If An NGO Goes Bust Without Government Money Is It Really An N- GO? Environmental Protection UK It Not Independent
THE definition of NGO is Non-Governmental Organisation. Supposedly those nice people outside politics with ideas about how to make the world a better place who campaign to make the world a better place.
Which makes this slightly odd:
The UK’s oldest environmental NGO has been forced to close after government cuts to local authority budgets drastically reduced its income.
Formed as the Coal Smoke Abatement Society at the end of the nineteenth century, Environmental Protection UK provided expert analysis on air quality and, more recently, contaminated land and waste issues. But over the past two years, the Brighton-based charity has faced severe financial challenges due to the coalition’s cuts to local authorities, which purchase its products and services.
If an NGO cannot survive without government money is it in fact a non-governmental anything at all?
And if it is reliant upon government money then it’s not really independent either, is it? What we actually end up getting is a group of people paid by government to lobby government: giving cushy jobs to those with the correct, approved, views on the subject at hand along the way.
For example, it certainly used to be true that Friends of the Earth Europe received more than 50% of its income from the EU in various forms. FotEE’s major activity was lobbying parts of the EU. Alcohol Concern and Action on Smoking Health seem to get large chunks of their financing from various levels of government as well.
They’re not in fact NGOs at all. They’re Fake Charities. And that’s an interesting site to go and explore. You can find out how much of your tax money is being spent to lobby politicians on how to spend your tax money.