Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Good News for Nick Cohen - And Some Odd News Too

It's well known that both Nick Cohen and Martin Bright can't stand Charlie Whelan. Bright even has a Charlie Whelan tag on his blog. Here's an accurate prediction by Nick back in January.

Fraser Nelson of the Spectator is facing a libel writ after describing the alleged bullying tactics of Brown's aide Charlie Whelan. (If the court finds that it is false and defamatory to describe Whelan's tactics as ‘bullying', by the way, the judgment will be one of the legal wonders of the 21st century.)

Fraser Nelson has won and the Spectator is not slow to crow about it: How Charlie Whelan killed New Labour. The cover looks like the work of Martin Rowson; unfortunately, no one has given him a photo of Whelan to draw from, so instead he produced a cartoon of an all-purpose political thug, who likes very like Anderw Neil, but rinsed in hair oil to fool the unobservant buyer.

We have seen a copy of the grievance procedure brought against him [Charlie Whelan] by several members of Unite, some of who said they were too fearful of reprisals to be named. Three did name themselves. Carter-Ruck claimed their grievances were "withdrawn". In fact, the Unite officers reached compromise agreements - the type where money changes hands. Their case was absolutely not dismissed.

I think that's a safe bet for Sunday's Observer column. And with that, the odd news. Go to any Standpoint blog page (the one linked above will do). On the right hand side, some way down, but before the fold on my browser is a Liberal Democrat ad attacking Nadine Dorries (a Tory MP, for anyone who doesn't know). Even more surprisingly, the challenger is a Linda Jack, who has "worked all [her] life in public service". Have the LDs gone completely mad? Have I totally misjudged the Standpoint readership? Or is advertising on Standpoint so cheap that it's worthwhile to take out an ad in a national publication for one constituency?


Blogger Tim Wilkinson said...

JUst looked at the link behind the word 'January'. Noticed that apparently, the Charities Commission investigated a think tank.

Does this mean think tanks have charitable status? I can take Harrow, but Policy Exchange?

4/17/2010 04:00:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, some think tanks have charitable status and I don't know how they get away with it either. When I worked for a real charity (almost 20 years ago) we had to constantly check whether any public statements were really charitable and not political. Anything that was said on public policy matters was supposed to be backed up by evidence from the charity's actual work on the issue.

However it seems that Policy Exchange, Atlantic Bridge and the Smith Institute are charities even though their main purpose is political: they discuss policies, with a distinct bias towards particular political positions, without even doing any actual work on the issues they are discussing. Has charity law been changed? Is there a new category of political charities? The way some think tanks with charitable status act really surprises me.


4/17/2010 04:47:00 PM  

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