Sep 15 2011

Think Tanks: new City of London details

Posted by: Nick Shaxson in: Thoughts

Just had this email from Dr. Peter Latham,the author of The State & Local Government: Towards a new basis for local democracy and the defeat of big business control. (Links added by me.)

“I noticed that you state that ‘further breakdown would be welcome’ and ask has the City ‘ever funded free market think tanks, for example’.

The answer to your question is Yes. For, as I show  in Chapter 6  of my book: the big business-funded New Local Government Network (NLGN) is the main group influencing New Labour’s ‘local governance’ project. NLGN – which, according to Labour’s National Executive Committee member and Vice-Chair of the Local Government Association Sir Jeremy Beecham, is ‘the provisional wing of the consulting and contracting sector’ – was established in 1996 by a small group of senior Blairite figures in local government.

Moreover, the City of London Corporation has been one of the NLGN’s ‘corporate partners’ since 1996: and its political adviser is Jack Cunningham – the former New Labour minister  – now Baron Cunningham of Felling in the County of Tyne and Wear.  On 22 July 2009 a House of Lords disciplinary panel, after 15 months’ investigation, decided he was not required to declare in a public register his paid work for the City of London Corporation. Cunningham receives £36,000 a year for working an estimated three hours a week (R. Evans, ‘Former cabinet minister Lord Cunningham absolved in sleaze inquiry’, The Guardian, 23 July 2009).”

A detail, really, but an important one, which should resonate with readers of Treasure Islands.

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