The Taxpayers’ Alliance has discovered that last year £1.6 million found its way from the taxpayer to four left-of-centre think tanks; Demos, the New Economics Foundation; the Institute for Public Policy Research and the New Local Government Network.
Think tanks often have a role in thinking the unthinkable in present policy terms. The New Economics Foundation is one of the most bananas of think tanks going. The New Economics Foundation, which was paid £601,518 in 2007-08, is responsible for the Happy Planet Index, which places Saudi Arabia and Burma above the United Kingdom and Sweden in terms of “achieving, long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources”. This type of left-wing lunacy would not bother anyone much if it wasn’t for the fact that it us who are paying for this drivel.
Demos is the new base for James Purnell (shades of Ed Balls at the Smith Institute) it is a vaguely Blairite / New Labour.
The IPPR was set up in the mid-eighies specifically to give Labour some intellectual firepower.
The New Local Government Network was set-up (though they will vociferously deny this) to organise local government operators along more New Labour lines.
This is just not right, it is bad for the think tank’s independence at the very least. How can they risk rocking the boat if the government is funding them? No right-of-centre think tank as far as Guido knows gets any significant state funding. This should be for the chop by Hammond on the first day of the new government.