016 at 2:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterAthelstan.

golf charlie
The history of the Scots as opposed to the Picts according to the Declaration of Arbroath written n15 years after the execution of Wallce (aka Braveheart which is actually taken from someone else)

Most holy Father and Lord, we know and gather from ancient acts and records, that in every famous nation this of Scotland hath been celebrated with many praises: This nation having come from Scythia the greater, through the Tuscan Sea and the Hercules Pillars, and having for many ages taken its residence in Spain in the midst of a most fierce people, could never be brought in subjection by any people, how barbarous soever: And having removed from these parts, above 1,200 years after the coming of the Israelites out of Egypt, did by many victories and much toil obtain these parts in the West which they still possess, having expelled the Britons and entirely rooted out the Picts, notwithstanding of the frequent assaults and invasions they met with from the Norwegians, Danes, and English; And these parts and possessions they have always retained free from all manner of servitude and subjection, as ancient histories do witness.

This kingdom hath been governed by an uninterrupted succession of 113 kings, all of our own native and royal stock, without the intervening of any stranger.
Given at the Monastery of Arbroath in Scotland, the sixth day of April in the year of Grace 1320, and of our said king's reign the 15th year.'

As you say the history of the Picts has been lost apart from king lists of unknown provenance, place names, and physical evidence like brochs and a number of symbol stones which are worth viewing.

Mar 8, 2016 at 2:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

The NGOs are just actors in this play, the playwright is the EU, which funds these NGOs to represent the "civil society" of Europe, carefully selecting the ones in favour of ever growing integration and regulation.

Mar 8, 2016 at 3:00 PM | Unregistered CommenterMikky

SandyS, Hollywood rewrites the history of those living in Scotland. But, to be fair, King Arthur has spawned a profitable income for many, and he is as real and fact based, as climate science.

"King Mann and his naughty knaves from the shonky science table" is a collection of fairy stories, featuring complete rewrites of known history, geography, maths and science, sold to the gullible, for purest profit and greed.

Mar 8, 2016 at 3:41 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

SandyS, British Isles archaeology does show that trade from across Europe and further East was occurring prior to the Romans turning up , so the amalgamation of legends from distant parts is perfectly plausible.

I think the instructions for DIY home assembly of Flat Pack Pyramids from Egyptkea must have been written in coded hieroglyphics, without a handy Rosetta Stone Translation App, and that is why Stonehenge looks so oddly different from the brochure illustration.

Mar 8, 2016 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

O Come, ye men of Snowdon,
Let's go and put some woad on
No watermelon hue
Would any Briton true
Dare ever to be seen abroad in !

Mar 8, 2016 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterRussell

List of NGO EU money grabbers some of which like Friends-Of-Earth-Europe get around 50% of their funding from the EU
by James Delingpole, who points out it's no surprise they say the environment will fall apart if the UK regains independence.

Mar 9, 2016 at 7:03 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

golf charlie
Chuckle, Maes Howe though?

Mar 9, 2016 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, linteresting link! If the climate would only warm up a bit, these structures could generate some lucrative tourist income. Perhaps they would have built on a Giza scale if they had had a better 'working' relationship with any of their neighbours.

Mar 9, 2016 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

golf charlie
Orkney is a very interesting place, seems to have had a much more human friendly climate in Neolithic times. Recently discovered evidence shows that Orkney was the starting place for much of the megalithic culture, including styles of architecture and pottery, that developed much later in the southern British Isles. (wiki). Knap of Howar Neolithic farmstead is probably the oldest preserved house in northern Europe. Skara Brae consists of ten clustered houses and is northern Europe's most complete Neolithic village.The island of Rousay has a substantial number of prehistoric sites resulting it becoming known as the "Egypt of the north".

There is much much more.
Also claiming the discovery of America by an Orcadian nobleman.

Henry I Sinclair, Earl of Orkney, Baron of Roslin (c.1345 – c.1400) was a Scottish and a Norwegian nobleman. Sinclair held the title Earl of Orkney under the King of Norway (see Earl of Orkney: Scottish Earls under the Norwegian Crown). He is sometimes identified by another spelling of his surname, St. Clair. He was the grandfather of William Sinclair, 1st Earl of Caithness, the builder of Rosslyn Chapel. He is best known today because of a modern legend that he took part in explorations of Greenland and North America almost 100 years before Christopher Columbus. William Thomson, in his book The New History of Orkney, wrote: "It has been Earl Henry's singular fate to enjoy an ever-expanding posthumous reputation which has very little to do with anything he achieved in his lifetime.

Mar 9, 2016 at 6:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterSandyS

SandyS, I suppose we have to consider the possibility that the human race, does do better in warmer climates.

The Medieval Warm Period ties in with various suggestions in the historical record, that Columbus knew there was something worth looking for, if he kept sailing west.

I have never sailed in a replica of a Viking Long Boat, but I can appreciate the inherent suitability of the design, for ocean passages. Probably far more seaworthy than the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria. The Viking Longboat had no real cabin structure, so must have been very exposed in cold wet conditions. The Vikings may have got into the Atlantic and headed south, never to be seen again, but the fact they did sail west of the Orkneys to colonise Iceland, suggests that the trip did not freeze them to death.

William the Conq knew the Vikings and planned his invasion to follow that of Harold Hardrada (defeated by Harold at Stamford Bridge) His ships shown in the Bayeux Tapestry do show similarities with Viking Longboats, and the Vikings and Normans did get all over Europe.

The Vikings have not left much for archaeologists to find, but they certainly had Means, Method, and Motive to have got to America, before Columbus.

The Viking Longboat would have been able to sail to about 60 degrees off the wind. Almost as good as the Arabian Felucca, with a Lateen sail, still seen on the Nile. Until Europeans got the hang of the Lateen sail, ( possibly renaming it to claim design rights for the Latins) their chance of sailing from A to B, and back to A, would have depended on a shift in wind direction. Henry the Navigator helped Portugal achieve this (gaff rig), and so Columbus set off, knowing he had a chance of coming back, and Portugal became a seapower.

There is fact based conjecture in some of the above, but no guesswork to fit a lucrative theory, like climate science, or Rosslyn Chapel.

Mar 10, 2016 at 1:52 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

"Harry Passfield (and others)
First off, if you still believe that the 'United States of Europe' is anything but a pipe dream among a small group of Euro-fanatics then, in the famous phrase, I have a bridge you might be interested in! It has been kicked into the long grass so many times I doubt they could find it if they went looking, which they won't because the Irish will vote against it, the French will vote against it, the Brits will vote against it, the Dutch will vote against it, the Danes will vote against it.
If they were allowed a vote the Germans would vote against it and their leaders know that.
Ask any sane European politician and he will tell you that "ever closer (political) union" will only ever happen if it is clear that the people of Europe want it. Those that don't can stay as they are. Ever closer monetary or commercial union is a different matter; it's happening and it's largely beneficial"

Mar 7, 2016 at 4:42 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Mike, I suggest you read the Memoirs of Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of the European Union, you will find that "The United States of Europe" was the main purpose of the project and 'ever closer union' has been ongoing ever since its inception whether the people want it or not.
Remember how when it was voted down by the peoples of the EU, the Eu Treaty was rehashed and became the Lisbon Treaty, only this time round it was only the political classes who were allowed to vote for the political gravy train, oh except in Ireland where their constitution dictated the people had to be allowed to vote. And the people of Ireland voted NO which should have been the end of the Lisbon Treaty. But no, as ever, the wishes of the people were ignored and they were made to vote a second time a few months later after a massive fear campaign. Unfortunately with a few last minute sweeteners thrown in and worried about the effects of the Recession sweeping the world at the time the people voted Yes the second time round but what a farce!! Such is EU 'democracy'
Even currently the EU is busy negotiating with the US over the TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) one of the main aims of which is to introduce ISDS (Investor State Dispute Settlements) which will effectively allow transnational companies to sue democratically elected governments for any policies that cause a loss of profits!! This treaty is being negotiated by Cecilia Malmstrom (Peter Mandelson's successor as Trade Commissioner) who has ignored a petition against the treaty made by over three million European citizens simply saying she does not take her mandate from the European people!! Such is EU democracy that the wishes of the people can be completely overriden by the EU Council.

please Mike do invest some research time into this topic, it is crucially important, after all we have all seen just how political the CAGW nonsense is

Mar 11, 2016 at 9:18 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

Sorry - correct link for above post

Mar 11, 2016 at 9:32 AM | Unregistered CommenterMarion

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