Bishop Hill has upset me this morning. I have had a standing order to the NSPCC for some years. I was unaware that it was taking £14 million of government money and angry to find that it is supporting the government's current attacks on home schooling.
It's fine that Britain provides free-at-point-of-use state education for all. I have lots of issues with how it delivers that, but that's an issue for another day. There is no way, however, that state education should be compulsory. If I had not been lucky enough to afford private education for my children, my wife and I might well have preferred home schooling to a state system we knew well as ex-pupils and, in her case, as an ex-teacher. The government's campaign against home schooling has been disgusting - even implying that some home schoolers are doing it only to conceal their child abuse. The NSPCC's support for that campaign has nothing to do with its charitable purposes and - I suspect - everything to do with its status as a government front.
A charity that takes government money is not worthy of the name. Charity is all about voluntary contributions. Tax is, by definition, an involuntary contribution. Had the taxpayers wanted to give that £14 million to the NSPCC, they could have done so. They were not given the choice. Therefore nothing done with that money is truly "charity."
More insidiously fake charities, among which I am disappointed to suspect I must now number the NSPCC, are instruments of government policy and patronage. They are used to "astroturf" (create fake "grass roots" support for) government policies. They are used (through overpaid sinecure jobs) as a source of government party patronage. Many a Labour candidate in the next election wll boast of his or her work for charity, when in fact they were "parked" with that organisation by political influence.
I will cancel my monthly standing order to the NSPCC and write to explain why. My correspondence will no doubt be a waste of time. If the NSPCC's leadership is, as I now suspect, politically selected, the people concerned will know that full well. That one small donor has rumbled them is neither here nor there, in the context of £14 million extorted for them forcibly by their major sponsor in Whitehall.