A cautionary tale from Britain:
An ‘independent’ celebrity-backed campaign to increase foreign aid was secretly engineered by Whitehall, it was claimed yesterday.
The IF movement recruited David Beckham, Orlando Bloom and Mo Farah to ensure the Government made good on a pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas help.
But internal documents reveal plans were cooked up by ministers and advisers at Whitehall and the Tory party conference two years ago.
At one of the first summits, an aide of David Cameron met representatives of five charities which between them receive more than £60million a year from the taxpayer via the Department for International Development. . . .
The government gave lobby groups money to lobby it to do something it wanted to do.
There’s no better argument against public funding of lobby groups.
It reinforces the wisdom of changes made here so that groups whose primary focus is political or lobbying no longer get charitable tax status.
Hat tip: Tim Worstall.