What does it mean to be a charity? | Guy Dampier

Oone hundred and twenty charities have written to Home Secretary Suella Braverman, calling for a “fair, kind and efficient” approach to immigration. This added to the pressure Braverman is under from the media on her words and acts in the face of uncontrolled immigration across the Channel.

The open letter was organized by the charity IMIX, which describes himself as “a team of professional communication experts who want to change the conversation about migration and refugees to create a more welcoming society”. In his bright strategy document this explains what this means in concrete terms: “the intervention of the medias” persuade the public to welcome migrants, developing “a new narratives” and increase the “celebration of people who migrate”.

Especially, this States this wants to reach out to the “persuasive middle”, as “A conservative nations”in order to “build more support” for migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. This also believes in being proactive. This warns against “far-right rhetorics” and say this supports groups working to “provide an alternative perspectives” on Channel crossings and detention.

I MIX boasts of already working with the Daily mailLBC, ITV, QG and Ladbible. To make the level of work achievable, this said it is consider an “alternative funding models” such as paid advice and billing for training sessions. So it is working as a sort of public affairs firm but for migrants. Yet, curiously, it is makes it a charity.

The majority of people crossing the Channel are actually Albanians

A look at the IMIX funding reveals that while this enjoys an annual income of £462,317, almost all of which comes from large foundations such as the AB Charitable Trust (founded by the wealthy Bonavero family), Esmee Fairbairn (founded by financier Ian Fairairn in 1961) or the OAK Foundation (founded by billionaire Alan Parker). In fact, once you remove all the big grants from the foundation, the only donation left is £500. It would pay just a few days of the salary of IMIX’s highest-paid employee, who earns between £70-80,000.

Most people would assume that charities are heavily involved in things like running soup kitchens or running homeless shelters, all funded by generous donations from ordinary people. Lax charity laws mean a lot more these days are such as IMIX: very professional lobbying organisations, whose work takes place largely in offices, and which are largely dependent on grants provided by organizations founded by millionaires or billionaires.

That’s not the only weird thing. Although it will probably come as no surprise to find a former BBC journalist or a former senior member of the left-wing think tank IPPR among his team and directors, it is curious to see Agnès Estibals on the list of directors. She’s not an old anything. Instead, she’s still a high official, currently works in the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Branch. Her IMIX blurb notes that she is “committed to promoting the positive contribution immigrants from all backgrounds make.”. How being a trustee of a charity that pressures a minister to change government policy fits into civil service neutrality must be left to the subtle minds of Whitehall.

As for the open letter, it calls on the Minister of the Interior to take pity on “Iranian women”, “Afghan activists”“adolescents fleeing the brutal military dictatorships”girls being used as “sex slaves”s” and parents “fleeing the war zones”. Still the majority canal crossings are actually Albanians — who have left a country that is neither a dictatorship nor a war zone. Indeed, according to Dan O’Mahoney, Clandestine Channel Threat Commander, until of them % of Albanian adult male population has travel in Britain on small boats. Most arrivals of all nationalities are men aged 18 to 39. Women, adolescents, girls and older people are all in short supply.

Of course, IMIX works, like this freely admits, to change perceptions about migrants. Some might point out that there is a difference between changing perceptions to fit reality and change perceptions based on your preferences. Some might also suggest that we should be skeptical about the nature of charities.

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