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Saturday, October 27, 2007

Charity, politics and Christian Aid

Gosh, haven't posted on Christian Aid since July. Shame on me. Here's a letter I sent to the Times the other day. The background is here, here and here. They doubtless thought the topic had had enough of an airing after all that. Or else they just didn't like my letter.

'Sir, Earlier this year Christian Aid produced a policy report entitled "Israel and Palestine: A Question of Viability", which continued the charity's long history of biased campaigning against Israel. Replete with criticisms of Israel, it mentions Hamas only once - as a victim of Israeli actions.

'Christian Aid, 22% of whose income comes from government grants, describe the document as being "aimed at UK and European Union policymakers". To complete the symbiotic picture, we need only recall that a well-trodden career path leads from the aid charities to the largesse-dispensing Department for International Development.

'Where such relationships exist between big business and the state, I imagine that someone like Baroness Kennedy would have little difficulty perceiving them as undemocratic, lacking in transparency and potentially corrupt. At the very least, the law should insist that charities choose between being the kind that collect state handouts or the kind that seek to twist elected legislators' arms over contentious political issues. They should not expect to be both.

'Yours faithfully,


(sources here, here and here; I first raised this issue here)

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