One of the more disgraceful pieces of journalism I have read recently was in Monday's Daily Express. An absurd attack on The Charity Commission and its Chair. A picture of Suzi with the caption "has seen her pay top £400,000". They manage this absurdity by adding together her salary over all the past four years she has been in post AND adding in her expenses PLUS the "tax" element you might pay if expenses were taxed!!
I recommend, in the interests of transparency, that the Editor of The Express, and its owner Mr Desmond, publish their earnings, calculated on the same basis. I suspect Suzi will look a pauper by comparison. Still, I suppose for journalists treating their expenses as another source of income is par for the course.
Nevertheless a vicious article which no responsible paper should have printed. Who was behind it I wonder? Who put them up to it? It's not the first time we have seen smear tactics used against the Chair of The Commission, and describing it as a "quango" is a chilling reminder that the charity sector is not immune from unpleasant attacks in challenging favoured establishment perks (the tax exemptions on public schools!).
It's a reminder of how Mrs Thatcher's court attacked and smeared that wonderful charity, Shelter, for daring to highlight the scandal of homelessness in the 80s.
Be warned, as cuts bite and protests from our sector mount, do not imagine we won't see such attacks again. But we must remain true to our role in speaking truth to power and not be cowed.
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