A sinister organisation has deeply worrying links with some of the government’s new cabinet ministers.
Institute for Economic Affairs
The IEA is one of the UK’s most influential think tanks. Its representatives regularly appear on the media, advocating everything from privatising healthcare to opposing minimum pricing on alcohol.
Yet despite its high-profile status, the IEA is extremely secretive about who funds it. The website Who Funds You? awarded it an E rating for transparency, which is the lowest possible mark.
- Raab was a member of the Free Enterprise Group, the IEA’s “parliamentary wing”.
- His 2009 book, ‘The Assault on Liberty’ was launched at the IEA’s offices. It called for the abolition of a raft of workers’ rights as British workers are “among the worst idlers”.
- Raab gave a speech at the IEA’s 60th birthday celebration.
Raab is a serious Brexiteer. He has consistently argued that Britain needs to renegotiate its relationship with the EU “to remove some of the obstacles to British business”. This stance is remarkably similar to the IEA’s:
— IEA (@iealondon) July 11, 2018
It argues that:
A ‘no deal’ scenario, in which the UK simply leaves the Single Market and Customs Union in 2019, does not have to be the ‘catastrophe’ that many fear.
May has previously threatened the EU that a no-deal scenario could lead to Britain turning itself into a corporate tax haven. With Raab at the helm and the IEA whispering in his ear, this terrifying idea could once again become reality.
Matt Hancock and the NHS
The Mirror has reported, meanwhile, that new health secretary Matt Hancock has received £32,000 in donations from the chairman of the IEA since 2010.
The IEA’s views on the future of the NHS are not in any doubt. Below is a tweet from its head of health and welfare:
You say "abolish the NHS & privatise healthcare" as if it were a bad thing. https://t.co/U5rwUg05Hv
— Kristian Niemietz jumps the queue (@K_Niemietz) July 10, 2018
Another high-profile IEA spokesperson, Kate Andrews, was recently on Newsnight. She argued that:
It’s time to overhaul the NHS and replace it with a system fit for 2018.
The picture becomes more worrying when we consider that the IEA receives funding from across the pond through the American Friends of the IEA.
As Brexit negotiations have worsened, many have already been worried that May would be willing to sell off sizeable chunks of the NHS to get a good trade deal with the US. And now, Hancock sits at the helm.
Chaos is a ladder
Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.
Brexit negotiations are nearing crisis point, to the extent that “the politically impossible” may soon become the “politically inevitable”.
So we should be extremely worried that the government and the IEA are currently so in tune with one another.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?