The Economic Recession has been an excellent excuse to stop funding Charities, Aid and Development agencies and other Non-Governmental Organisations.
Whether or not there is still money in the pot for “campaigns” and other kinds of communicating with the public on subjects of philanthropic interest, funders (which include Government bodies) have been finding reasons to cut off the lifeblood of groups with large memberships.
NGOs that have been targeted with funding cuts recently include Stop Climate Chaos.
The evolution of the Stop Climate Chaos umbrella organisation has seen them move from a fairly anodyne philosophy to one that is more critical of national Energy policy and the pace of change on Climate; a stance that makes similar arguments to Greenpeace, you know, things like banning the burning of Coal to generate electricity.
Well, OK then, the people are revolting a little bit too much, so they have to go : within the next month or so, Stop Climate Chaos will lose all their staff and be reduced to a single “Coordinator” in their office of last resort, lodged with Oxfam.
Another organisation has been making some internal “adjustments” of late, and this is resulting in the loss of staff as well. It’s a pity, as they have just started to put some meat on the bones of their Climate Change “campaign”.
They are starting to ask difficult questions, and they too may end up taking a more radical standpoint. So it’s time to make sure they don’t become too influential. Cut off their funding unless they tow the line !
I heard of a very important meeting taking place in the last few weeks – a strategy meeting that hoped to garner wide social support for a good set of Climate Change proposals in the UK.
When I asked about who would be attending I was told “none of the NGOs will be there”. Obviously, the NGOs are too scared about losing their funding to feel free enough to say what needs to be said in the upcoming public debate.
Keeping the people in line is easy. To accomplish any social change requires funding – people need to be paid for their work; and offices and resources need to be supported. Messages need to be spoken in various channels of Media. Leaflets need to be printed. This all takes money.
The price you pay for those grants, private funding and public, is to hold yourself back from saying anything too radical. Those who hold the pursestrings dictate the expression of democracy.
When the fallout from the Unholy Recession (Which Turns Out To Be More Permanent Than Thought) has finally done its worst on Civil Society, people will realise they’ve been silenced, deliberately. Expect politics to get challenging again.
The underfunded rabble are forming, just outside the gates.