The government is currently trying to "engage" with the voluntary sector. More and more of the larger charities are providing public services funded by public money. This is a great danger, in my view.
However, only 26% of charities that deliver public services agree that they are free to make decisions without pressure to conform to the wishes of funders. This is a natural response, as who pays the piper, calls the tune.
It may be natural but it is not necessarily a good thing.
Surely, if the State enlists ever more voluntary organisations in this way, providing more funding and, naturally, wishing to have influence, then the "third sector" increasingly becomes controlled by the State and subject to its dogma, objectives and agenda. The charities will naturally bend towards the money, like a plant seeking sunlight. If only the reality were similarly without strings.
Charities that have to pander to the whim of the State cease to be able to innovate as freely or provide alternative, lateral solutons in the way that they traditionally have. They will almost certainly think twice about providing services, performing studies and especially speaking out against State dogma. We cannot trust the State not to lean on the charities to cease operations and activities which may expose their wrongheadedness.
Charities and the nation will lose out.
I think it is no use criticising the behaviour of the State once it begins funding charities or to criticise the Charities who yield, as this is a logical manifestation of what is a dysfunctional arragement. One that has country at large robbed of innovation, responsiveness and efficiency.
This does not excuse the State, however. They need to back off and allow charities to do their work.
Now, I am no friend of the oleagenous David Miliband, but stupid he is not. If he were, that might excuse him.
To think that greater State involvement would not harm, limit, encumber, distort, corrupt and shackle the voluntary sector would require innocence, no, ignorance and a level of imbecility and stupidity. Miliband cannot use that as an excuse.
So, Miliband either:
secretly knows the effect upon the sector, but will not admit it even to himself - his Sociofascistic reptile brain keeping the dark secret and motivation hidden from his higher thought processes.
that he really does know the eventual consequences of these activities and he is just trying, quite successfully I might add, to fool the public at large.
Seeing as I refuse to accept that he is stupid and remembering that intelligence is no guarantee of wisdom or integrity, that leaves Miliband as being either a conscious or unconscious hijacker of our civil society.
If the State wants better funding for Charities, it should stop taxing people into oblivion and allow them to make their own choices. I know it is hard for political animals, central office wonks and their pet rocks to understand, but people who earn their own living tend to have pretty good judgement on what to spend their money on.