Steve Bullock+ Your Authors @GuitarMoog New Album, One Thousand Days, out now exclusively through @EUCitizensChamp (link below). 100% of proceeds fo to @the3million. Oct. 07, 2019 2 min read + Your Authors

This has been doing the rounds on Lexit twitter.

I’m not a LibDem, and not particularly a fan of Swinson, but this is outright bullshit, and it’s almost impossible to believe that those who wrote it and headlined it don’t know that.
 https://nyebevannews.co.uk/swinson-fails-to-declare-family-company-was-given-3-5m-euro-by-the-european-union/ 

is not a “family company” of anyone. It’s an international NGO, based in Berlin, with a network spanning 100 countries.

It is hugely respected, and its research, particularly its annual Corruptions Perceptions Index, is used routinely by many, many policy makers.

I know this because when I was involved in making overseas aid and foreign policy, we used it.

 https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/organisation/faqs_on_transparency_international/9 

So that’s bullshit number 1.

Bullshit number 2 is that he “runs” Transparency International. He is Director of Policy in the UK, and the Director of Policy does not run TI or any other organisation.

TI has a governing board (which Hames is not on):
 https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/organisation/board_members/5 

TI also has an Advisory Council (which Hames is not a member of, though you’ll recognise a few other names on it as it includes a former US president (Carter) and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate).

 https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/organisation/advisory_council/0 

TI also has a secretariat, with a Managing Director (you guessed it - not Hames).
 https://www.transparency.org/whoweare/organisation/management/0 

So, that’s bullshit number 2.

Bullshit Number 3 is that TI is funded by the EU. It may well have implemented EU programmes, but, as TI UK pointed out a few days ago, it takes no view on Brexit, and is not currently implementing any EU-funded projects.

 https://www.transparency.org.uk/press-releases/transparency-international-uk-statement-independence-impartiality/ 

I went and checked, and their accounts reflect this. In 2018-19 they received no money from the EU, and in 2017-8 they received GBP 2,000

 https://www.transparency.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Transparency-International-UK-Trustees-Report-and-Financial-Statements-ye-31-March-2019.pdf 

What is really interesting though is that the accounts show that they have received funds from the UK Foreign Office and DFID, as well as from the Dutch and Swedish governments and the UN.

So the impression given that TIUK may in some way be an EU/anti-Brexit stooge, and that receiving EU funding for projects would be proof of this, is bullshit. They receive quite a lot funding from the obviously pro-Brexit UK Government.

As they say, they are neutral.

Bullshit number 4 is that there is any House of Commons rule that an MP’s spouse must declare funding that an NGO he works for received to implement a project by the EU, an organisation the UK is still a member of.

The impression being given, very deliberately, it seems, is that Swindon’s partner was being paid by the EU and that there has been wrongdoing in her not declaring that.

He was not paid by the EU or owns or runs a company that was paid by the EU. There has been no wrongdoing.

So, bullshit, but as always with bullshit, it spreads quickly among those who want to believe it.

Incidentally, despite knowing a little of Transparency International, having read their research and met with reps from them a couple of times, everything else in this thread was found on page 1 of google searches in the time it took to do the thread.

So the authors of the article either didn’t bother to do simple searches, or else did, but decided to put out misleading bullshit anyway.


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