Dec 092013
 

As I mentioned in my earlier post on this topic (here) I submitted a Freedom of Information request to the ‘Welsh’ Government asking if it had given any money to The Bevan Foundation, and if so, how much, plus subsidiary questions. My e-mail request was submitted on November 5th and I received the reply on the 27th. The request and the response can be read below.

Between 2001 (the year the Foundation was formed) and 2008 the ‘Welsh’ Government handed over £20,270.50, and a further £51,251.00 from 2008 up to the present day (or whenever these figures were compiled). Making a grand total of  £71,520.50. The attachments I received were in Excel format but they may be read as PNG files on the right, click to enlarge.

You will note that the response tells me that not all the information I requested can be supplied because to collect and collate it would exceed the £600 limit set by the UK Government for processing Freedom of Information requests. If I have read this section correctly, then the information I have not been given is, 1/ who made the decisiBevan Foundation 2001 - 2008ons to allocate specific funding or work to The Bevan Foundation, and, 2/ if this was contracted work rather than grant funding, then did it follow a fair and open tendering process. Important points, I would have thought, given that we are dealing with an organisation in The Bevan Foundation inextricably linked with the Labour Party and its associated bodies.

Despite the sparsity of the information, I still believe we can draw certain conclusions. In the figures for 2001 – 2008, and in the column headed ‘System Reference’, I see ‘Fees’ cropping up regularly (though not for the larger amounts). So does this suggest work contracted to The Bevan Foundation rather than grants? By the time we come to the 2008 – Present table (using the new accounting method mentioned in the Bevan Foundation 2008 - Presentreply) we see in the ‘Payment Type’ column ‘Invoice’ against most entries. I take this to mean invoices from The Bevan Foundation to the ‘Welsh’ Government for work done on behalf of that body. So what kind of work was this?

The first one mentioned, in the ‘Division’ (of the ‘Welsh’ Government?) column, is ‘Fairer Futures’. But what does it mean? I assume it is in some way connected with the Fairer Futures Division of the ‘Welsh’ Government. (I bet you didn’t even know there was one!) Further down we see that close on thirty grand has been allocated to ‘Democracy Ethics & Partnerships’, for which I can find no information at all. Nor did the ‘Division Code’ X211 turn up anything on the ‘Welsh’ Government website. Also in the ‘Division’ column we can see, ‘Homes and Places, ‘Housing Policy’, ‘Employability & Skills Division’, ‘Chief Economist’, ‘Constutional Affairs & Inter-Government’, ‘Cabinet Division’, ‘Communities Directorate’ and ‘Strategic Budgeting Division’. So what does it all tell us? In case anyone is still in doubt . . .

In 2001 Labour politicians and activists set up a think tank to produce ‘reports’ favourable to the Labour Party. The ‘Welsh’ Government gives work to said think tank, thereby providing State-funded employment for Labour activists to produce Labour propaganda. In return for our generosity we get Reports and Surveys telling us that people without money are poor; that the world would be a better place if we were all nicer to each other; that people with somewhere to live aren’t homeless. Platitudinous bollocks we could get for nothing from an idiot savant like Forrest Gump.

Consequently, I think this is seventy-one thousand pounds wasted. Because it is used for no better purpose than to produce vacuous observations and naive wish-lists. Though this money from the ‘Welsh’ Government is not the only route by which Labour Party largesse reaches The Bevan Foundation. Because the Foundation also does ‘work’ for the Wales TUC and the Wales Co-operative Development Centre. And let us not forget the generosity of cash-strapped Blaenau Gwent council in helping the Foundation pay for a Research Officer . . . to produce yet more vacuous observations and naive wish-lists.

This is just an update to my earlier post; but if anyone reading it can see anything I’ve missed, or can ‘translate’ some of the codes used in relation to the ‘Welsh’ Government spending, then please get in touch.

  10 Responses to “The Bevan Foundation 2”

  1.  

    You ask about code X211, Jac. The Welsh Government expenditure listed to the value of £4875 paid on 11/11/2011 (code X211 – Democracy Ethics and Partnerships) appears in the Bevan Foundation annual accounts year ended 31/03/2012 as income for ‘Community Development’. It is the exact amount. This item is explained in their accounts as “Community Development is a project on community economic development funded by the Welsh Government’s New Ideas Fund.”. During this period of expenditure both Michael Antoniw AM, Pontypridd and Alun Davies AM, Blaenau Gwent, were trustees and were elected the same year against stiff opposition. This is the first time I have found ‘Democracy and Ethics’ to be described as a ‘New Idea’, more likely a form of using government funds for the canvassing those on the electoral role for ‘ideas’, or as I describe it….votes.

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      It is hardly surprising that an amount paid by the Wales Government appears in the accounts of the charity.
      Using public money for Party political purposes is illegal so if you have proof that the Bevan Foundation is doing what you seem to be accusing it of, you should inform the Ombudsman.
      In my opinion, as well as criminal, it would be idiotic and downright pointless for a major political party, with its own sophisticated canvassing software, to use the method that you suggest.

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        The facts are as follows. The Labour ‘Welsh’ Government has no money of its own, it merely disburses money someone else – Westminster or the EU – has given it. The Bevan Foundation is a Labour Party organisation. The public money given by the ‘Welsh’ Government to The Bevan Foundation serves no public good, it merely keeps that organisation afloat. So how would you describe this arrangement?

        The Bevan Foundation claims to be an independent think tank, which would, you’d think, bring in contracts from a wide range of clients. Wrong. Take away the funding and other support from the ‘Welsh’ Government, Wales TUC, Labour-controlled councils and other bodies linked to Labour and the Bevan Foundation would struggle to survive.

        This wretched example of cronyism comes about because unfortunately there are people in the Labour Party who lead such sheltered lives that they believe everyone in Wales supports Labour, and that this universal support confers on Labour the right to do whatever it damn well chooses. The reality is of course that Labour only gets a minority of the votes cast at any Welsh election and this is an even smaller percentage of support from the population as a whole.

        So what’s in it for Labour? Simple. Others, who should know better – not least, the ‘Welsh’ media – now consult and quote The Bevan Foundation as if it was independent. So for a modest outlay, the Labour Party and the ‘Welsh’ Government has another mouthpiece that, ostensibly, is independent of both.

        Though anyone believing that bollocks – like Shipton at the Mule – needs the kind of reality check I try to provide.

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          Hi Jac,
          I was not aware of the Bevan Foundation until I read the above plus your first post on the subject and I only visit the Western Mail website on rare occasions so, I do not have enough information to form any description.

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        Red ….The only ‘research’ by the Bevan Foundation I can find which attributes the funding from ‘ New Ideas programme ‘ was spent to produce this..

        http://www.bevanfoundation.org//wordpress-content/uploads/2011/10/Digital_by_Default_Final.pdf

        It does not, however, provide any statistical or scientific basis to explain why Caerphilly was selected as the survey area.

        At the time it was a Plaid controlled council and considered a marginal seat for Labour. It did involve face-to-face canvassing throughout the borough/constituency. I’m sure the Bevan Foundation will be able to explain the reasoning why this area was selected for ‘study’.

        You are correct to flag up that misuse of this data would constitute a criminal offence. So is going round housing estates uprooting election placards during an election but such niceties did not prevent the sitting Labour MP from indulging in such practices at the time. Very sophisticated, indeed.

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          Many thanks Brychan.
          According to the report that you hyperlink, Caerphilly has a distinctive North / South divide and that may be the reason why it was chosen. Who knows – I don’t.

          As for ripping up election placards, no one has the right to erect placards on council land such as on community green spaces and on lampposts. Was that the case in Caerphilly? – See Fly Posting.

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            The following areas have a north-south economic wealth profile – Bridgend, Ogmore, RCT and Torfaen. Why did they pick, and only pick, Caerphilly?

            During the election, Plaid Cymru placards were erected on front gardens by or on the permission of residents. Labour bullies turned up and claimed ‘you’ll need planning permission’. One particular nasty man, doing the up-rooting was Wayne David. The up-rooted election posters removed from private land was found in the back of his car.

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      Good work, Brychan. I assume that the same bollocks applies to the other amounts against ‘Democracy Ethics & Partnerships’. This is nothing more than making up silly names and pointless projects as an excuse for a Labour government to give its friends money.

  2.  

    “projects as an excuse for a Labour government to give its friends money”….would seem to sum up awema in a nutshell there jac….the trial resumes on friday i believe…..could prove interesting if the former chief executive decides to spill some beans…..some nervous moments coming up for some in welsh labour i think

Ok, you’ve read what I think, now what do you have to say?