The curious case of Kids company

It is always a good idea to be careful when spending public money. You need to know what you are buying and how much it costs.
Successive governments – Labour, Coalition and now Conservative – have decided that Kids company allowed them to buy some important help and assistance for children at risk or leading poor lives. Camila Batmanghelidjh impressed Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, and David Cameron sufficiently to make them all think sending money to her charity would achieve results for troubled children. She and the charity clearly had something unique to make a favourable impression on such different people and [arties.
The charity appeared to be very successful in its own terms. More and more young people sought its help. Each year it raised more money and spent more money, providing more young people with assistance. The last audited accounts I could find, for the year to December 2013, show a small surplus of revenue over spending, and modest cash balances available for the future. The auditors signed them off with no adverse findings.
Now we learn that some have thought for some time that the charity should have built up more reserves of cash so that it could carry on with its work for longer if money dried up suddenly. The critics do not seem to suggest a charity can or should create reserves allowing it to continue with no new grants and gifts for more than a limited number of months. This charity operated on the model of largely spending as money came in, rather than raising a substantial endowment fund to start with and then living off the income and gains on that. The Charity Commission did not veto that model.
So the issues are why did the charity conclude that it could no longer raise enough money to pay all its bills, and what are the allegations hinted at but not made in public that need to be examined – if any? (PS I do not wish to publish a series of unsubstantiated attacks on anyone, as these are now matters for a proper enquiry or report. It is a pity Parliament is not in session to ask for a Statement)
So far there has been plenty of innuendo and idle rumour, but apart from the criticism that the charity did not have much cash reserve little of substance.
Presumably the two Ministers who overrode civil service advice had reason to believe the charity was a useful means of delivering help to troubled youngsters, and was not the subject of serious allegations of any substance that would bring into doubt offering it more public money.

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142 Comments

  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Its just another chapter in the ongoing story of Dave “mesmerised” Cameron’s poor judgement of character. It began with Coulson and just never seems to stop ….

    JR if you see Jeremy Hunt next week please could you remind him that my other half will be doing an “all night sitting” tonight. The hospital will not be providing a tax payer subsidised supper to make things easier, thats if they had the time to eat it in the first place.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Steve Hilton, Baroness Warsi, C Huhne, Ed Davey, Amber Rudd, Ken Clarke, Anna Soubry …..

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        It has become like the Romanov court in its last years with a whole series of quacks,fakirs and mystics passing through,Rasputin was just the most famous.

    • JJE
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Plus one for that reminder to Mr Hunt. I hope he never needs treatment from a medic who is at the end of a twelve hour shift without a break.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    From the first time I saw and heard the BBC favourite Camila Batmanghelidjh on TV I came to the conclusion that she was not the sort of person I would want to put in charge of anything. It all seemed to me to be emotion first brain second or not at all.

    The politicians liked he because she had that high BBC profile, was Iranian born and looked very “different”. To give £3M, against strong official advice, to such an organisation (without even checking that cannot last more than a few days on it) surely shows total negligence and complete contempt for the tax payer.

    Listening to Alan Yentob and Camila Batmanghelidjh since the crash, with their total failure to properly answer legitimate questions and childish tantrums just confirms to me that my first impressions were right.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Perhaps I am wrong, but I have always very mistrustful of the sorts of people who seem to be mainly concerned with their personal appearance. People who appear to be endlessly trying to draw attention to themselves personally rather than tackling the real issues. People whom, when asked a legitimate question, simply side step it by childish appeals to raw emotion (rather than ever engaging the brain) or who just attack the questioner with complete irrelevances.

      There are so many examples amongst our actors, religious leaders, TV personalities, greencrap gurus, feminist (glass ceiling) gurus, economic & political editors and lefty politicians (in all the parties). Many are endlessly on the BBC saying little or nothing of any logic or substance. Usually in their “look at me” over theatrical manner. Often using silly contrived voices, pre rehearsed silly stories, ten words where one would be better and with their tedious pregnant pauses.

      I far prefer scientists, doctors, engineers, business people and people who just get on while quietly achieving very positive things and tell it like it is.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        Yea but lets see the people who were running the childrens care system in Rotherham given a grilling on TV too. Or put through the courts.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Indeed.

          Or the many appalling mistakes, negligence and incompetence in the NHS that give such a high death toll.

      • Excalibur
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        I was about to write on the same theme, Lifelogic. I can now only endorse all that you say. More examples of flummery over substance……

      • JoeSoap
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Remember the strange case of Digby Jones? A very decent guy, suckered in to government by Brown (and it could just as easily have been Cameron or Clegg) to being the genuine Brummie Businessman, only to find that he was dealing with a bunch of (hopeless managers ed), who couldn’t run the proverbial, then he ran a thousand miles away as soon as he could….

        Just an off-topic remark, because it hit our business this week and is relevant in showing up people who never ran anything. If we take a school-leaver on now at 16, (s)he’s not allowed to work a year to prove to us and himself he’s got an ounce of interest in engineering before he has to sign up for an apprenticeship. He has to be in training from Day 1.
        So he’d start with us about now, be pushed into a 3 year college course in September, 2 days a week away from the business, paid by us, only for everybody to find by Xmas he’s actually more interested in stacking shelves, or some other non-thinking job. Such a waste of everybody’s time, and it makes us think twice about taking on somebody at that age. Why not let a 16 year old work for a year to find out they’re actually interested, as used to be the case?

        • Mick Anderson
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          There is another side to apprenticeship coin.

          Last year we took on an office girl on an apprenticeship scheme, just to help with filing and answering the phone. She took an interest in the engineering and now spends much of her time either working in production or out on site.

          It’s a small business with nowhere to hide if you don’t pull your weight. She just (does ed)far more than we ever expected.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Lets hope the journalists keep digging away at where the money went. FFS an old style bank manager would never have approved (an organisation ed) (word left out ed) like that even for a small loan. However what can you expect from “mesmorised”? Daddy paid for everything and its only the taxpayers money anyway.

      • Gary
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        We know where the money went, the charity was audited and passed. Are you saying that the auditors are covering up ?

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          Read the Speccie articles. (words left out ed) Follow the money as they say …. I bet Dave does not have enough wriggle room on this one

        • zorro
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          As if….. ?

          zorro

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I see that Prince Charles thinks “scything could be used more widely in farming”. Perhaps we need more horse drawn omnibuses and hansom cabs on our city streets too. It should do wonders for UK productivity. Why scythes? Surely going back to just a knife or pair of scissors would be even better?

      Do any of these wealthy “greens” ever, for one moment live in the real world? Have they ever done a days manual work with a scythe or a spade themselves? Do they ever consider the economics of anything the pronounce on? Or how many people might starve were we to follow their advice?

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        My estimation of HRH has gone up since the publication of his secret letters to ministers. He is sticking up for the yeoman farmers and soldiers of England. While the (SELF MODERATED COMMENT) in Westminster would prefer to (SELF MODERATED COMMENT) instead.

        • Margaret Brandreth-J
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Charles is OK. Everyone has their heritage and many fail to understand others.The manI saw begging on the street last week was also OK.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      @LL; “The politicians liked he because she had that high BBC profile”

      Someone is putting the chicken before the egg, but let’s not allow the facts get in the way of another opportunity to have an anti BBC rant (no mention of this charity being the darling of businesses and celebrities, who surely did more to increase its profile)…

      @LL; “People who appear to be endlessly trying to draw attention to themselves personally rather than tackling the real issues. People whom, when asked a legitimate question, simply side step it by childish appeals to raw emotion (rather than ever engaging the brain) or who just attack the questioner with complete irrelevances.”

      COUGH…..

      @LL; “I far prefer scientists, doctors, engineers, business people and people who just get on while quietly achieving very positive things and tell it like it is.”

      So long as they agree, broadly speaking of course, with life according to Mr LifeLogic.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        And you open by calling the previous comment “a rant” Jerry.
        Hilarious.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          Jerry is back off his holidays but still ranting on in the usual way.
          Make your own posts Jerry
          Let others make theirs.
          Perhaps that might be a happy future for us all.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; It’s called debating

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

            Oh is what what you now call your endless posts Jerry

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        “So long as they agree, broadly speaking of course, with life according to Mr LifeLogic.”

        Well all the sensible, independent minded ones (mainly those without religion) largely do. They judge on the facts and the evidence of what works and what does not work, suppressing irrational emotion. They decide what makes sense economically and what does not.

        They think with their brains rather than their gut instincts and their irrational emotions.

        • Jerry
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

          @LL; If most scientists thought as you do Mr LL we would still be debating if the steam engine could ever work, if a human could still carry on breathing whilst travelling faster than a horse can gallop, people like you are not of “independent mind” Mr LL, people like you more often than not have what are called closed minds – you only with to know what you have been told by people you wish to listen to!

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            Fine but rather than silly abuse why not tell me on which issues you think I am wrong and why. Then perhaps I could respond.

            As it happens (through my job history) I do know a fare amount about steam engines, jet engines, high speed travel, electricity generation and turbines.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 6:55 am | Permalink

            @LL; “but rather than silly abuse”

            That’s rich coming from someone whose regularly accuses those he disagrees with of talking “green crap” or “BBC speak” etc.

            I will read your detailed and ‘expert’ analysis of the issues raised by our host in future, rather than just post after post of seemingly random comment that more often than not “simply side-step the issue by way of childish appeals to raw [idealogical] emotion (rather than ever engaging the brain) or that just attack the questioner with complete irrelevances” [1] – such as the afore mentioned comments about “green crap” or “BBC speak” that either have no relevance to the issue being debated or have no apparent ‘expert’ or otherwise facts/opinion to back such abuse up.

            [1] but for the life of me I can not recall who wrote the comment I have just quoted, any ideas Mr LifeLogic?

            “As it happens (through my job history) I do know a fare amount [..//..]”

            I used to know someone who said they knew a lot about the sport of F1, he used to tell anyone who would listen that he “works in Formula One”, and indeed he did work in F1, as a lorry driver and someone who acted as a janitor in the hospitality areas when at the track – he was thus able to talk-the-talk but not always walk-the-walk…

          • Ted Monbiot
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            More dull and silly abuse from you, towards others, Jerry.
            Make your own posts and let others do the same.
            We all have different opinions on things.
            Yours are no more automatically correct than anyone elses.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:17 am | Permalink

            Jerry

            We are ALL dying to hear what you do for a job and what your field of expertise is.

            A while back you were telling me all about your TV transmission knowledge , so come on fess up or shut up.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            @Ted Monbiot; “Yours are no more automatically correct than anyone elses.”

            I’ve never said they are, but unlike some on here I try and base my comments on (the) facts, not just two word rants such as “green crap” and “BBC speak”, even less a political ideology. Credit were it is due, criticism were it is due.

            @libertarian; After you Sir, chapter and verse, if you do not mind…

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            Still in denial Jerry I notice.
            None of the regular comments to you,pointing out your own posts to others are agressive and impolite to other posters views are ever accepted
            You rarely include facts in your own posts preferring to challenge anyone else who does.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            I’ve talked about my work and fields of knowledge endless times, but once again just for you.

            I’m an entrepreneur I own a number of businesses in the fields of Employment, media, drug research, software, data mining , marketing, social media, and conferences.

            Over to you, chapter and verse whats your job and field of expertise

          • Margaret Brandreth-J
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

            Actually Jerry I do agree with a lot you say rather than others here but I do need to ask what many persons perception of a fact is.It may be interesting to think where these facts come from. Wittgenstein says that even inspiration is a fact in the world. I know this is simple bachelors degree philosophy , but surely all things that happen or are imagined are facts?

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            You must not agree with Jerry without peer reviewed and Harvard referenced sources which Jerry agrees with Margaret otherwise he will refuse to agree with your agreement.

          • margaret brandreth-j
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

            reply to Edward;; now Edward I look at essentials and not silly pedantry. Sorry shouldn’t use the word ‘I’ :someone thought it before me .

      • Mitchel
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Something to rant about re the BBC.Did you see the report about the migrants in the Med last night,with the BBC reporter greeting a crowded inflatable as it landed(clearly stage-managed) as if it was Father Christmas arriving with a sack of goodies?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

          We have a policy that encourages people to risk their lives to get a foot on EU soil. Knowing they will be treated differently to others in equal need who do not. It is totally immoral. Is anything going to be done before the death toll rises still further?

          The reporting of it just encourages the flow to grow and grow and will result in many more drownings and deaths.

        • Jerry
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

          @Mitchel; “Did you see the report about the migrants in the Med last night,with the BBC reporter greeting a crowded inflatable”

          I think it is called reporting the facts, what should the reporter done, carried out an “EU citizens arrest” or something – nor is such reporting limited to the BBC. Oh and was it the Mediterranean, the report clearly states the Aegean Sea, and the landing happened on the (Greek) island of Kos, which is a mere 4Km from Turkey. But let’s not allow the FACTS to get in the way of some good old rants.

          “clearly stage-managed”

          Clearly, most definitely….in your (anti BBC, biased) opinion, based upon an apparent zero understanding of geographical facts and how the media industry works. 🙁

          Oh and the report also made it clear that these migrants/asylum seekers were claiming to have come from Syria, via Turkey. Considering the problems Turkey has with some elements of the more militant Kurdish community (both within Turkey its self and from across the borders of Iraq & Syria) the island of Kos might very well haver been the first true place of safety for these people, as set out by the UN rules when it comes to seeking political asylum.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            Can you not realise that it is your posts whichbare the ones which come accross as the rants which you regularly accuse everyone else of making.

          • bratwurst
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:30 am | Permalink

            There is no “first safe country” requirement in the 1951 UN Convention on the treatment of refugees or in the 1967 Protocol which extended the Convention beyond Europe.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; Then you will have no problem using facts to demolish my “rant”…

            @bratwurst; Fine, but how does that change what I said? If these people are of the Kurdish community they were very unlikely to have been safe to claim political asylum in a country were they would then also be in “fear of persecution on protected grounds”.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            It is the tone of your posts that I am complaing about Jerry.
            Agressive and often rude towards those that have a different point of view to yours.

            The last time facts were presented to you they were immediately dissmissed as not being Havard referenced nor coming from a source you agreed with.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

            Edward2; “It is the tone of your posts that I am complaing about Jerry. Agressive and often rude towards those that have a different point of view”

            The feeling is mutual I guess then…

            “The last time facts were presented to you they were immediately dissmissed as not being Havard referenced”

            Indeed I do object when people try and pass off (possibly personal) opinion as a fact, just because it has been published on the internet doesn’t mean it’s factual and/or correct. That is the first lesson taught in any college or degree level course these days, and has been for a long time!

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            Carry on then Jerry spouting your pro bbc pro 70s style economic theories.
            But just accept you are in a very small minority both on here and amongst the electorate.

          • Jerry
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 11:19 am | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Carry on then Jerry spouting your pro bbc pro 70s style economic theories.”

            You really do not get it do you, nor how silly your ever increasing shrill ‘comments’ sound. I will carry on stating the (historical) facts, how ever much people like you object and if that means indirectly defending the 1970s or the BBC so be.

            “But just accept you are in a very small minority both on here and amongst the electorate.”

            In your ultra-capitalist, right-wing biased, opinion of course. Trouble is, given the popular vote last May it is people like you who are lacking the support amongst the electorate, not people like me.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

            Jerry

            Whilst inventing made up terms of abuse for people that don’t agree with you I notice that despite your frequent rants about facts, evidence, expertise etc that you have completely failed to answer one simple question.

            I’ve asked it a number of times now Jerry what are you scared of?

            What do you do for a living and what is your field of expertise?

            Come on its not that difficult

          • Edward2
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

            Well I will look forward to your next lot of facts Jerry
            Mostly I read critical rants against others posts, with little in the way of supporting facts.

            I didn’t realise you are left wing Jerry.
            I thought you were just stuck in a time warp fondly looking back at a time when the State owned everything and life for you was good.
            So are you voting for Mr Corbyn Jerry?

          • libertarian
            Posted August 10, 2015 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

            Jerry lives in 1939.

            He even picked his name because it was the most “popular” name in the newspapers that year !!!

          • Jerry
            Posted August 11, 2015 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            Edward2; “I didn’t realise you are left wing Jerry.”

            I’m not, but from your (apparent) position on the right I can understand why you think the political centre ground is left-wing, heck even the 1980s Tory “wets” must appear somewhat to the political left…

            “I thought you were just stuck in a time warp fondly looking back at a time when the State owned everything and life for you was good.”

            Unlike you Edward I do not live stuck in a time warp (in your case the 1980s), what’s more, married to TINA.

            @libertarian; “Jerry lives in 1939.”

            I’m nothing like you, and ever-increasingly it seems, the current government. 🙁

            As for your question about what I do, what my experience is etc, would you actually believe me if I said, would I just lay myself open to accusations of being a fictional character, first published in The New Yorker (perhaps that is why you think I live in 1939…)?

            Oh and what if my experience etc. doesn’t measure up to your expectations, would you simply suggest that I have no knowledge. But then I have never driven a F1 car [1] but I suspect I know far more than you do about the business. I do not earn a living (and never have) from working in the broadcasting industry -much to my regret- but as I proved I know far more than you do, yet you claim to have an ‘involvement’ in a community radio station. Experience and knowledge is not only a product of what an individual makes or does, it is the result of a whole lifetime.

            If I claim as fact something that is not, then prove me wrong (I really will not be offended, I will be educated…), but do so from a proven source, self published comment or subjective editorial content is no proof, just opinion, after all a member of the CPGB could prove that Karl Marx is correct if all they need do is post citations from the Morning Star – and have a willing audience…

            [1] yet, that could still change, not necessarily a current F1 car though…

        • libertarian
          Posted August 14, 2015 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          Oh dear

          More ignorance. You can barely spell business.

          Shown completely by the fact that you think that because I have very limited technical knowledge of UK TV broadcast transmission protocols I couldn’t own a radio station. You’re laughable

          The fact that I own a few radio stations both here and in the USA is neither her nor there.

          Jerry you are the one who rubbishes peoples knowledge and experience.

          As to F1 Jerry I’ve never mentioned motor racing once so I have no idea why you raised that other than to deflect attention or is it something like TV that you could have done? To put your mind at rest I’ve never had anything what so ever to do with F 1 motor racing. However if only you knew, if only you knew.

          So come on whats your field Jerry

    • majorfrustration
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Agree but look on the bright side unlikely that either Batman… and Yentob will make it to the HoL

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        Batman has a CBE already. But hopefully not.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      At least we know now the burden Darling and Osborne were talking about when they asked us with the broadest shoulders to carry it.

    • yosarion
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      John, was there much Children in need money filtered through this Charity?

  3. Richard1
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    I do not think it is desirable that any charity should simply be given a grant by the govt. far too many charities now derive a significant proportion of their income – in some cases a majority – from the govt. many of the largest and well known, and most state-dependent charities have also (probably therefore) become highly political and are now loud advocates for a particular set of political policies (usually statist- left wing). Of course many charities do excellent work. But if charities are to receive govt funding they should do so after competitive tender – including against profit making enterprises, which may well be capable of offering superior service for the price.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:24 am | Permalink

      Indeed and the tax reliefs should be severely restricted to the minority of charities that really do “charitable” things (efficiently and without the huge management overheads).

      Many “charities” are little more than (usually lefty) political pressure groups. Often it is just governments trying to buy good PR and votes.

      • Hefner
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Lefty charity like the Global Warming Policy Foundation, eh?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          I said “usually lefty” not “exclusively lefty”.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          Hefner

          “Lefty charity like the Global Warming Policy Foundation, eh?”

          How much are our government giving them each year?

          • Hefner
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian, fair point: it seems that open access financial information for GWPF is not available. It is thought that the founding chairman of the Institute of Economic Affairs provided £100000 to GWPF, it’s Life Vice President £15000 as £5000 in 2011, £10000 in 2012. So you might be right, maybe no government subsidy.

            Maybe that’s just the end of the line trickle-down of the $5.3 tn subsidies that the fossil fuel industry has been receiving (IMF report, 18 May 2015, http://www.imf.org “How large are global energy subsidies?”).

          • Richard1
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

            Reply to Hefner: the argument the fossil fuel industry gets $5.3tr in subsidy is drivel. It relies on wholly subjective and spurious measures of the ‘cost’ of fossil fuels. In one part fossil fuels are apparently blamed for traffic jams. Why not impose that ‘cost’ on cars or roads – or on the schools or hospitals or shops or workplaces to which people travel? It is this kind of drivel put forward by global warming alarmists (with huge public funding) which creates a need for independent think tanks like the GWPF.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

            The latest lie is the fossil fuel subsidy which I see Hefner is repeating.
            Did you know the warmists include all the usual tax breaks all businesses enjoy?
            Being able to offset expenses and depreciation for example.
            They even count the lower rate of VAT added to energy bills as a subsidy.

          • Hefner
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            So, I am sorry, I had up to now never considered the IMF (which produced the original report) as a branch of the mad greenies’ consortium.

            It is getting tough to get any balanced information if the IMF or the Davos group have become parts of the green conspiracy.
            I am glad I can still read unbiased information from this blog.

          • Edward2
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

            The IMF are part of the current consensus Hefner did you not realise?
            Billions to be made from carbon trading and state subsidies for renewables.
            If you check the details in the report apart from the headline you will see how they arrive at their subsidy figure.

        • Edward2
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          There is always one or two exceptions out of 60,000.
          Though Im not sure why poinying out the flaws in the global warming industry automatically labels you as right wing.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            It doesn’t it just indicates you are rational with some knowledge and understanding of engineering and science.

  4. Mark B
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Why is the Government in the charity business ?

    I pay my taxes so that Government can spend it on things such as defence, the police, infrastructure, administration, the judiciary and other items not always best done by other means.

    Charities have today become so far removed from what people once new them to be. I know of many charities who beg for money via adverts and whose Chief Executives are on very large salaries. Surely this cannot be right ?

    We have touched upon the status of charities here before. But I really do think it time to look at them again. Some are now run like business with money from both the UK Government and the EU making up the large majority of their income. Again, this cannot be right ?

    And we should not ignore the biggest charity of all – DfiD. What a waste ! And I have to contribute to this whether I wish to or not.

    Giving money to charity use to be voluntary. Now it seems that our Government has made it mandatory and we, once again, have not been asked.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed the best people to give money to charities are the people who made the money in the first place. We clearly do not need government to grab that money off them (under threat of imprisonment) and they give it away usually incompetently for them.

      Politicians do it to try to buy good PR and votes of course and to come across as “nice” & “caring”.

    • oldtimer
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      You make good points. Some so-called “charities” are little more than sock puppets pushing an agenda, living off government/EU handouts. Has this tendency evolved from the practice of governments funnelling cash through charities to accomplish things it does not want to be seen to be directly associated with or which gets round the scrutiny given to more direct public expenditure? The Kids Company appears to fall into the latter category. I have previously suggested here that the government should be required to publish how much and to which charities it makes donations of our money. I want to know. And charities should be required to publish how much taxpayers money they get and what proportion it represents of their total incoming resources.

      The charity sector seems to be in something of a mess; the doling out of large sums of tax payers money has had, I suspect, a corrupting influence on the way it now operates. And charities that employ paid staff – rather than rely on volunteers only – need to have in place the controls and financial management disciplines expected of a commercial busineess.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “Why is the Government in the charity business.”

      Exactly.

      Its not just this last £3 million thats been given to this organisation, its tens of millions of £ to this organisation over many years.

      First one needs to ask why do such charities exist, is it because the Welfare State, Local Government, Social Services etc, all Government funded organisations which already get Billions spent on them have failed.
      Surely better to solve the reason for Government failure and get these organisation put right, rather than simply dole out money left right and centre to organisations which are not under any sort of control/monitoring.

      Government funding of Charities should simply stop.
      If Governments want to help charitable causes, then make all helpful items like wheelchairs, stair lifts and a host of other mobility aids, and building modifications like access to, and use of specialty equipped bedrooms, toilets, and bathrooms, zero rated for VAT.

      Having been a member of a National voluntary charitable organisation for 25 years, where all members actually pay to be members, and in addition fund all of their own expenses, it really does piss me off that after all of this, we have to pay VAT on items purchased such as described in the above out of our fundraising proceeds for people who are in desperate need where Social services have failed.

      So sad that such Charitable organisations such as Lions Clubs, Rotary, Roundtable and many others too long to mention, will suffer the fall out of bad publicity that is going around so called charitable status at the moment.

      Just like our Foreign Aid Budget, the Government needs to rethink this whole area of so called do gooding at the taxpayers expense.

    • matthu
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      It ought to be obvious that charities should EITHER be allowed to accept funding from government OR be allowed to lobby government but never both. Charities which are not allowed to lobby government should never be allowed to fund any individuals or bodies who do lobby government, and links between the two types of charity should be heavily penalised: there are far too many cosy arrangements at present whereby the EU and our own government fund charities who are simultaneously actively engaged in lobbying government or NGOs.

      • Edward2
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        I totally agree with you mattu.

    • Hefner
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Mark B,
      Do you really know who are the major recipients of DfID’s money? Not the “charities”. Over the period 2012-2014, the largest proportion of the money, £494m , went to projects with majority involvement of FTSE100 top companies (Pearson for educational projects, Diageo, Unilever, Monsanto, SABMiller, Coca-Cola for food-and nutrition related projects).

      Contrary to what is often said by some people on this blog, DfID money as invested in these projects, through think tanks like Adam Smith International (a child of the Adam Smith Institute), brings back more money to British companies than originally invested.

      It is very rare that international development money is distributed without looking at the Return on Investment for Britain interests. There have obviously been abject failures in the past (various water distribution projects in South America and Africa) but usually not because of concerns for what benefits the projects would bring back to the Western companies involved.

      Sometimes, it might be useful to doublecheck your information before writing in anger.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Sorry this doesn’t make sense. If investing is a profitable exercise, and people like Unilever are doing it, then why does government need to be involved at all?

        • Hefner
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          On the contrary, it makes quite a bit of sense.
          How often are private companies relying on government subsidies to start getting interested in doing something? Look at what has been happening for years with pumping oil out of the North Sea, or is now happening with fracking. Contrary to the view that seems to prevail on this blog, most of the time, private companies (specially the big ones) will only move if they know that their profits are more or less guaranteed, and what better guarantee than the state guarantee.
          That’s what a lot of DfID’s and FCO’s money is used for.

          As I have said on this blog a number of times, people often tend to shoot from the hip without having done any homework, and basically talk rubbish on questions they don’t even start to have an inkling of.
          Which sometimes means they are criticising the Government for things they simply don’t have a clue about or don’t understand.
          And as I have also said, one is not guaranteed to be closer to what is actually happening by reading newspapers (whatever their orientation). Newspapers will only reinforce their readers’ biases.

          • libertarian
            Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            Hefner

            Old shoot from the hip with no knowledge himself.

            I’ve worked in the past on a number of very risky R& D projects for very large corporations. I currently part own a drug research company. You Hefner are talking piffle

        • Mark B
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

          Joesoap

          Thanks for answering that. I was reading, Hefner’s reply and thinking exactly what you wrote.

          Funny that !

          🙂

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Your question is very pertinent Mark B.Didn’t Gordon Brown and St Tony of the Immaculate Deception change the law to allow charities to become effectively state-funded campaigners for left wing causes,rather than apolitical providers of services to complement state provision?There has been no suggestion the Cameroons want to change the law back – not surprising given so many of their friends in the Metropolitan milieu are either employed by these organisations or find them a useful springboard for self-promotion.

      Also,why are there 60,000 (according to the Standard on Thursday) or 90,000(according to the BBC this morning) childrens charities in the UK.The duplication of admin must be immense.Perhaps the government should set up a quango to monitor the existing quango that is supposed to monitor charities?

      • JoeSoap
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The whole thing sounds like a do-gooding disaster. It would probably make more sense to hand this area over one way and another to people who could teach and employ these “Kids” rather than just give them hand-outs.

        • Jagman84
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          I agree entirely. This type of organization has become an extension of the benefits system. A lot of the clients appeared to be new arrivals to the UK. A ban on benefit payments such groups ( proposed by Mr Cameron in his secret negotiations?) would be easily circumvented by feeding funds via such “charities”.

      • APL
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

        Mitchel: “The duplication of admin must be immense.”

        And that is the raison d’etre for many of these organisations.

    • Kenneth
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      I will not donate money to a ‘charity’ that employs people on a direct salary (i.e. personal profit). We have plenty of local charities that are entirely voluntary and who have suffered because of the professional ‘charity’ industry.

  5. agricola
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The first and overriding consideration is the welfare of the children. Farming them out to social services is no answer of even last resort.

    My answer is to fund it on a temporary basis while an enquiry is undertaken into its management and finances. half a dozen suitably qualified MPs could have it sorted in no time. If all is basically well, continue funding until it is back on it’s feet. If not then find alternative none government management to run it better.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      It would be cheaper and more effective to put teenagers into a boarding school in say New Zealand than the way they get handled in the care system here. The amount of money poured into the care system and the ridiculously poor results are a scandal. As much as anything because none of the adults are really empowered to make the decisions a parent would to keep the children safe and on the right track. Rapists sitting outside in cars and so on seems to be routine at many care homes etc.

      • Hefner
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Iain Gill, Would you volunteer to have a percentage of your tax paid to New Zealand for the care of these youngsters?

        • Richard1
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          I think Ian Gill has an excellent idea there. In many former British Empire countries there are excellent boarding schools, modelled on British public schools but a fraction of the cost. New Zealand is one but India and South Africa also have excellent schools. Children in care whose families have abandoned them would get a far better start in life, for significantly less public expenditure than the current dreadful system. They would be far better able to stand on their own feet and Would be less likely eg to become offenders as a result. Guardians to act in loco parentis could be found for free from volinteers. I would be happy to see my taxes go to this. I recommend Comservative MPs to take up this idea.

          • JoeSoap
            Posted August 9, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

            Seconded.
            Perhaps our aid to countries like India, as it seems to still be persisting under Mr Mesmerised, could be tied to those countries taking x number of our “Kids” who need help?

    • Jerry
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      @agricola; “The first and overriding consideration is the welfare of the children. Farming them out to social services is no answer of even last resort.”

      Indeed, ideally there should be no need to ‘farm children out’ to such organisations in the first place, but if there is a need then the social services should be the first call, not the last resort! Why was/is there a need in a modern society for the charitable services such as Kids Company? At least in their defence charities such as the NSPCC were born in a very different age and are thus offering services that pre-date those offered (or should be offered) by the state via socail services, health and education sectors.

      “My answer is to fund it on a temporary basis while an enquiry is undertaken into its management and finances.”

      As for the alleged failings of Kids Company, any enquiry (certainly if made public) might have to wait until such time as the Police and CPS decide their own investigations/involvement are at an end, until then if there is a need for the services previously offered by Kids Company then government needs to ensure that either the state socail services or the specialist charity sector are able to secure extra funding to enable the on-going care etc.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        Jerry ( and others)

        First, I’m deeply suspicious about the activities of Kids Co. Lets see what unfolds.

        I am currently part time ( unpaid) Chief Exec of a small Childrens Charity.

        We along with 1,000’s of others like us deal with children with special sets of needs often in specific geographic areas. Social Services and the education departments aren’t local enough, specialised enough or have the time to do what we do. We also provide ( normally on a volunteer basis ) family support , information etc etc . We perform a valuable role. There are lots of us because we mostly do different things, with different groups of children with different needs. My own charity gets £10,000 pa from our local council education budget ( we provide education services which costs us £50k pa). We have to bid for that each year. We spend most of our time fundraising in all the normal, local ways.

        Cult personality charities are the bain of our life, they suck all the publicity and money out of the system. They attract all the hangers on & lovies etc.

    • Mitchel
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Agricola,I’m going off-topic to reply to a reply from you on yesterday’s topic,there being no room on that thread.You say”those that betrayed us had a blinkered understanding of communism as practised by Stalin.Being generous,in its purest form,it is Christianity…read Orwell.”Well I have read Orwell (selectively) and I think you are being overly generous.His view was that the British Left only became interested in the Soviet system after it was clear it was totalitarian:-“These people look at the USSR and see in it,or think they see,a system which eliminates the upper class,keeps the working class in its place and hands unlimited power to people very similar to themselves.It was only after the Soviet regime became unmistakably totalitarian that English intellectuals in large numbers began to show an interest in it”(Polemics,May 1946).Replace USSR with EU and that quote stands proud today.The man was a great visionary and the only socialist I’ve ever had any time for.

      • agricola
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        I have that feeling about the EU myself and wonder whether those that run it realise how akin to the USSR they are. In mentioning Orwell my thought was that he had direct experience of communism in Spain and came away unimpressed. My thought was also that those who became embroiled with it at Cambridge never had any first hand experience of it until they were forced to escape to it. I wonder if they really knew what they were treacherously supporting, but I do not excuse them.

  6. Gary
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    some say this is public fallout from infighting behind the scenes ? Oh look, there’s Savile , there’s Heath, Janner etc. Every now and then the water gets disturbed and we catch a glimpse. Accusations are snowballing.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      @Garry; “Accusations are snowballing”

      Indeed and accusations are all they are (at present), let’s not allow the current climate to drive a 21st century Witch Hunt…

  7. Cheshire Girl
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I cant start to even guess what went on in Kids Company, but it concerns me that so many ‘celebrities’, and ‘ influential people’ have the ear of the Prime Minister. Too many of them are described as ‘close personal friends’ of the Prime Minister’. Their views are no more important than mine, yet taxpayers money is being liberally dished out to satisfy them ( and to make the Government look ‘caring’). Some of them have even been elevated to the House of Lords. Apparently Camila was a frequent visitor to Downing Street.
    In my opinion, it is time to put some distance between the Government and the celebrity culture. Running the country is not a popularity contest and they should not get preferential treatment !

    • Iain Gill
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Yep the PM would be better picking random members of the public from the electoral roll and asking them in for an afternoon. He would soon get some realism.

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl

      Agreed.

    • acorn
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Sorry CG but running the country IS a popularity contest, at the ballot box. Shutting KC down, just because some Whitehall guys said it was dodgy, would have been a major vote looser, and a big opportunity for Labour to resurrect the “nasty party” thing. All round, much bad PR for Cam the PR man. Three million was a small price to pay to avoid such a situation. Alas, the multimedia gave the story legs etc ed.

    • Jerry
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl; “In my opinion, it is time to put some distance between the Government and the celebrity culture.”

      Time to put some distance between society and the celebrity culture, but what will then drive the sales of newspapers and TV programmes etc.

      What ever the government of the day does in regards how they interact with the media generated celebrity culture of the day will mean they are dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      Cheshire Girl

      Totally agree

      The House of Lords should be closed, immediately, it serves no purpose. Use the Chamber as the new English Parliament, the country parliaments/assemblies fulfilling the role of second chamber to House of Commons

      The Cult of personality & celebrity most stop dominating our lives.

      • zorro
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        I really do agree with you.

        zorro

    • Margaret Brandreth-J
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      I agree Cheshire girl. It is though, a popularity contest,but the contest at present is brass, shine and boo hoo hurrah or it’s inverse snobbery.

  8. stred
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It seems odd that the Charities Commission did not keep an eye on the accounts and numbers of clients and who they were. A friend of ours left a lot of money for a charity to beset up for medical research a year ago and it has been difficult to even start it, with money demanded before the will has been settled.. In fact the whole probate has been held up,with other beneficiaries left in difficulty.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    It’s only tax payers money. CMD on telly says it was the right thing to do. 3 million would help a lot of people but the ruling class have no shame. He should be made to pay it back. etc ed

  10. Iain Gill
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    To be honest the way that central and local government throws money around is shocking, this is but a small example. Apparently Oliver Letwin overruled the civil service and paid the last 3 million quid to this lot. We would be far better off taxing poor people less than messing around with all this nonsense. There are lots of charities that I wouldn’t allow to call themselves charities, for instance some of the city centre bars in Coventry are owned and run by charities – with all the tax perks of being a charity – this is a disgrace. But the political elite know no better, so I fully expect this to continue.

    • Ken Moore
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Ah yes the dripping wet Mr Letwin ..the great ‘Brain’ that urged Mrs Thatcher to use Scotland as a ‘rail blazer’ for the poll tax thus destroying his party’s reputation North of the Border.

      Perhaps employing someone who has had a proper business type job to make these kinds of decisions would be better than a failed policy wonk like Letwin.
      But Cameron prefers to mix with his own kind it seems…

      Francis Maude is another one..a buffoon last seen advising us to ‘fill up our jerry cans’ …but he is on the PC message so it’s all okay.
      Where do they find these people – is it a special school with the sole purpose of churning out (word left out ed) to ruin Britain ?

      Reply Mr Letwin worked in business at NM Rothschild before becoming a Minister.

      • APL
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Ken Moore: “for the poll tax thus destroying his party’s reputation North of the Border.”

        The alternative narrative is that it was Heath that destroyed the Tories North of the border, with the accession of the UK to the EU and the decimation of the Scottish fishing industry that followed.

        Thatcher, just finished the job off.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        JR please could you explain as to why so many past and present Conservative ministers have worked for Rothschilds?

        • zorro
          Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          Rites of passage?

          zorro

        • libertarian
          Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          Dame Rita Webb

          You’d be better off asking why so many ex Goldman Sachs people are

          1) So close to the Labour Party

          2) Run central banks & reserves

          3) Are parachuted in by the EU to (important positions ed)

          I once produced a list on here of the 40 or so ex GS exec’s in positions of appointed power around Europe & US

          Rothchilds are a second tier bank with not much clout in the banking world

      • zorro
        Posted August 8, 2015 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply – Clearly well shut of him if this is a reflection of his business acumen…..

        zorro

      • Iain Gill
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Yep Oliver “I would beg on the streets before putting my children into state schools” Letwin and Francis “stockpile petrol in your garages” Maude (who also briefed business leaders behind the scenes that they would keep uncapped intra company transfer visa taps wide open before the last two elections while saying something completely different to potential voters… both examples of people who should be laughed out of public office. They are only there because of the clubby self-supporting network of similar plonkers.

    • libertarian
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill

      Just what are the perks that a charity gets running a city centre bar?

  11. Bill
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    What did the charity actually do? It did not run children’s homes like Barnardo’s or soup kitchens like the Salvation Army. It did not provide therapy or help like the Citizens Advice bureau. What was its staple activity? Despite media stories about the colourful founder, I still do not know.

    Unlike one or two others, I think the charity sector does a lot of good though there are always serious questions to ask once a charity seeks the majority of its funding from government grants.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Of course the Charity sector does a great deal of good, but many charities do very little indeed of real value, while still getting huge tax breaks.

      • libertarian
        Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        LL

        You and one or two others ( and the whole of the political left when talking about private schools only) keep making references to the tax breaks that charities get, would you like to tell us what they are please as they aren’t as great as you think. The biggest benefit is normally gift aid . There is no corporation tax on profits as long as the profits are reinvested in charitable provision. Non charitable earnings are taxed. Contrary to popular belief we do pay business rates on commercial property ( although there is a discount for charitable purposes only) and income or profits from property transactions are taxed at the full rate. There is a special VAT regime for charities ( theres also one for for profit micro and small businesses too ).

    • libertarian
      Posted August 9, 2015 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Bill

      I hate to disillusion you but Barnados haven’t run children’s homes since the 1950’s

      They provide lobbying and consultation services to the child protection industry. You can hire them to advise, commission and lobby on your behalf. They DO NOT directly look after kids.

      • alan jutson
        Posted August 10, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Libertarian

        Barnados also still run residential schools, there happens to be one in Wokingham.

        • libertarian
          Posted August 10, 2015 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Alan Jutson

          Indeed they do have a school. They don’t run children’s homes (orphanages ), its a special needs school.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    This is supposedly a charity, and the essence of charity is its entirely voluntary nature, so it should never have been given money extracted from taxpayers under compulsion.

  13. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The government should not be giving taxpayers money away. Obviously it has overtaxed everyone and that excess should be refunded directly to the taxpayer.

    I see Local Authority Housing Departments changed into ALMOs have decided to give social housing rent money to charity. How soon before Charities start giving money to Charities? Oh but it has already been done!

    It is easy giving other people’s money away.

    So, there are charities quite openly aiding and abetting giving money and goods to people illegally present in Calais, camped illegally, engaged in vandalism attacking persons and property, conspiring to commit further attacks upon our country. Well those charity workers should be arrested. They are assisting people in committing crime. Few people commenting in this section will be surprised if they find the UK government is providing huge grants to the charities in Calais. Mr Cameron should have his hand-gun confiscated. Every time he opens his mouth he automatically shoots himself in the foot.

    Politicians should know, few voters appreciate their tax money being given away. Many think it a criminal act.

    I do not know anything about Kids Company. But if they have been doing absolutely necessary work with children then leading executives from Social Services should be sacked, fined and possibly jailed for failing to do their duty.

  14. Kenneth
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I could have done this. Anyone could have done it. Just let it be known that if you turn up with a hardship story you could receive cash or vouchers.

    Lots of people would come along and take the money and tell their friends who would do the same.

    As this would be a one-way flow of money I would be asking donors for ever greater amounts. Eventually the money would run out. The whole idea was crass.

    On top of that, it appears that many of the staff were being paid a salary.

    I have no complaint with anybody setting up such an organisation or anybody sending money to it. What I do object to is the fact that governments were swayed by media propaganda into sending my money to this organisation.

    The fact that she kept popping up on the BBC must surely have set off the warning bells that something was not right.

    NB The Spectator did a sterling job in first exposing the problems with this organisation.

  15. JJE
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    I came into contact with the organisational side of charities late in my career and was taken aback by the poor standard of management I found; including in some instances outright theft. The sector in general is poorly managed, much more so than the private sector. The capable and committed managers who are there and who try to make a difference have their work cut out and often get little thanks for their efforts. There seems to be a sense of entitlement among some charity employees.
    I particularly remember listening to a wholly admirable, committed, and passionate worker in one charity recount her efforts that morning to lobby government on behalf of her clients – with some success having been given a positive reception by the minister concerned. Meanwhile I was going through the records having realised that something was not right elsewhere in the organisation and about to meet with the FD with some questions.

  16. atlas
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Blog readers please advise on this point of information:

    Did this lady give talks at a few Conservative Party conferences? If so, then which ones?

    • Douglas Carter
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Just purely going from memory, but I’m reasonably sure 2005 & 2009 would be included.

  17. JJE
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    When you are given £1,000, do you have £1,000 to spend straight away or do you have say£40 a year for life?
    If you are raising money for disaster relief, your donors will expect their money to be spent immediately on that disaster – which may turn out not to be as simple as that.
    If you are raising money for research into a specific medical condition, you should spend the money quickly if you can find a cure and then wind up the charity.
    If you are making a long term commitment to care you need to know the funds will be available for many years ahead.
    Some charities bid for government funds for particular programmes of work. If government continues the funding the work continues, if not then it must stop. The charity never had any expectation of being able to continue the work from its own funds.

    So there isn’t a simple answer. One could and perhaps should say it is a matter for the trustees of the charity. But given Mr Osborne’s current wheeze of outsourcing social policy so that the government tells everyone else what to do but does nothing useful itself, it would seem appropriate that the Charity Commissioners set some guidelines about the rate of spend of funds that is appropriate for particular charities.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Any organisation that does not have an effective control mechanism is courting disaster . Those at the top are responsible for how things are run and controlled and must have the necessary background and skills to ensure things go right . Without a precise knowledge of Kids and how it was run it is difficult to come to any conclusion , however , I am sure that Yentob had no more idea of its workings than others . For him to be so vehement in his BBC interview about the closure of Kids was inexcusable and , certainly , in very bad taste .

    Appearances can be very misleading and , as one who conducted many interviews with top level people , I would have dug deep into the background of Mdme. Batmanghelidgh before giving her the nod – etc ed . Individuals in the lead are normally very aware of how they appear to the mind others and , normally , would not wish to court unusual attention etc ed. She might be unusually bright and capable ; I would want to check her out first . The public sponsored Kids and the public ought to have had complete confidence that their money was in the right hands .

  19. Edward2
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    I read that there are now over 60,000 charities in the UK. The article said most are funded to some extent by the State.
    I thought the idea of a charity was to set up to help a certain problem via voluntary donations raised from the public.
    Perhaps we should go back towards this original model.

    Do we know how much the State donates on our behalf to this charitable quangocracy sector?

  20. Remington Norman
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Reminiscent of the overseas aid budget, where our taxpayers’ money finds its way into the wrong pockets or into dubious projects.

    Civil servants warned ministers of allegations against Kids’ Company, so why did they not insist of an independent audit before putting in this £3m.

    In both cases, it is the lack of oversight which is disturbing.

  21. Ken Moore
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    This mess just about sums up the problem with David Cameron – Kids company ticked all the right politically correct boxes – diversity, poverty, ‘disadvantaged’ kids… so in his eyes they could do no wrong. A bit like the bloated aid budget really another sacred cow.

    37 million pounds of public money wasted because Cameron wanted to bolster his right on PC credentials. He really is the most useless and over-rated leader ever to emerge from the bowels of the Conservative party machine.

    Meanwhile 600 are to lose their jobs in Rotherham as Tata steel closes because of rising energy costs that are caused by David Cameron’s green PC lunacy.
    How much more evidence do the Conservatives and Dr Redwood need that David Cameron is a…………, a human PC wrecking ball that needs to be removed from office ?

  22. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Is it not the case that, if councillors had gone against official advice and by so doing wasted taxpayers’ money, they would be personally surcharged? Government ministers should be treated the same.

    • Bob
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      @Brian Tomkinson

      Yes, the ministers responsible for this reckless abuse of hard working taxpayers should be held jointly personally liable for the loss.

  23. Bob
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    On an interview on R4 around 6pm last night a lady (didn’t catch the name) said that she had been to a Wednesday dinner session in Kid’s Company in South London to see what it was like and one child turned up.

    When she queried with staff about the apparent lack of interest she was told to come back on Friday, which she did. At that session there were quite a few more kids. She asked the kids if they came of their own accord and the said that they were given cash handouts to attend.

    It was also revealed on the same program that the UK has 164,000 children’s charities.

  24. Chris Rose
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I think it is unsatisfactory when charities accept money from the government. They often lose direction and pursue policies which are at variance with the wishes of their donors. In effect they become NGOs.

    It would be better if their change in status were formally recognised by their losing charity status, becoming NGOs and being forced to provide audited public accounts which would then be vetted by a parliamentary committee.

  25. lojolondon
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    John, I am totally against this entire scenario. HOW DARE the government take money from me, upon pain of a jail sentence for refusing to pay, and give it to a charity. This is totally unacceptable. If the government wants to help children or achieve some other objective, then it needs to come up with a funded programme to do so. If I want to support a charity financially, that is my choice. But this whole scam of taking taxpayer money and buying favour with charities that was started by Labour should absolutely be killed off, it it total abuse of voters money. I hear now that there are over 200,000 charities registered in the UK – it is completely obvious that this is far too many, and that people are clearly profiteering from government money and tax breaks, while pocketing large director’s salaries. Time to end this gravy train!

  26. Hefner
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    This might be of interest to some.
    Look for http://www.thirdsector.co.uk then charity-pay-study: who-are-the-highest-earners

    and draw your conclusions.

  27. Hefner
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Thanks a lot for the IEA’s report. It is a right-wing free market think tank, but at least the people there are proud of it and clearly announce it on the opening page of their web site.

    • Hefner
      Posted August 8, 2015 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      The whole report is really worth reading. thanks again.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Political correctness.

  29. acorn
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Please JR, when you edit out text from posts, please respect the conventions of putting your comments in square brackets

  30. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted August 8, 2015 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Do you know I don’t believe that charitable organisations in the main are simply altruistic.I prefer those who give their lives in service to people without large rewards, those who care for people without competing for high salaries, those who care about people and not money, those who do not constantly take air space as though what they say matters more than any other, those who don’t think that they have to perform or creep academically to get a good salary ( you know I will cite you , if you cite me) then we can pretend we are intelligent. Whilst we are not all Mother Theresa’a where charity does not rely on reserves of money, but rather a trust that the good in human nature would provide, charities on the whole as organisations should be scrutinised.
    Some religions demand a 10%of their money to go to charity;this is one of the Islamic 5 pillars, we have tax , tax and more tax.,

  31. John Miller
    Posted August 9, 2015 at 3:21 am | Permalink

    We’ve seen this many times before.

    One of Cameron’s Cronies needs help.

    A Cabinet Minister (in this case Letwin) is lined up to be the front man.

    The front man ignores Civil Service advice and executes the deed on Cameron’s behalf.

    The Crony is duly bailed out of a sticky situation.

    The problem here is that to give an organisation, about which officials were seriously concerned, a large sum of money to cover its debts days before it is wound up is a bit blatant, even for Dave. Like the catch in an old and smelly wooly jumper, watch this one run and run.

  32. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 11, 2015 at 2:19 am | Permalink

    This is not the sort of charity that should have received any government subsidy in the first place. It spent the money it received on projects and handouts that it thought would help some of the poor (mainly in London?). This was an ad hoc and fairly arbitrary extension to the welfare state. The taxation system and the welfare state are designed by central government to be reasonably fair, so why would central government want to disturb the balance?

    Another example of the PM undermining his Chancellor’s financial prudence?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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