Political Matthew Taylor Risks RSA’s Charitable Status

Guido likes Matthew Taylor, he is a smart operator, shares Guido’s view of Gordon Brown and now runs the Royal Society of Arts. He is unfortunately turning this august institution into a third-way “progressive” think tank. He shouldn’t, hard as it might be for Tony Blair’s former Chief Adviser on Political Strategy and a former director of the IPPR to depoliticise himself, he really ought to separate his personal agenda from the RSA’s mission.

The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce has a mission to “embolden enterprise, enlarge science, refine art, improve our manufactures and extend our commerce”. Past members have included Benjamin Franklin, Adam Smith, William Hogarth, Charles Dickens and Guglielmo Marconi. That is a great heritage.

Last year ahead of the AGM one Fellow, Angus Stewart, challenged the RSA, claiming that

“The real problem with the RSA is its management. It’s a political body. The title should go and it should be hived off to be a consultancy firm. The same thing happened to The Industrial Society. There is no validity here, everyone is uncomfortable, and management are uncomfortable as they know they are not liked or admired by the ordinary Fellows. In terms of quality thinking this society has no standing anymore.”

Will Hutton notoriously ran the Industrial Society into bankruptcy, the RSA is financially solid, however it is becoming intellectually bankrupt, an ideologically narrowed think-tank reflecting only Taylor’s hobby horses. Matthew will no doubt cite the invitations to George Osborne to speak and the chairmanship of right-leaning Luke Johnson. It doesn’t really deflect the central charge.

Another Fellow, Kevin Cahill, Chair of the South West Region, also challenged Taylor, arguing

“We have a perfect mandate and a simple mission, there is nothing in our mandate about reforming society or changing humanity, those are the wild utopian missions of the person in charge.

Last Thursday Taylor gave his annual keynote speech to the RSA. It was an attack on the profit motive and Milton Friedman in particular. Taylor will no doubt argue that this is perfectly in tune with the RSA mission – he has argued this before to Guido face-to-face. The Charity Commission may take a different view if he is going to turn the RSA into the IPPR Mark II. More importantly the Fellows of the RSA may not stand for it much longer. Many of them are closer in their thinking to former members the free marketeers Benjamin Franklin and Adam Smith, than to Taylor’s “twenty first century progressivism”.

See also: Matthew Taylor is Ruining the RSA, February, 2009



Tip offs: 0709 284 0531
team@Order-order.com

Quote of the Day

Nigel Farage on Jeremy Corbyn:

“North London, bicycles, non-drinker, doesn’t sound very much like me does it?”

Top Posts This Week

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.

Facebook

WATCH: COOPER V CORBYN WATCH: COOPER V CORBYN
84% SAY CORBYN WON SKY DEBATE 84% SAY CORBYN WON SKY DEBATE
No, Britain Has Not Accepted Just 216 Syrian Refugees No, Britain Has Not Accepted Just 216 Syrian Refugees
POLL SUGGESTS REFERENDUM RE-WORDING HELPS EU-LEAVERS POLL SUGGESTS REFERENDUM RE-WORDING HELPS EU-LEAVERS
BURNHAM WEAPONISES REFUGEE CRISIS BURNHAM WEAPONISES REFUGEE CRISIS
TAIWANESE VIEW ON LABOUR LEADERSHIP TAIWANESE VIEW ON LABOUR LEADERSHIP

GOOGLE’S FUN FACTS: ARE YOU FEELING CURIOUS? GOOGLE’S FUN FACTS: ARE YOU FEELING CURIOUS?
PRO-EU LOBBYIST IN HEART OF WHITEHALL PRO-EU LOBBYIST IN HEART OF WHITEHALL
NONSENSE AND INSENSIBILITY: EMMA THOMPSON’S POETRY PROTEST NONSENSE AND INSENSIBILITY: EMMA THOMPSON’S POETRY PROTEST
ANTI-UKIP BURNHAM V PATRIOTIC ‘PURPLE’ ANDY ANTI-UKIP BURNHAM V PATRIOTIC ‘PURPLE’ ANDY
CORBYN: QUOTING THINGS I HAVE SAID IS “CYNICAL” JOURNALISM CORBYN: QUOTING THINGS I HAVE SAID IS “CYNICAL” JOURNALISM
All Change at News UK All Change at News UK
GDS IMPLOSION CONTINUES GDS IMPLOSION CONTINUES
Virgin Blackmailing Broadband Customers Virgin Blackmailing Broadband Customers
Google Logo Evolution Google Logo Evolution
Corbyn Supporters to ‘Drink Blood of Thatcher’ Corbyn Supporters to ‘Drink Blood of Thatcher’
Government Pleads Guilty to Climate Crimes Government Pleads Guilty to Climate Crimes
New REFERENDUM QUESTION New REFERENDUM QUESTION
“SECURITY” NO. 10’S CORBYN ATTACK LINE OF CHOICE “SECURITY” NO. 10’S CORBYN ATTACK LINE OF CHOICE
Guardian Looking For New Pol Ed Guardian Looking For New Pol Ed
NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY HACKED NATIONAL CRIME AGENCY HACKED
NO CAMPAIGN MAKING FRIENDS: “I HOPE YOU DIE IN A FREAK YACHTING ACCIDENT” NO CAMPAIGN MAKING FRIENDS: “I HOPE YOU DIE IN A FREAK YACHTING ACCIDENT”
CORBYN EQUATES BIN LADEN DEATH “TRAGEDY” WITH 9/11 CORBYN EQUATES BIN LADEN DEATH “TRAGEDY” WITH 9/11
RICH’S MONDAY MORNING VIEW RICH’S MONDAY MORNING VIEW
ENVIRONMENT MAYOR TOTTY WATCH: BRAZIL EDITION ENVIRONMENT MAYOR TOTTY WATCH: BRAZIL EDITION
HAIN GRAVY TRAIN HYPOCRISY HAIN GRAVY TRAIN HYPOCRISY
MONBIOT SKINS & COOKS SQUIRREL ON NEWSNIGHT MONBIOT SKINS & COOKS SQUIRREL ON NEWSNIGHT
DAVE’S CARBON BAGGAGE DAVE’S CARBON BAGGAGE
Daylight Robbery: Met Chain Themselves to £216 Billion 10 Year IT Contract Daylight Robbery: Met Chain Themselves to £216 Billion 10 Year IT Contract
Trumps Hair: Toupee or Not Toupee? Trumps Hair: Toupee or Not Toupee?