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Friday, March 21, 2014

Taking On The Big Government Sock Puppets - A Qango Against Sock Puppetry

   How much does government spend on advertising?  I'm afraid this is going to contain a lot of guesstimates. The money comes a whole range of departments and much of it is hidden under other names (such as contracts for publications and fees for courses) and of course, it is a subject the media imply do not mention as googling "sock puppets" shows.

    So lets take this from Chris Snowden's report I have previously discussed:

"Between 1997 and 2005, the combined income of Britain’s charities nearly doubled, from £19.8 billion to £37.9 billion, with the biggest growth coming in grants and contracts from government departments ...state funding rose by 38 per cent in the first years of the twenty-first century while private donations rose by just seven per cent."

    That is rather equivocal since a doubling of income cannot be made up of a "biggest growth" which was only by 38%. I have to assume that the 38% rise was not for the entire 1997-2005 period and will ignore it.

   So the "biggest growth" (ie more than half - I'm going to assume 60%) was government [60%(£37.9bn - £19.8bn) = £10.9bn].

  If that had been 38% of the initial government donation would have been £25bn, more than the total received. Lets assume that over 1997-2005 total government charitable spending doubled ie £21.8bn.

  Assuming 4% average growth since then (it must have been higher under profligate Brown but I see little sign the coalition are the sort who would have ended it. That make it [ £21.8 x 1.04^9 = ] £31 bn.

   But government spends a lot in advertising in its own name. I once saw advice for councils wanting to save money that they should not have more press officers than the local press have journalists and I doubt Whitehall is more parsimonious.

   So we can multiply the total by 3 but then I am going to assume that some of the government funding is actually for conventional charitable purposes and let the multiplier be 2.

  So that gives us an estimate of government advertising coming to £62 bn. Not set in stone but I would be surprised if it were more than 50% out either way and I certainly don't think my estimates have been unreasonably high.

  Note that that is more than half the national deficit. Note also that it is just over 8% of  all government expenditure which you will see compares with what industry does.

   There is also EU sock puppet funding, particularly (up to 70% for all the big "environmental" charities) but considering what the UK pays the EU it I doubt such charities here could be getting
more than an extra billion.


  OK, where am I going.

  Well this money goes to advertising the ruling political parties like. When UKIP comes to power, or, particularly in Scotland's case, is part of a power sharing parliament, we are entitled to demand a share.

   I wouldn't insist on us getting a proportional share (app 20% in UK 10% in Scotland) since I would very much like to see most of this paid totalitarian scaremongering stopped.

   Scotland's share of that £62 bn, on population is £5.27 billion. Actually Scotland is stuffed with subsidy junkie qangos and sock puppets so it must be higher than that on the other hand this is probably matched by Westminster being directly responsible some of it.

   Say we insist on 1% of that going to UKIP friendly charities - 1% is highly reasonable though £527 million is quite a lot.

   So what would that buy:

"As a general rule of thumb, companies should spend around 5 percent of their total revenue on marketing to maintain their current position. Companies looking to grow or gain greater market share should budget a higher percentage—usually around 10 percent."

   I would happily see a permanent fund on that basis set up specifically to advertise sorry raise awareness as it is called when government does it, that a lot of government or "environmental" scare stories are lies &/or giving the evidence that free markets work.

   That is the sort of budget that 5 £1bn companies would spend across the UK or 50 of them in Scotland. If spent with the sort of efficiency government tends to shy away from and bearing in mind that we are used to the normal scaremongering stuff.

    Also, out of this, I would like to see the organisation funding a series of debates on these themes as I have previously said should be a part of normal political dialogue. When I say "debate" I do mean it in the correct not the BBC sense - ie the scaremongers should get the same chance to speak as the sceptics do. People can tell when they are being scammed and a genuine debate would be both ethical and more persuasive.

    Of course it might prove impossible to find an alarmist willing to engage in a real debate. This happened recently when a warming alarmist pulled out of an RTE discussion when he found a sceptic (Benny Peiser) was going to be allowed to speak as well. To RTE's credit they went ahead without him - so completely different from the home life of our own dear state broadcaster. (Here for the next 19 days)

Some things the Quango For Truth and Progress should publicise:

  • Evidence that global warming isn't catastrophic
  • Evidence that nothing unusual is happening to temperature.
  • Evidence that CO2 is helping solve world hunger.
  • Evidence that nobody has ever been harmed by shale fracking, nor likely to be
  • Evidence  that nobody has been harmed by GM plants, nor likely to be.
  • Evidence that nuclear power is the safest form of power generation there is.
  • Evidence that nuclear power can be produced at 2% of current costs
  • Evidence that the Linear No Threshold (LNT) radioactivity assumption has not and never had any scientific basis.
  • Evidence of the correlation between economic freedom and growth.
  • Evidence of the correlation between cheap energy and growth.
  • That all the annual peak oil in a couple of years over the last 40 years have been false.
  • Evidence that all the dozens of other eco-scare stories we have had inflicted on us are equally false.
  • Evidence that the smoking ban hasn't saved the promised "1,000 lives a year", or indeed any and was never intended to.
  • Evidence that we have unlimited potential if we stop kowtowing to luddite scaremongering.
  What a wonderful world it would be if somebody in government actually had the official job of promoting the truth
   This is a comment I put on a blog about the need for something to introduce sanity to the nuclear "debate" which ultimately led to this post.

  "But what we really need is a rottweiller charity willing to go all out at anti-nuclear campaign. To sue anybody good cases of lies about the industry. To advertise that newspapers that give coverage to false scare stories and don’t give at least as much coverage to the truth (ie almost all of them) are, by definition, corrupt, lying, fascist scum who cannot be trusted to tell the truth on anything else.

   And that governments that give money to promote “environmental” issues, they approve of, are engaged in totalitarian fraud if they don’t give an equal amount to technology promoters – just as much as a Democrat (or Republican) Governor who gave money to his own party would be criminally liable.

   All of which unfortunately needs a bit of money to start it rolling."

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