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

Dead Ed

Observer:

  • Headline: Was Ed Miliband the right choice to lead Labour?
  • Headline: Clock ticking as Labour leader Ed Miliband starts fightback
  • Quotes: Labour strategist “If he doesn’t come up with an energetic, memorable speech at conference, it will be a slow lingering death”
  • Quotes: Labour SpAd “If Ed has got this plan, then we need to see it now. It is time for him to show us why we are coming to work every day.”

Indy:

  • Headline: Brothers at War
  • Headline: MPs set deadline of months for Ed Miliband to shape up
  • Quotes: David Miliband is ‘waiting for his brother to fail’

Mail :

  • Quotes: Labour MP John Cruddas urged David Miliband regarding Ed ‘Why don’t you f*****g punch him? That’s what I’d do.’
  • Quotes: Ed Miliband’s ‘dislike for macho Ed Balls was an open secret’.

Sunday Times :

  • Headline: Labour big beasts maul Ed Miliband.
  • YouGov: Half Labour Voters Don’t Know What Ed Stands For
  • YouGov: 41% Labour Voters Think Was Wrong Leader Choice
  • YouGov: Two Thirds of Labour Voters Think Ed Ineffective

Pre-order offer Ed: The Milibands and the Making of a Labour Leader for £14.39 saving 15% (£2.60) with free delivery. Order today…



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

Quote of the Day

David David responds when asked if he’s confident he can make a success of Brexit:

“Why on earth could it go wrong?”

Guidogram: Sign up

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

Facebook

FULL-LENGTH TRUMP INAUGURATION SPEECH FULL-LENGTH TRUMP INAUGURATION SPEECH
Farage Hired by Fox News Farage Hired by Fox News
UKIP Announce Nuttall for Stoke UKIP Announce Nuttall for Stoke
Osborne Buries BlackRock News Osborne Buries BlackRock News
UKIP Out-NHS Labour in Copeland UKIP Out-NHS Labour in Copeland
Labour Copeland Candidate’s Son is True Lad Labour Copeland Candidate’s Son is True Lad
Govt Cancels Carbon Capture Govt Cancels Carbon Capture
Seamus Officially Leaves Guardian Seamus Officially Leaves Guardian
Article 50 Splits Shadow Cabinet Article 50 Splits Shadow Cabinet
Revenge Porn Momentum Candidate Quits Revenge Porn Momentum Candidate Quits
Red Len’s Hospitality Hypocrisy Red Len’s Hospitality Hypocrisy
Momentum Man is Porn Baron Momentum Man is Porn Baron
PMQs Sketch – Labour MPs Googling Museum Directorships PMQs Sketch – Labour MPs Googling Museum Directorships
NEC Fudges Danczuk Decision NEC Fudges Danczuk Decision
Investigation: Wrecking Peers in Pay of Unis Investigation: Wrecking Peers in Pay of Unis
Bromentum: All Male Shortlist Bromentum: All Male Shortlist
Nuttall Set to Stand in Stoke Nuttall Set to Stand in Stoke
One Line Whip As Whips On A Jolly One Line Whip As Whips On A Jolly
Leaving The Protectionist Union Leaving The Protectionist Union
Labour Drops Student Anti-Semitism Probe Labour Drops Student Anti-Semitism Probe