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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Another day another Tory embarrassment

Today's Times reports that Two Tory rising stars fighting marginal seats in David Cameron’s West London backyard face embarrassment over their community projects, lauded by the Tory leader as models for his vision of a “Big Society”.

They say that the Charity Commission has issued guidance to Joanne Cash after concerns were raised about her use of the word “charitable” to describe a social action project run and funded by her Conservative Association:

Ms Cash hopes to become MP for Westminster North, a seat whose constituents include many of the gilded “Notting Hill set” that surround the Conservative leader.

Shaun Bailey, candidate in neighbouring Hammersmith, faces scrutiny from the commission after an independent examiner discovered £16,000 worth of unreceipted expenditure in the charity he runs.

Both are seen as pioneers of Mr Cameron’s plan to rebuild communities through self-help initiatives. The party claims its candidates have begun 150 such projects, although, when contacted, officials could cite only five.

Mr Cameron told a conference last year that these were not “flash-in-the-pan photo opportunities” but about “getting up off your backside”.

Another example of the new 'caring Conservatism taking a wrong turn?
I just received a leaflet from the Conservative Candidate for Ogmore, it would appear that she's been parachuted into the constituency from Kent of all places.

Mrs Moore is a Councillor for the "kemsing" ward, Seven Oaks, Kent. She's previously stood in the European Elections in the North East of England, having been to Durham University.

Is it a case that the Tories just send any old Tom, Dick or Harriet down to South Wales to see if they are prepared to stand where they've got no chance of winning??

I understand that Miss Rees-Mogg, who previously stood in Aberafan has now been elevated to contest the Somerton & Frome seat for this election.
I understand the Charity Commission regulates registered charities; how does that give it the authority to regulate the word 'charity', which has a common usage that exceeds that narrow bound?

There are charitable organisations not registered with the Charities Commission. There are organisations that do work I'd regard as charitable. People can be charitable. Charity is essentially disinterested giving - and that's without going into its traditional religious and philosophical meanings.

I don't see anything wrong with this would-be MP using the word and using it quite properly. I wish she'd just ignore the damned Orwellian quango.
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