Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan gives us something to consider when the pro-Europeans inevitably roll out their long list of charities and other non-governmental organisations endorsing an “In” vote in the coming Brexit referendum.
The EU has form when it comes to bribing its citizens with their own money – that’s how broadcasters which receive money from the EU come to show passionately pro-European and rabidly anti-UKIP mockumentaries ahead of key national elections.
It’s also how nearly every large infrastructure project in Britain seems to come stamped with a “funded by the EU” plaque prominently placed to take all the credit for something which would have been built anyway – and probably for lower cost – had the money gone straight from taxpayers to the project rather than through the Brussels pork machine first.
So it should come as no surprise to anyone when a list of household name organisations dutifully line up to warn us of impending Armageddon if Britain were to do what every other successful economy in the world outside Europe does, and face the world as a strong and autonomous nation, willing to build partnerships to face global challenges but never subordinate our own national interest to the 1950s dream of ever-closer union at any price.
Our duty remains to look critically at these claims, and determine what (if any) merit is left when the self-preservation instinct and ulterior motives of the organisation in question are stripped away.
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Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh – who reportedly had five personal assistants and turned her office into a palatial throne room with a tree in the centre – ran her organisation into the ground and dumped the thousands of young people who relied on the charity at the foot of the taxpayer. And yet even now, people are falling over themselves to say how great she is.
Douglas Murray gives it to Camila Batmanghelidjh, founder of defunct charity Kids Company, with both barrels in The Spectator today:
It has often occurred to me that if you wanted to perform any great con trick these days you could do no better than to have a hard to pronounce name, wear achingly ethnic clothing and cultivate a sort of ‘mother earth’ persona. The search for authenticity is such that before long every culturally embarrassed media and political creep would beat a path to your door, sit at your feet and hug you like a tree. In reality you would never need to do anything much because you’ve already ticked all the culturally correct boxes.
He’s right. Despite having made thousands of young people reliant on the services of Kids Company – and, through her own financial mismanagement and the negligence of her trustees, left them high and dry when the charity collapsed yesterday – most other commentators are still falling over themselves to praise Batmanghelidjh for her supposed pure-hearted, selfless altruism.
Here’s Fraser Nelson, balancing accurate and deserved criticism of Batmanghelidjh on the one hand, with the almost obligatory effusive praise on the other: