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Discussion > NGOs, Corruption, entryism etc.

With all the Oxfam stuff going on I'd thought I'd create a new thread.

To me it's not really an Oxfam issue, you could have probably run a similar story about anyone of 50 NGOs any year.

The intrinsic problem is they are undemocratic so not even accountable in the same way as politicians are to the public, or a corp is to its shareholders.

Feb 13, 2018 at 2:59 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

In the HQ to me the main problem is entryism, whereby accidentally or on purpose lib/left gain control of the management thus hijacking the org for their own political lobbying.
Oxfam has become famous for its anti-capitalism.
WWF for its global warming /green religion activism.

The Charity Commission is supposed to prevent such politics, but basically OKs left politics, whilst excluding the free-market ones.

Feb 13, 2018 at 3:04 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

On the ground - the NGOs are often a bunch of well paid middle class playboys who don't do much good
.. And can do harm by pushing up local rents etc.
Prostitution is often a way of life , so they adopt it, with the prostitutes hanging around the pish bars they frequent.
And anyway when the income disparity is so big it's often difficult to separate out what is prostitution and what is a genuine relationship.
There can be good marriages, but often it turns out to be gold digging. Mutual exploitation.

Feb 13, 2018 at 3:08 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Dutch aid journo Linda Polman and her 2010 book has come up.
The Times says :
"Aid agencies exploit tragedies
.. including exaggerating death tolls & other stats & utilising harrowing images"
.."journalists will often ask NGOs to fly them into disaster zones, compromising their independence.
And they too have an interest in dramatising the story"
Look at Haiti its known as Republic of NGOs , after the Earthquake agencies pledged. to double the GDP, but after 8 years Haiti is still remains by far the poorest country in the hemisphere. "

Feb 13, 2018 at 3:11 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

@Pcar also quoted Polman

Charities often behave much worse than profit-making enterprises, because they believe that everything they do is sanctified by being in a noble cause
...the revelations about Oxfam should have come as no surprise. A brave and brilliant Dutch journalist, Linda Polman, gave chapter and verse on the scandalous behaviour in aid charities, including their use of child prostitutes, in her remarkable book,
War Games: The Story Of Aid And War In Modern Times, published in 2010

The scandal – apart from anything else – sits uncomfortably with the steam of sanctimonious pronouncements emanating from the charity in recent times
...the scandal goes beyond Haiti. Official figures collated by charities show that Oxfam reported 87 incidents of sexual harassment last year. Of those, 53 were referred to the police or other statutory authorities. A total of 20 staff or volunteers were dismissed.
The statistics raise troubling questions about regulation in the beleaguered charity sector already tarnished by allegations of hard-sell tactics

Feb 13, 2018 at 3:21 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

My question is is why has the Times decided to stop protecting Oxfam now, after all these years ?

Feb 13, 2018 at 3:23 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Oxfams head of Safeguarding left in 2015 after bosses cancelled a meeting about workers abuse.
Helen Evans began in 2012, she found that in 2014 in South Sudan 7% of staff had experienced rape/attempted rape by other staff in 2014.
That's 7 in 100 staff or 4 in 56 etc.
She also found shops had inadequate background checks. One time a shop manager forced young volunteer to drop assault charges against an older male volunteer.
So after leaving Evans took complaints to CC and Dfod but no action was taken until late 2017

Feb 13, 2018 at 4:04 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Elisa Roche's article tells how she left cos
- "horrifying waste of donors' cash.
- distain they treated the small people.
... ' that old fundraising lady don't waste your time with her"

Feb 13, 2018 at 4:10 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

stewgreen: "My question is is why has the Times decided to stop protecting Oxfam now, after all these years ?"

I wondered that too - the Times and the BBC both. I suspect something is going on, but I can't work out what it is. The net seemed to be widening on the World at One on Radio 4 today, with an extensive item devoted to it, and the suggestion freely made that Oxfam has not been alone in its apparent tolerance of such behaviour.

Feb 13, 2018 at 6:53 PM | Unregistered CommenterMark Hodgson

I haven't been following it closely. Are most of these misdemeanors taking place in foreign countries with local people filling the roles, and maybe applying 'local' standards? Or are they UK people abroad?

Feb 14, 2018 at 6:44 AM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Can anyone please point out to me any charity that has ever achieved its aims, and then disbanded itself, with a well earned pat on the back?
Has there ever been one?
(Having read Patrick Moore (greenpiss, not sky at night) about how greenpiss was founded to prevent nuclear testing on the Alaskan fault line, achieved its aim and promptly morphed into the malevolent hydra we have now.)

Feb 14, 2018 at 12:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterSimonJ

@SimonJ that problem is known
And 5-10 years ago on Radio4 there was a charity insider, who decided to start up a new charity on that basis
Start charity with clear achievable goals, work toward that target and disband.
That charity was aimed at some African thing.

All I can find now is a general Guardian articles

Feb 14, 2018 at 12:49 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Today’s Times has more on Oxfam
2010 Haiti
#1 Belgium boss Roland has prostitutes brought to villa
#2 Separately the Kenyan worker organises sex parties with “young prostitutes”, other Oxfam staff attended
#3 There’d been similar prostitution scandal in Chad in 2004
— The issue is no one ever says the ex-workers got fired for this prostitute thing, so they just go on to new jobs

New today
2004 Roland worked for Merlin, now part of StC .. in Liberia he used company drivers to bring him prostitutes. A Mr Hardcastle and Ms Miller separately complained and Roland was removed.
The manager is now dep-head of StC
Likewise Oxfam didn’t pass info on when Roland resigned in 2010 and went to Action Against Hunger in Bangladesh.

Mail "It emerged today the Charity Commission reveals 1,000 allegations a year of abuse in the sector. "

Feb 14, 2018 at 8:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The Times lady said that their investigation began 11 months ago, with whistleblower telling them about how a sexual assault in an Oxfam shop had been covered up.
When they published that 6 months ago, another whistle blower came forward with the Haiti story.
- but how did people like the Times not already know ?
Loads of people must have seen aid workers in Africa .. the big white Landcruisers are always parked outside a town's fanciest restaurant, and the bar of there would be where the prostitutes hang out. Then you learn that stats on the ground get inflated, cos that brings in more aid money.
Then you think about it , and realise that no one speaks up, otherwise the big Charity's good name will get damaged.
Then the Helen Evans thing , she said Oxfam bosses ignored her report about the 7% of 120 staff in Sudan and she was afraid to go to press for fear of damaging the charity. transcript (opens in incognito window OK)
Probably the same reason why BBC staff covered up Saville.

The Times woman said that as well as the Haiti story the had gathered others like the Chad story to drip out over days.

Feb 14, 2018 at 8:22 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Melanie Phillips had some good points in the Times yesterday
"The Oxfam scandal exposes how powerful non-governmental organisations can evade ...
The NGOs have become an enormously powerful fifth estate
which uses the bully pulpit of conscience and emotional manipulation
to lobby national governments and dominate the cultural climate.
Yet because of their charitable aura they are not held fully accountable.
The Oxfam scandal has exposed this culture of impunity.
As Priti Patel observes, however, this is but the tip of a sanctimonious
and morally compromised iceberg which now needs to be hauled into view.

Feb 14, 2018 at 9:28 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Entryism is a great trick for political lobbyists like dramagreens
No taxes and no checks, good at hiding things.
"The vast majority of charities are not subject to the FOI,
irrespective of the amount of public funding they receive. "

The Guardian said in 2016
"The Freedom of Information Act is not a quick fix for charity transparency
..The public have the right to know where their money is going, but there are better and cheaper solutions out there"

Feb 14, 2018 at 9:31 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I'm not sure if the Times first story was the Oxfam shop one
In October they ran this one

An assessment of Lesley Agams’s performance as country director in Nigeria in July 2010 highlighted her success in raising the charity’s profile and building its capacity.
... Four months later she was dismissed for what Oxfam says were “performance issues”.
* The sacking was carried out by a senior manager she accused of sexually assaulting her *
at an Oxford hotel in August 2010 during an Oxfam conference.

Feb 15, 2018 at 12:10 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I have tried to post on this thread, but keep being blocked, then a blank box, and I have to guess the letters. I will try again in a few chunks:

Mark Hodgson and stewgreen

It is not Politically Correct to criticise Charities or NGOs. Will Carling may not have been making a Political Comment:
"In the run-up to the 1995 World Cup, after England returned to form with their third Grand Slam in five years, Carling famously described the Rugby Football Union general committee as "57 old f@ts" which led to his sacking as captain."

Blair was not Prime Minister for another 2 years, but the idea of generating votes, by paying Charities to tell the Government what it wanted to hear, without it appearing as Public Relations, Advertising or Lobbying, must have seemed like a no-brainer.

Newscaster Peter Sissons wrote "By far the most popular and widely read newspapers at the BBC are The Guardian and The Independent. ­Producers refer to them routinely for the line to take on ­running stories, and for inspiration on which items to cover. In the later stages of my career, I lost count of the number of times I asked a producer for a brief on a story, only to be handed a copy of The Guardian and told ‘it’s all in there’.

Feb 15, 2018 at 1:13 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

First bit posted, try some more!

The Old F@rts and traditional Establishment figures, running Charities, the BBC etc, were progressively replaced by more Progressive types, New Labour's Younger F@rters. Increased political funding and control just generated more hot air, especially if it involved Global Warming and the possibility of linking floods, droughts, hurricanes, and other humanitarian crises including wars and armed conflict to proving Mann's Hockey Stick, and the Stern Report.

QANGO Queen Suzy Leather became a Dame, and helped inspire many to take Government money, whilst staying outside the Civil Service. Value for Money was never her specialist subject.

On his arrival in No 10, Cameron could not denounce the Charity Blob, nor the taxpayer funded bloated salaries. It would have damaged his faux Green stance, and would have been seized on as confirming the Nasty Party image.

New Labour's Young Farters are still in control of Charities and NGOs, though New Labour have currently fallen from grace. They have no friends in high places, and are currently at risk from massive bad publicity, and a political and financial backlash. This is going to ripple through the Charity Commissioners aswell.

Feb 15, 2018 at 1:18 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Part 3

I feel desperately sad that the goodwill of genuine donors and volunteers has been abused, and those most vulnerable and at risk, have been used and abused, by those working for these Charities.

I would agree with the suggestion that SOME Aid workers found themselves in positions of ultimate power over life and death, controlling access to food, water, medical aid, rehousing, cash etc. Such power can corrupt.

Some of those taking £100,000+ as salaries, from UK Foreign Aid Budgets should be publicly named and shamed, with jail sentences if appropriate.

We all know, that they will all claim that "Lessons will be Learned". We all know that they won't. Those guilty of turning a blind eye, should be found guilty of defrauding taxpayers, and made to repay.

This is not just about OXFAM or Haiti. The Green Blob have blocked the development of countries, because of Global Warming, so people still die of thirst hunger treatable disease etc without NATURAL disasters.

It is understandable that journalists will work with aid workers in disaster areas. They all want to "break" a story, and get publicity and sympathy. When aid workers and journalists make a story, or become the story, they have failed.

Apart from Alan Yentob, how many journalists, politicians, celebrities etc help to make Kids Company, and failed to expose or break the story? Alan Yentob bungled the cover-up, and caused friction within the BBC.

The Government were initially found guilty by the media and public, of destroying Kids Company, a subject many in the media would prefer the public to forget.

I hope that Penny Mordaunt continues to investigate how Foreign Aid is actually spent. Too much ends up in Bank Accounts in the UK, and abroad, without having purchased any aid to anyone in genuine need.

Here endeth the rant!

Feb 15, 2018 at 1:53 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Yes the serious thing is that charities are just not accountable in same way that government or private biz is.

Onto some trivia
Times : note hidden misconduct emerges
#1 Oxfam fixed Haiti by replaying the boss, but now it emerges that last year the fired him for some other misconduct.
#2 David Milliband's International Rescue was censured and govt money suspended cos they'd fsil end to report some sexhar & fraud.
- BTW Oxfam had not told staff to stay away from prostitutes : 2008 "No sexual contact with under 18's if beneficiaries of their charity" today its more strict and rules it out.

Feb 15, 2018 at 3:59 PM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

I keep wondering if International Rescue's overpaid head prat has been back to India to lecture the uppity natives.

Employee testimonials:
best: paid time off is a great thing to have and you have lots of it

Obviously nice work if you can get it ....

Feb 15, 2018 at 4:50 PM | Registered Commentertomo

tomo, have you ever Googled David Miliband Hillary Clinton ?

There are some real gems

Feb 16, 2018 at 10:45 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

My typo
#2 David Milliband's International Rescue was censured and govt money suspended cos they'd FAILED to report some sexual harrassment & fraud.

Feb 16, 2018 at 11:22 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

Feb 16, 2018 at 11:22 AM | stewgreen

I expect Team Clinton will try to blame that on Trump, and fabricate evidence to prove it.

David Miliband thought he had triumphed over his brother, with the promise of work for St Hillary as POTUS. UK Blairites would have appreciated the assistance of corrupt FBI factions, to unseat Corbyn, his cronies and chosen successor.

Feb 16, 2018 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie