The creeping hand of financial control is extending its reach

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The Guardian and other media carry reports that Camila Batmanghelidjh is being, in her opinion, forced to resign from the charity Kids Company.

The government claims that it has demanded her resignation as a condition of continuing support for the charity.

Camila Batmanghelidjh is not happy with that: it is clear that she thinks that she is being asked to resign because of outspoken comments on government cuts that have resulted in a financial crisis at the charity as it has to rapidly downsize the scale of its work.

I am quite willing to believe that there is a crisis at the charity: trying to downsize such organisations when every instinct of the charity is to do more is very hard.

I am equally quite willing to believe that the crisis is imposed by cuts.

What I am very confident of is that government does not like charities it funds criticising its policies. Their logic is that accepting funds buys silence on these issues. It is an extension of the principles of the Gagging Law. And when the current government appears particularly wedded to the idea that charity is about sending food parcels (at best) and not asking why they might be needed the presence of an articulate and well known head of a charity who is openly questioning government policy is the last thing they want.

But we should all be worried. When much government activity is undertaken by charities the message is clear that this sector is expected not to challenge the government, even if it thinks official policy is hindering the prospects of those for whom it undertakes its charitable work. The creeping hand of financial control is extending its reach, and that is a process designed to close down debate on what is needed by those most vulnerable in the UK and elsewhere.