Tuesday 11 September 2007


The Commission for Equality and Human Rights - an Orwellian construct if ever there was one - is advertising for a Director of Business Planning. One of the lucky appointee's key roles will be to "own and operate the CEHR's new public benefit test, a crucial tool..."

Now the Public Benefit Test is in fact 'owned by' the Charity Commissioners, under the 2006 Charities Act, and it is already proving controversial: it is being argued that Public Schools will need to jump through considerable hoops to pass this test and retain charitable status.

So what does the CEHR have in mind for use of this 'tool'
- or perhaps we should say weapon ? For starters, since it doesn't belong to them (the phrase appears nowhere in the 2006 Equality Act that established the CEHR), obviously they intend to make a grab for it, or invent one of their own. We can only assume they then intend to go looking for places to apply it - perhaps to beat up on charities ? perhaps to claim that it should apply in other walks of life ?

And, doubtless, they will be keen to place their hands warmly around the throat of the definition of the phrase 'public benefit' which, helpfully, is not defined in the Charities Act.

Sounds of another doctrinal battleground being prepared.



Anonymous said...

I have applied for the job - thanks for the tip!!

Nick Drew said...

well, plenty of £££ they do say; and you always struck me as someone "at ease with all aspects of diversity". CU and I will write glowing references and it's in the bag!

so - what's to be your "overall plan of strategic policy projects", Mutt?

and - how will you wield the Tool ? I feel certain you will have some surprises for them.

Mark Wadsworth said...

FWIW, when I am in charge, these tax breaks for posh schools will go, as they are highly regressive, they are worth more to really rich posh schools than to not so rich, not so posh schools.

But I'll have vouchers for schools of a few thousand quid a year, which'll more thna make up for it.

Anonymous said...

I'll use lottery money to pay Eton's fees for kids from sink estates.

Those able to provide evidence of recent criminal convictions will be fast-tracked.

Do I get the job?

Nick Drew said...

Neck and neck between you and Mutley, Anon. Reminds me of an old Sorry I'll Read That Again joke

- I went to a very violent school

- Eton ?

- Damn nearly!

Nick Drew said...

Mark - your day will have to wait, I fear

I'm sure you'll have something interesting to tell Trevor Phillips at the interview, though

Newmania said...

Yup although I cannot think of much to add. Sorry

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm sure you'll have something interesting to [ask] Trevor Phillips at the interview, though

First off, I'll ask him how he reconciles the fact that he has a six-figure salary at the CRE and at the same time his own private company makes television programmes about racial inequality.

That'll ensure that I don't get the job. Over to you, Mutley.

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