Before getting round to their director, Polly Mackenzie, let’s start with Demos.
Their Twitter Bio
The last bit, “Based in London”, and it’s name, “Demos”, might be the only true parts of that bio line.
Think tank? Well, I’ve a couple of other posts related to their thinking. I’m not impressed. These were about a really sloppy piece on the Victoria Derbyshire, on the BBC News channel, and Carl Miller, of Demos, and their dubious ‘research’ milking the ‘Islamophobia’ craze.
Britain’s leading independent cross-party think tank? Really? Independent and Cross Party?
Well, they have done work for more than one party, but to say they are cross-party is a bit of a stretch. Independent? Not of thought.
From the Wiki page:
Demos was founded in 1993 by former Marxism Today editor Martin Jacques, and Geoff Mulgan, who became its first director.
In the run-up to the 1997 general election it was seen as being close to the Labour Party, in particular its then leader Tony Blair.
On 9 August 2006, in a speech at a Demos conference, British Home Secretary Dr John Reid stated that Britons ‘may have to modify their notion of freedom’, as a result of his plans, claiming that freedom is ‘misused and abused by terrorists.’
Take a look at their 2018 accounts, here.
And, after you’ve tried to work out the flow of money in and out, go to page 30 for some of their funders.
The Open Society Foundation. And who are they? You want to know what George Soros funds? Demos is one of his pets. Independent?
Don’t like the George Soros conspiracy theories? OK, let’s try another.
The Politics and Economics Research Trust. Did you know this report was produced by Charity Commission for England and Wales?
You can read more here: Politics and Economics Research Trust: case report
And here: Charity alleged to have illegally funded Brexit campaign groups – Questions over grants given by the Politics and Economics Research Trust to anti-EU groups, with potential for tax relief.
I can’t pretend to know everything Demos get up to, but to me, and having seen the work of the fabulous Carl Miller, it looks like a bunch of people that can’t get proper jobs so they sell their souls to anyone that will buy them and enjoy playing around in the dubious charity money-go-round, and call the work ‘research’.
So, what about their director, Polly Mackenzie? How much thinking does this head of a think tank do? More to the point, what’s the quality of this thinking?
Polly Mackenzie joined Demos as the new Director in January 2018. She previously worked for Nick Clegg from 2006 to 2015, helping to write the 2010 Coalition Agreement, and served as Director of Policy to the Deputy Prime Minister from 2010-15
Well, that didn’t go too well did it.
Just curious, but did Polly have anything to with forming Nick Clegg’s opinions on the EU. Yes, I know her time with him was up to 2015, before Brexit EU Ref, but, well, ideas aren’t formed over night, are they, and when Nick Clegg laid into Nigel Farage about how saying there would be an EU Army was a dangerous fantasy, Nifty Nick had buggered off to Facebook just before Merkel and significant EU figures started telling us that not only was the EU starting an EU Army, but political and military fusion ought to be a future goal.
Anyway, whatever contribution Polly made towards Nicky Know Nothing’s demise, at least she is able to put her own thoughts down. Sadly, it doesn’t get any better.
Case 1 – Letting Children Vote – And Proxy Parental Votes
This is Polly’s recent piece in Unheard …
What if we gave children a vote? – The electoral system is inherently biased towards the 83% of the population who are over 18
Here are some of Polly’s bright ideas:
- Children 10 and above should be able to vote. How hard is it for a ten year old to make a cross in the right place on a piece of paper?
- Children under 10 shouldn’t be able to vote (come on, Polly’s not mad, you know). Instead, their parents should be able to cast a proxy vote on behalf of the infant (I presume only one parent gets to vote for each child, but which one? Not sure Polly has think-tanked this through).
You can read the delusional reasoning yourself. But here, for Polly’s benefit, are some objections.
The notion of a proxy vote is entirely counter to the principle of one-person-one-vote. Large families, religious conservative families, would in fact give multiple votes to the parents, as proxies. To say that such proxy voting parents were casting a vote for the children themselves is delusional. They would be casing a vote for themselves and their of how the world should be.
Childless people will be disenfranchised, because parents get 2 or more times their vote.
As for children themselves voting, there are several reasons why they should not, not least of which are the following.
We have limits on parent power. Parents cannot abuse their children. An anathema to this is the indoctrination of children into political and religious ideologies. We are not raising independently minded adults, but pre-programmed adults. It takes a lot of learning to realise the extent to which you’ve been indoctrinated, and some never get out of it. Jess Phillips, Labour MP, describes how she was taught a visceral hatred of Tories. The indoctrination of children into our main religious cults is a disgrace to civil society. Until both political and religious indoctrination are criminalised, and a rounded education in reason and science becomes the standard, we will not be producing independent minded rational adults, but victims and perpetrators of the tribal party and religious politics we have today.
Young teenagers are naturally rebellious, and are wide open to the political indoctrination by extremists. Labour’s Momentum know this – Corbyn’s Kids is not a neutral educational programme but a mind programming school. Many young people were so easily indoctrinated into extreme Islam, and left home to join ISIS. The Orthodox Jewish communities keep a tight control of their children, as do Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Roman Catholics, and even ‘moderate’ Islam.
Read Poly’s article. But just for fun, here’s a sample of Polly’s think-tanking.
“Will you let them drink and smoke, too?” – This is usually the first response I get when I propose enfranchising all citizens under the age of 18. The answer is, obviously, no. We have laws that prevent young people from drinking and smoking because these things are harmful. voting, by contrast, is not harmful; drawing an X on a ballot paper is substantially less dangerous than inhaling toxic smoke into your lungs.”
What? So, coerced voting of ten year olds, indoctrinated ten year olds, isn’t a danger? To society, and the better judgement of those children that have to live in the world they were coerced into voting for?
Polly, putting an unlit cigarette in a child’s hands and to a child’s lips is no more dangerous than putting a pencil in the mouth after drawing a cross on a piece of paper. However, to the child personally, the former could have longer term implications for the individual, if they were coerced to light it; but the latter could cause a far wider danger to themselves and society, if they were coerced to vote a particular way.
There are now many people that were indoctrinated into voting Labour – “I’m a life long Labour supporter.” But many such supporters are overcoming their own indoctrination because they can see before their eyes how Corbyn and Communist McDonnell are changing the party, and they have figured out that in their opinion they don’t like it. The same has been true of may Conservative voters. Many adults learn to change their minds for themselves.
Children cannot. Do you imagine a ten year old having a conversation about the subtleties of Labour’s Socialism, McDonnell’s Communism, the entryism that’s been going on in the Labour Party for generations? No. They won’t even take an arbitrary lucky dip vote. Their parents will coerce them into voting for the parent’s preference.
And all the above doesn’t even begin to take into account the actual issues of brain development and maturity.
We should be worried about the indoctrinating abuse of children and their use in political vote rigging only somewhat less than psychological child abuse.
No, children should not be allowed to vote, and their parents should definitely NOT get extra votes because they have kids.
This piece by Mackenzie is idiotic. Yet she’s the director of Demos? And Carl Pilkington, sorry, Carl Miller (apologies to Carl Pilkington) is their Research Director, Centre for the Analysis of Social Media? Would you trust ANY of their output?
I can see why conspiracy theorists look to Soros. Throwing money at this bunch of clowns is top rate trolling.
Case 2 – Free Stuff Utopian Dreams
It was at this point I thought I’d have a look at Polly on Twitter. Interesting. Following what was obviously a quick lesson in economics by Labour’s John McDonnell’s free stuff promises, Polly gave it a critical eye.
Tweet – Nationalising Openreach is perfectly plausible. But why should broadband be free and not – for example – water, food, heating, clothes, all of which are rather more essential to the human condition.
You’d think Demos might have a director that have some feel for economics. Apparently not.
But, not to worry, Utopia is within reach for Polly …
Which manifesto? Only given Polly’s eagerness to indoctrinate voting children there are several to choose from.
So, for Polly’s benefit, what’s wrong with free stuff, state control and the removal of wages?
- Eventually, workers don’t need money because everything is free.
- But workers are then dependent on the state alone.
- Result: oppression of workers that can have no independent means of survival so must comply with the state.
- Check out some history. Hint: Soviet Union and its oppressed satellites; Moa’s China. The brutality of the party and the Dear Leader.
- Political Utopias are no better than religious fantasies – they are used to control people.