As SW1 and the media spin themselves into an immigration-fuelled frenzy, there is at least one inevitable outcome – lefty activists making performative protests.
Guido’s attention was drawn to one stunt, whereby protesters affixed a sign to a government building in Manston. They dubbed it the “Centre of Cruelty for Refugees”. The government building in question: a car park attendant’s office…
The protest, organised by Freedom from Torture, was essentially paid for by British taxpayers.
For funding, it counts the Ministry of Justice, The National Lottery Community Fund, Manchester and Newcastle City Councils and the Scottish Government Equalities and Social Cohesion Fund amongst its benefactors. With their funding, the group is really putting the public into publicity stunt.
This isn’t Freedom from Torture’s first example of questionably political activism, the group also boasts of a “campaign win” in making sure “no plane ever takes off to Rwanda”. They also, of course, count Jeremy Corbyn as a “long time supporter”.
Whether it contravenes government guidance will be a matter of argument. As a charity, it is entitled to a generous range of tax breaks. But with that comes obligations:
…political campaigning, or political activity … must be undertaken by a charity only in the context of supporting the delivery of its charitable purposes. Unlike other forms of campaigning, it must not be the continuing and sole activity of the charity.
Leaving that to the lawyers, the obvious question remains: why is the government funding groups that frustrate its own agenda?