The Curmudgeon


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Targeting Charity

Daveybloke's cuddly secretary for communities and things, Eric Pickles, has proclaimed, on behalf of a majority of the public, that Scientology should not be given the sort of tax breaks normally reserved for Conservative Party donors and other genuine charitable causes. The Charity Commission has denied Scientology the status of a religion, presumably because Scientology is a vast enterprise for gaining control of dupes by telling them silly stories. Nevertheless, the City of London Corporation has decided that the Church of Hubbard is a charity either for the advancement of religion "or other purposes beneficial to the community", and accordingly has revoked four-fifths of the rates on the Scientologists' London headquarters; while Westminster Council has granted a similar concession on the cult's Celebrity Centre in Bayswater. Councils in lesser locations such as Sunderland and Birmingham have exercised similar generosity. Pickles, who recently abolished the Audit Commission with a wave of his hand and will doubtless get around to the Charity Commission in a year or two, said that councils should take the commission's rulings into consideration when awarding charitable relief. However, Westminster Council, which learned flexibility in affairs of accommodation under the régime of Dame Shirley Porter some years ago, has proclaimed the cult a "non-registered charity", which may have intriguing implications for any other victims of the Charity Commission's ungodly cynicism. It would, of course, be uncharitable in the extreme to imagine that Pickles, who claimed expenses on a second home thirty miles from Parliament, is handing the Church of Hubbard a broad hint on how the business of religion should really be conducted.


  • At 2:57 am , Blogger Giovanni Tiso said...

    Eric Pickles

    Are other members of the new British cabinet named after characters by Richard Scarry?

  • At 12:04 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    Not at all. The Minister for War and the Colonies is a village idiot called Liam Fox, but the Chancellor is more of a failed Aubrey Beardsley sketch and the Minister of Education presumably caused someone to fail art school. Pickles' shadow in the Labour Party, on the other hand, is a wicked witch named Flint.

  • At 6:50 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    It's ever so much easier and less arbitrary to simply deny all religions tax-exempt status than deciding which invisible friends are acceptable. But that's why I'm not in politics.

  • At 7:05 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    It's even more fun when one faction of one religion is the established church and thus more equal than the rest, except when it (probably) isn't.


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