Toby Young complained to the Charity Commission about left-wing charity War on Want’s involvement in the anti-Trump campaign. The Charity Commission told him:
War on Want by appearing to support the Stop Trump Campaign in materials published on the charity’s website, and through public activities of the charity’s director, the charity has been engaging in inappropriate political activity. Following our intervention, the charity has removed materials of concern from its website. We expect it to ensure that, in the future, the charity is not associated in the mind of the public with the Campaign.
Charities are free to campaign on issues that relate to their charitable objects for the public benefit. What charities cannot do is campaign against a government, administration, individual politician or political party in general terms. Charity holds a special status in our society, and so when individual charities clearly cross the line from legitimate to inappropriate political activity, the public expects us to hold them to account. That is what we have done in this case.
For general background: we determined that War on Want’s apparent involvement with the Stop Trump Campaign amounts to inappropriate political activity, because:
– The Campaign appears to be against the individual (President Trump) and his administration generally, and is not confined to criticism of that administration’s policies in relation to poverty or human rights (the charity’s purposes)
– While the charity has attempted to link the Campaign to its objects, these explanations have not been sufficient to allow us to determine that the Campaign is appropriate for the charity.
This is not the first time War on Want have been in trouble with the Charity Commission. They continually flout the law, yet no sanctions are taken against them. If Guido’s co-conspirators find any more examples of left-wing charities breaching the rules, complain to the Charity Commission and let us know. Two can play at this game…
.@toadmeister I do believe in free speech and always championed it when Culture Sec. What I don’t believe in is the freedom to post beheading videos and child sexual abuse online https://t.co/7uIB9rBqCt
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) April 8, 2019
The proponents of the “Online Harms White Paper“ are trying to frame it as a child protection and anti-terrorism measure. Guido is willing to accept that is the government’s intention and that it is under pressure from the newspaper industry to hit the global platforms. Almost every day News UK and Associated Newspapers titles run a shock horror story about Facebook or Twitter or one of the other social media platforms. Often it is focused on child protection – children committing suicide, children being groomed, children falling for scams, children seeing an advert for a high sugar product. Do not underestimate how much pressure this puts ministers under when there is a “something must be done” clamour.
According to the government the something that must be done is the creation of yet another quango, an online regulator. Dubbed by Toby Young “iPlod“.
Guido has no doubt as to the harms done by child sexual abuse or terrorist propaganda online, it is however already the case that these things are illegal. Introducing a new law will not change the enforcement problems, which go unaddressed in the White Paper. The best form of child protection is preventing your children having access to this material. Why does your 7 year-old child need a smart phone? Why is your daughter on Snapchat, an app originally designed to enable the sending of a quick nude picture that will selfie-destruct after a maximum of 10 seconds. New legal controls are no substitute for parental control.
The online harms that the White Paper has trouble defining include cyber-bullying and trolling, both of which it says are unacceptable. People being rude to one another online does not require a legislative response. The police have better things to do than arrest people for being rude on Twitter.
There is also the collateral damage to press freedom from a new regulator, Toby Young argues in tomorrow’s Spectator cover story that the White Paper if it became law “iPlod” would mean that any companies “that allow users to share or discover user-generated content or interact with each other online” will be “in scope” so that includes newspapers and magazines. This is arguably state regulation of the press by the back door and has no place in a free society. Sajid should be opposing it as vigorously as he opposed Labour’s attempts to set up a state press regulator, not championing it.
On today’s Politics Live, Toby Young took apart the proposals expected in a White Paper next week for Government control of social media. He’s bang on…
Toby Young has resigned from the Office for Students board following the furore over his tweets. Angela Rayner is being credited with the scalp, so it’s worth remembering her double standards and faux outrage over the last few days. Rayner led the calls for Toby to go, claiming his tweets were evidence of a “history of homophobia and misogyny”. Yet what was her view of Labour’s Jared O’Mara, whose social media postings were in a different league and who actually hurled sexist abuse at a woman in person just last year? Rayner said “I am happy to sit alongside him” in the Commons. You don’t get double standards more blatant than that – this was political, pure and simple…
It seems the way to virtue signal that you are a Tory-hating lefty in 2018 is to jump on the outrage bus about Toby Young’s appointment to the Office for Students board. Some of the abuse and whinging from Corbynistas upset that someone with right-of-centre views has got the job is just unhinged. Paul Mason for example is claiming Toby “despises working class kids”. Not a great attack line given he has helped set up four state schools educating 2,000 children, with more than a third at his secondary school eligible for the pupil premium. What has Paul Mason done to help working class kids?
The next moan is that Toby isn’t qualified for the job and that he is unsuitable because he is of the right. Danny Blanchflower, the economist who always gets everything wrong, has even suggested universities should refuse to have anything to do with the Office for Students until he is fired. Guido supposes he is entirely unqualified apart from having worked at Harvard and Cambridge, being a visiting fellow of the University of Buckingham, a Fulbright Commissioner, co-founder of four free schools and director of the New Schools Network.
And as for being political, lefty tweeters don’t seem to have a problem with the chair of the Office for Students Michael Barber being a former adviser to the last Labour government. Quangos are stuffed with lefties and Labour supporters across the board, it is just hypocritical for them to oppose a mainstream centre-right educationalist taking a position. Philip Blond makes a sensible point:
Most systems should not be regulated by those wholly immersed in them – we need hybrid regulators who are half in and half out of the sector – otherwise the self-interested status quo prevails – hence I think appointing @toadmeister is a good thing https://t.co/W97X3Hrred
— Phillip Blond (@Phillip_Blond) January 2, 2018
Almost as if it’s all faux outrage just so Owen Jones, Paul Mason et al can get some retweets…
Worth 14 minutes of your time…
The press regulator has dismissed a spurious complaint brought against the Telegraph by Bill Emmott, ex-editor of the Economist. Emmott claimed in a long whinge that Toby Young’s review of his ‘Great European Disaster Movie’, a piece of swivel-eyed, pro-EU propaganda broadcast by the BBC last year, contained a string of inaccuracies. Despite it being a TV review and obviously an opinion piece.
This is what IPSO found:
“The article under complaint was a television review, and was clearly signalled as such in both style and positioning. Readers would therefore understand that it represented the columnist’s personal interpretation of the film.
The points made by the columnist were his interpretation of the information which had been presented and the newspaper was able to explain, by reference to material contained in the documentary, the basis for the columnist’s views. Given the nature of the piece, the Committee did not consider that there had been a failure to take care not to publish inaccurate information, not did it establish the existence of any inaccuracies requiring correction.”
You can enjoy the full, accurate article here.
Toby tells MediaGuido:
“Eurosceptics will have to get used to vexatious complaints like this from swivel-eyed europhiles in the run up to the referendum. Thank God IPSO came to the right conclusion.”
Toby Young has a cunning plan in the Telegraph:
“The size of the Labour leadership electorate is projected to be 240,000 or thereabouts, so quite large. Second preferences are redistributed and, assuming Liz Kendall’s eliminated first, followed by Yvette Cooper, I can’t see him getting many of those. To win, therefore, Corbyn would need to get close to 50 per cent of first preferences – quite a tall order, even in a party as batshit crazy as Labour.
But that doesn’t mean 120,000 Tories will have to vote for him. Incredibly, Corbyn is quite popular with Labour’s grass roots. He was the overwhelming favourite in a recent LabourList poll, attracting a whopping 47 per cent of the vote, compared to 13 per cent for Burnham, 11 per cent for Kendall and nine per cent for Cooper. If that holds up, he could win as many as 40,000 votes without any help from us. That means only 80,000 #ToriesForCorbyn need to sign up to put him over the top. Note to Lynton: You can buy the next election for just £240,000.”
Guido suspects this could go the same way as Toby’s Tory/UKIP pact plan, but all good fun.
The Guardian have had a characteristically po-faced reaction to the campaign:
“Conservative party supporters have mounted a Twitter campaign to elect Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader in order to damage the party’s future election chances. According to new rules, anybody can pay £3 to register as a Labour supporter and vote for the new leader, a change that some speculated would leave the process open to abuse by opponents.”
Sign up here.
Challenged by Toby Young on the Daily Politics, Owen Jones swerved the question of the Guardian attacking offshore tax shelters whilst sheltering half-a-billion of its assets in the Caymans:
“I am not responsible for my employer’s tax affairs.”
While writing in today’s paper that “while the poor’s smallest misdemeanours are punished, the rich are able to draft the loopholes they then use to avoid tax”…