Showing posts with label 'Reform Think Tank'. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 'Reform Think Tank'. Show all posts

Friday, 14 December 2012

Reform: A Full Account of a Free Market Think Tank

This is a roundup of all the research carried out by Social Investigations on the free market think tank, Reform. They are increasingly influential, listened to by the neo cons and promote the dismantling of public service into the hands of corporations that fund them and so many of our parlimentarians. This has been the most indepth look at the think tank thus far with some more to come in the future.

1. The Telegraph, the Think Tank and a Very Dodgy Business: Click "And the whole sequence of Telegraph articles and editorials on the importance of the Government not going soft on public service reform, including some strong pieces on health, is something I have been orchestrating and working with Reform to bring about.’

2. Reform - Setting the Agenda with Unknown Others  - Click - Chatham House Rules are a useful tool for discussions that hide the attendees. Reform, regularly use it for meetings that should be in the public domain.

3. Reform - a voice for corporations (series) - Reform has many corporations who are partners. They pay Reforn, and in return get to be in the same room as our lawmakers, lobby, contribute papers policy ideas that aim to persuade MPs. Policies that will benefit big business. Aviva, BMI Healthcare, G4S, Bupa.

4. Reform: A Charity or a conduit for privatisation? Click - Reform were at the conferences with sponsored corporations in tow, providing access to decision-makers.

5. MPs and Lord's Financial Links to Free Market Think Tank - Click - A well connected think tank, with multiple companies who also pay our Lords and MPs

6. Privatising Probation: What Reform says – Government does - Click - If you want to know what future government policy is going to be, don’t bother asking your government because they won’t tell you until it’s too late. Instead, turn your eyes to a right-wing think tank masquerading as a charity.

7. Reform think tank and their links to the Conservative Party - Click - they are a charity yet they have a clear bias towards the Conservative party - here are all their links to the right.

8. Complaint Over Think Tank 'Charity' Sent to Charity Commission - Click - based on the evidence, Reform appear to be in breach of the Charity Commission rules, so Social Investigations sent in a complaint.

9. Charity Commission Refuses to Investigate Complaint Regarding Charity's Links to the Conservative Party - Click The Charity Commission said there was 'no evidence to support the allegations that the Reform Research Trust has links with or promotes the aims and objectives of any political party.' They clearly are not bothering to look, despite being sent the clear links. Another organisation with a set of rules that are not fit for purpose. 

10. Charity Commission apologises for misleading statement on Reform's connections to the Conservative party - Click

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Article Roundup - Attacks on Society, Deceit and Dirty Business

Every now and again I do an article roundup to bring together key articles from a couple of months work.

The first roundup focused on the Lords research and the healthcare takeover of parliament

The second roundup was dedicated to  lobbying following the discovery of a document from a healthcare lobbying group that told the tale of how Sir Stephen Bubb played his part in changing the face of the NHS. In addition it looked at the daily Telegraph’s role in helping promote the message of ‘competition’. More...

This roundup looks at the political connections of two Think Tanks that silently go about producing policy that the government so readily take onboard to leverage public resources into the private companies that fund them. Reform, the BBC, Policy Exchange, Wonga are all in here, as is David Cameron and how the government accepted the recommendations of the ‘Choice and Competition’ working group of the NHS Future Forum before they received the final report. Democracy in this country is in a fragile state.

Please pass on this blog to anyone you know.

1. ‘Just as I was signing off our Panel's report on " Delivering real choice" I get sent a copy of the PM speech announcing he is accepting many of our key recommendations (although we haven't actually given him the report yet!) More

2. Sir Stephen Bubb was a key figure in ensuring private healthcare remained in the Health and Social Care Act following the so-called ‘listening period.’ Read about how he bumped in Lansley and got briefed before appearing on the Health and Social Care bill Committee. More

3. Policy Exchange Links to the Conservative Party. They are a think tank with charity status, but predominantly dream up ideas for privatising. They are meant to be politically ‘independent’, but are linked solely to the Conservative party. More here

4. Reform are according to their website 'keen to involve corporate organisations in our research because their expertise is often left out of the Whitehall policy discussion.’ – See why this is a lie with reports on Aviva, BMI Healthcare, G4S and see why this makes them a conduit to privatisation. You can also see which of their corporate partners are linked to Lords and MPs. More

5. The BBC failed the people of the UK for whom they are meant to inform. A new report analyses the key stories they missed including the Lords and MPs research. How the BBC betrayed the NHS. More

6. A Complaint was sent to the Charity Commission over the free market think tank Reform. The complaint focused on their political independence and their links to the Conservative party. The second part of the complaint looked at misleading statements made on their website. We await their response. More...

7. The government want to privatise probations, and it is all linked into the Police Commissioner elections, which will act as an opportunity to pressurise local leaders to outsource other areas such as the fire brigade, the police, ambulance services, of which Reform suggest Police Commissioners should be in charge. More

8. It takes a certain kind of person to run a company that takes advantage of people in desperate times, to squeeze money out of them when they have nowhere else to go. The kind of person who would do such a thing, should be admonished by society for preying on the needy however, this government, who receives money from one of their main funders, sees him as a person to go to for advice and to send senior advisers to lobby on the company's behalf. More

Monday, 29 October 2012

Complaint Over Think Tank 'Charity' Sent to Charity Commission

Over the last month Social Investigations has researched the free market think tank, Reform, which to the discredit of the Charity Commission rules, is also a charity. The findings led to the conclusion that a complaint to the Charity Commission was justified under both misleading the public and questioning their political independence.
Reform are important because they dream up policy for selling off our public assets like the NHS and the police and the Conservative party make policy based on their research. Their corporate partners are major global and UK corporations and scooping the financial rewards from the privatisation dreamed up by Reform.

Reform is seen by many organisations on both sides of the political spectrum as being an arm of the Conservative party, everyone recognises this except it would seem, the Charity Commission.

The Research revealed:

·      All the founders are linked to the Conservative party
·      Three out of the five trustees have direct links to the Conservative party
·      There are multiple companies who are Reform’s corporate partners who are linked to Lords and MPs
·      They were involved in lobbying to maintain ‘competition’ in the health and Social Care bill
·      They promote privatisation in all public sector areas
·      They make a claim on their website that is misleading
·      They hold meetings with ministers and corporations where no minutes are held using Chatham House Rules
·      The Conservatives have launched two policies at Reform

The Complaint sent to Charity Commission
Reform Research Trust – Charity Number: 1103739

The complaint against Reform centre on two areas:

·      Misleading the public
·      Political independence

1. Misleading the public

Misleading statement
Reform state on their website: 'We are keen to involve corporate organisations in our research because their expertise is often left out of the Whitehall policy discussion.'

I am providing a selection of files on three companies that are corporate partners to Reform in order to provide evidence that Reform’s statement on their site regarding the above statement is at best misleading and at worst deception.

In addition to the same point above, I am providing a list of the corporate partners with their links to MPs and Lords and a list of what area each company influences government policy.

The companies I have selected are:
·      Aviva
·      BMI Healthcare
·      G4S

I chose three simply because I didn’t want to inundate your organisation with files on all the companies that make up their corporate partners to make the point. The files represent those companies only, although the same would apply to all the other corporate partners and I would be happy to supply more if required.

Reform currently has 31 corporate partners; many of them represent some of the most powerful companies in the UK.

Current members are:  ABI, Aviva, Balfour Beatty, Benenden Healthcare Society, Bevan Brittan, BG Group, BVCA, Cable & Wireless, Capita, CH2M Hill, Clifford Chance, Citigroup, The City of London, Ernst & Young, GlaxoSmithKline, G4S, GE, General Healthcare Group, HP, ICAEW, KPMG, Maximus, McKesson, MSD, Optical Confederation, PA Consulting Group, Serco, Sodexo and Telereal Trillium.

These companies are not left our of Whitehall policy. As the files will show, they are often involved at various levels helping to develop policy.

Many of these companies are financially linked to Lords and MPs from all parties, although largely the Conservatives and in many cases they are in leading positions: Please see File titled Reform MP company links.

In one particular case, the director Andrew Haldenby specifically speaks up for and on behalf of G4S as it mentions in the G4S file.

Reform receives money from donations and sponsorship. Companies often sponsor an event so that they can lobby. The policy that these companies influence ends up creating more wealth for the companies and is not for the charitable aims of delivering economic prosperity to the people it claims to do. Not once in their summary return do they mention promoting privatisation, and yet through their corporate sponsorship, and work, this is exactly what they are doing.

2. Political independence.

The next complaint looks at their political independence.- See links to Conservative party here.

‘The guiding principal of charity law is that charities should be, and be seen to be, independent from party politics.’

Based on the statement above, Reform is not within charity law as their powerbase is almost totally towards the Conservative party.

I have produced a separate file for this titled: ‘Reform links to the right’.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Reform think tank and their links to the Conservative Party

Reform calls itself independent. However the research below brings this claim into question in what appears to be the breaking of the Charity Commission rules for all charities to remain politically independent. Download as PDF

The 'charity’s' claim to independence is based on having one Liberal Democrat (Jeremy Browne) and two Labour members (Lord Warner and MP Frank Field) and a Conservative MP, (Julian Smith) on their advisory team. These however do not represent the overall dominance of the organisation towards the Conservative party, which can be seen by the powerbase, of the founders and trustees. The bullet points below represent a list of these connections.

  • All of the co-founders have links to the Conservative party.
  • Reform is recognised as part of the Conservative party movement by multiple medium including the Conservativehome. 
  • Two MPs to emerge from Reform both belong to the Conservative party
  • Two of the trustees have provided money to individuals in the Conservative party
  • Two of the trustees and a director have advised two Conservative MPs

Monday, 22 October 2012

Privatising Probation: What Reform says – Government does

If you want to know what future government policy is going to be, don’t bother asking your government because they won’t tell you until it’s too late. Instead, turn your eyes to a right-wing think tank masquerading as a charity.

In February 2011, Reform, a free market think tank, produced a brochure based on a meeting held at global law firm, Clifford Chance, titled: ‘21st century justice’. The meeting in large part discussed the probation and prison service and the need for change. 

Thursday, 4 October 2012

MPs and Lord's Financial Links to Free Market Think Tank

As part of a series of investigations looking into the free market think tank Reform, the financial links between our so-called public servants, corporations and Reform has brought into question whether Reform should be stripped of their ‘charity’ status.

Now Social Investigations has revealed the list of companies that give money to Reform in either donations or sponsorship who also are employing or have financial connections to our so-called public servants in key sectors of our society.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Reform – who do they represent? BMI healthcare

As part of an ongoing analysis of Reform as a ‘charity’, this time the focus is on BMI healthcare.

Articles in relation to Reform already exist here on the meetings with senior officials using Chatham House rules which are an affront to transparency. Another article looked at their role in supporting the aims of Aviva, one of their corporate partners. This time the focus is turned to BMI Healthcare.

Reform - a voice for corporations - Aviva

As the TUC held their conference, Reform produced a ‘briefing’, which made a series of suggestions on how to weaken the public sector and their workforce conditions. In response to this, the GMB union wrote an article that claimed Reform as being a ‘fake charity’, calling on the Charity Commission to recheck their criteria that allows organisations like the think thank Reform to exist as a charity.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Reform - Setting the Agenda with Unknown Others

Reform is a right-wing think tank that claims to be ‘independent’. Like many think tanks they have charity status, although when you look at their work, it is hard to see where the charitable part exists. They are setting the agenda for our public services in meetings that only they know who was in attendance.

Reform has and continues to be influential in the attacks on the NHS. A document written by the health lobby group the NHS Partners Network revealed Reform’s involvement in setting up meetings with key players of the NHS Future Forum and Monitor during the ‘health bill ‘pause’.