Anyway, Mr Henderson has written about charities. In the preferred fake academic style of Maxim he starts with a literary reference:
John Donne’s love poem 'A Valediction Forbidding Mourning' begins in a strange place. It opens with a deathbed setting and the ambiguity that surrounds a dying person’s last breath. The person is "virtuous."
Quite what this has to do with charities is a little unclear but he goes on to talk about "Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist, who was found dead in the lift of her Moscow apartment...The majority of those who know her work are mourning. Those who have read her obituary, and who dislike injustice, are touched by grief."
Again, what does this have to do with charities? Nothing, nothing whatsoever, except that the leading educationalist and hermeneutician is attempting to tug at our heart-strings. He goes on to talk about Freedom of Speech and Amnesty International. Surprisingly, he does not mention Bono.
Apropos, again, my last post, I mentioned that Maxim is a registered charity. Regardless of John Donne, Anna Politkovskaya, Amnesty International or Bono, Maxim is worried. The Charities Commission is considering an "approach for dealing with requests from charitable entities to restrict public access to certain details about them that normally would be available to the public on the Charities Register." Why should Maxim be worried? I suspect that Maxim and a lot of organisations with which it is associated, do very well out of the current rules about charities. I suspect as well that there is a lot they do not want us to know about.
I said in my last post that I would follow the money. A lot of it is about money. Charities get loads of tax benefits, principally that they do not pay income tax. This is all well and good, if you think about charities as organisations that are actively interested in the common good or particular goods: widows, orphans, small furry animals, that sort of thing. However, the legal definition of charities is very broad and quite archaic. Maxim, after all, is an an educational charity.
But, then again, Bishop Brian Tamaki's odious Destiny Church is also a charity, in fact a series of franchised charities which would give any tax lawyer a headache, albeit a very well paid one. Behind the veil of 'charity' a host of activities are going on, many of which are not in the least bit charitable. The trouble for anyone who investigates these organisations is that you hit a brick wall when the subject of your inquiry is a charity. There is a lot that any normal business would have to declare that a charity can conceal.
After many many years of work, moves are afoot to make charities a little more transparent.
No wonder the hermeneutician and his employers and their friends are worried.