The Times wants charities to stop campaigning. Watch out the National Trust, RSPB and Cancer Research: that includes you

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These are two headlines from a Times email this morning:

The first is, admittedly, an anti-Momentum piece. The second includes this:Of course I am happy for better regulation to prevent abuse. I'd start with that at Westminster and move on from there. Include charities by all means. Who could say no?

But what has that to do with regulation of charities' right to express an opinion?

Is the National Trust to be denied a voice on conservation?

Or the RSPB one on conservation?

And should Cancer Research be denied the right to talk about the resources required to tackle that disease?

Must children's charities no longer call for better regulation?

Or education charities be told they cannot express an opinion on curriculum reform?

Because all of those lobby, extensively. As do many more charities on many other issues.

Is that what we really want?

Do we really think that because some people have undoubtedly behaved wholly unacceptably and maybe illegally that the whole charity sector should be silenced?

And if so, where does this end? With the end of free speech? That would be the inevitable consequence.