Backbencher Backs Down

Guido’s new think-tank feature Wonk for Sale (October 21) mentioned Demos and its IKEA furniture linked to a published policy paper. As so often happens with this blog, the Guardian’s Backbencher picked up on it on October 26.

“Would you like a think-tank to write about your product? Hey, would you like a think-tank to endorse your product in exchange for a fee? If so, have you thought about approaching Demos? “How can values-based products make the transition from the niche to mass market?” asks the latest Demos newsletter. “Why does increasing awareness rarely lead to changes in our consumption patterns?” Why indeed? If only our great thinkers had tackled that paradox. “This project will explore how Collaborative Brands can help values-based products make the transition, by connecting large numbers of individuals through a brand…”

Next week, unlike Guido, the Backbencher (November 2) backed down;

“With reference to the item about Demos in last week’s edition, the think-tank has asked the Backbencher to make it clear that it is “plain wrong” to imply that it offers product endorsement in return for payment.”

Oh yeah? Look at this selection of sponsors logos taken from their website,:-
As wonk-whores go, Demos flaunt it, one outrageous example: The Politics of Bandwidth: Network innovation and regulation in broadband Britain published by Demos, funded by Cable & Wireless. It recommended the break up of bitter rival BT and that the BT local loop be run not-for-profit. If you can’t beat em in the market-place, get a government friendly think-tank to recommend destroying ’em.

Demos has a reputation for policy prostitution, so why did Backbencher back down? Guido reckons Demos have got away with writing sponsor-friendly press releases for too long. Think-tanks need to distance themselves from donors to have any credibility, otherwise they are just PR houses writing press releases.

Send writs and more blatant examples of wonk-whoring here.




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

Quote of the Day

Corbynista media cheerleader Aaron Bastani says his friend Clive Lewis’s “b*tch” comment was:

“beneath any parliamentarian”

Sponsors

Guidogram: Sign up

Subscribe to the most succinct 7 days a week daily email read by thousands of Westminster insiders.
LibDems: O’Mara Should Resign from Equalities Committee LibDems: O’Mara Should Resign from Equalities Committee
O’Mara: Fat Women Don’t Deserve Our Respect O’Mara: Fat Women Don’t Deserve Our Respect
Labour MP Asked Girls Aloud for “Orgy” Labour MP Asked Girls Aloud for “Orgy”
Hamas Praises Corbyn Hamas Praises Corbyn
Selmayr: It Wasn’t Me Selmayr: It Wasn’t Me
Sunday Show Highlights Sunday Show Highlights
Watch: Corbyn Condemns Clive Lewis Watch: Corbyn Condemns Clive Lewis
Lewis: “I Apologise Unreservedly” Lewis: “I Apologise Unreservedly”
Clive Lewis: “Get On Your Knees B****” Clive Lewis: “Get On Your Knees B****”
Heads Up: Parliament Tells MPs It’s Too Windy To Inspect Falling Masonry Heads Up: Parliament Tells MPs It’s Too Windy To Inspect Falling Masonry
Corbyn Stands By Disgraced Lavery Corbyn Stands By Disgraced Lavery
Mandelson Lies About Single Market Mandelson Lies About Single Market
Merkel: “Absolutely No Doubt” There Will Be A Deal Merkel: “Absolutely No Doubt” There Will Be A Deal
Sweden Drawing Up Brexit Trade Plans Sweden Drawing Up Brexit Trade Plans
Car Windscreen Smashed Inside Parliament Car Windscreen Smashed Inside Parliament
Russia Today Presenter Fibs With First Word on #BBCDP Russia Today Presenter Fibs With First Word on #BBCDP
Shameless Poetry Shameless Poetry
John Healey: Then and Now John Healey: Then and Now
Linesman MP Has Attended 96% of Votes, Better Record Than SNP MPs Linesman MP Has Attended 96% of Votes, Better Record Than SNP MPs
On The Red Carpet Last Night On The Red Carpet Last Night