The Mayor Of Liverpool’s Murky Fundraising Ball Should Not Pass Without Scrutiny

liverpool-mayorThe James Bulger Memorial Trust are a good example of what charities should be like.  Born out of tragic events, they have raised thousands for disadvantaged youth in the city of Liverpool and they deserve support.

The charity have recently been in the press after the Merseyside Love Activists, a group of anti-austerity protesters, dirupted what has been called a joint fundraising ball for the James Bulger Trust and the current Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson.  According to the Love Activists they did not know that this evening was partly being held to raise money for charity and this was a spontaneous protest, initiated by local cabbies, at which they hoped to confront the Mayor over growing homelessness in Liverpool.

Whilst accounts of the night vary, there is no doubt the disruption caused distress to the Bulger family and the Love Activists are right to have issued a wholehearted apology.  This should not take away from the fantastic work the Love Activists themselves have done supporting homeless people in Liverpool.  As clumsy as this intervention was, there is no doubt that it was an honest mistake.

However there is one more aspect to this incident which cannot be ignored because it cuts right through to the Mayor of Liverpool’s moral and financial integrity. And that is the fact that the financial arrangements for this event are so murky that it probably should never have taken place at all.

According to an advertisement for the night on Joe Anderson’s website, this event was a business dinner and charity auction with money raised “split between local charities and Mayor Anderson’s campaign fund.” Further down the page the James Bulger Memorial Trust are named as a nominated charity. It is unclear from this page, which was used to both sell tickets and solicit sponsorship for the event, exactly how much money was going to Anderson and how much to the trust or whether they were the only charity to benefit. Clearly the use of the trust’s name and logo would have been one deciding factor in whether someone bought a ticket. To put what Anderson did in context, this is a little like a chocolate bar company saying if you buy our product we’ll give some of the money to charities, but not saying how much, or even being clear about which charities. It is without doubt unethical. It is thoroughly dishonest. And, whilst the situation is complex, it is quite probably illegal.

How much money the evening raised in total is unknown, although local media reported that the charity received £21,000.  Whether this came from solely the charity auction, a cut of the ticket prices, or some of the sponsorship money, is unclear.  Details of sponsorship packages on Joe Anderson’s website suggest the event had attracted at least three silver sponsors, priced at £7500 each and one gold sponsor who had given an unspecified sum.  Along with a drinks sponsor, charity auction and ticket sales it appears that Anderson’s campaign also received a tidy sum from this charity-themed event.

The truth is that joint fundraising events are a legal minefield. It is possible that Anderson would be viewed as acting as a commercial partner under the law and this would mean a whole host of fundraising regulations come into play. These would include a requirement to provide a clear statement showing the exact percentage of the money raised that would go to the charity. There is no such information on Anderson’s website.

In addition to this there are strict rules to prevent unscrupulous politicians from taking advantage of public goodwill towards charities. And when it comes to raising money then charity law is clear, registered charities and political parties or individuals should not take part in joint fundraising events. The Charity Commission themselves issued guidelines on this (pdf) after an investigation found that The Prince’s Trust had broken charity law after a joint fundraising event held with a Tory Party campaign group.  According to the Commission:

“Joint fundraising ventures with political organisations pose fundamental risks to a charity’s reputation and to public perception of its independence from political parties.  Entering into a joint fundraising venture with a political party will almost certainly result in the charity giving support to that party, politician or political candidate.  This would breach charity law and could, in damaging the charity’s reputation, jeopardise its future ability to fundraise and further its charitable purpose.”

Whether the Mayor of Liverpool knew about these regulations, and ignored them, or was ignorant of the law, makes little difference.  Elected officials should be meticulous in informing their constituents how they raise money and what it is to be used for.  Perhaps most despicably, it would be the James Bulger Foundation who would face any potential legal problems were the Charity Commission to investigate this event. Yet it is Anderson to blame, this is clearly his initiative – there is no mention of the Mayor’s fundraising dinner on the charity’s website.

It was a mistake for the Love Activists to disrupt the evening, and they are right to have apologised to the Bulger family.  But they acted with a decent, if on this occasion misguided, intent – to confront the Mayor about the homelessness crisis emerging in Liverpool.  Joe Anderson however, who is currently milking the events of Friday night for all they are worth, is only fucking in it for himself.  To raise money for his own political campaign on the back of a well loved local charity – and potentially put that charity at risk – is about as low as a politician can stoop.

Join me on facebook or follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

36 responses to “The Mayor Of Liverpool’s Murky Fundraising Ball Should Not Pass Without Scrutiny

  1. Weaponising the memory of a murdered child to gain political mileage, shame on Anderson
    The responses to the article in the Liverpool Echo are interesting to say the least

  2. Sick Britain makes me Despair

  3. overburdenddonkey

    association to a good cause to provide credentials and income happens widely these days….it’s becomes normalized, it’s particularly despicable in this case and when charities latch onto groups/people that are victims of CSA/CA and/or other forms of entirely curable, if not entirely preventable, types of human misery…ie food poverty is easy to cure with food…

  4. Hate how this country has turned into a hell because a few spoilt rich wankers wanting more and then some.

  5. jeanette traynor

    I love you Jonnyvoid who ever you are. I read everything you write and agree with it all. This piece on Joe Anderson fundraiser is spot on and you are correct in stating the legal position in relation to charities and fundraising – political campaigning or association with it is a no go area for charities and how dare he use the event to raise money for himself. Would he have participated if all the money went solely to the charities? It seems so obviously wrong, it makes you wonder why he would do it in the first place – at least the publicity has brought this point across and thank you Jonnie Void for highlighting it. Is there anything you don’t know about?

  6. Wirral In It Together

    Mayor Anderson has “form”, of the most despicable kind. He’s been spending tens of thousands in public money getting his highly paid City solicitors to try and manage their reputation and keep the lid on a case of hideous and violent abuse of an autistic man, “The Mainman”, roughly two years ago. He even went onto Radio Merseyside to decry The Mainman’s mother and brand her a ‘malcontent’. It’s all here:

  7. Wirral In It Together

    Reblogged this on Wirral In It Together and commented:
    Mayor Anderson has “form”, of the most despicable kind. He’s been spending tens of thousands in public money getting his highly paid City solicitors to try and manage their reputation and keep the lid on a case of hideous and violent abuse of an autistic man, “The Mainman”, roughly two years ago. He even went onto Radio Merseyside to decry The Mainman’s mother and brand her a ‘malcontent’. It’s all here:

  8. Let`s have the sponsorship logo on the grave head stone. Political Death Porn. Political porn is the order of the day.

    Death sponsored by Maximus & the DWP.


  10. Let`s get back to sponsoring the 10,000 DWP Deaths.

  11. It`s like flogging a dead horse which politics is.

  12. Politics is sex & scandal cover ups.

  13. At least I ain`t been banned from Russia !!!!

  14. Vivian Jones – Institutionalize Racism (GLOBAL DOMINATION)

  15. No, the activists are muppets, the slimmest bit of research shows that the Bulger charity was involved, no amount of excuses will take away that kind of incompetence…these are people essentially saying the government is being irresponsible in its austerity measures -which it is whilst being negligently irresponsible themselves…I really hope they are proud of themselves…

    It is sickening, it is this kind of slapdash action that gives the enemy -the Tory government- ammunition when they feel the wont to criticise any dissent of their policies…this stupidity does harm the whole anti-austerity movement…

    They are as bad as the Tories, undertaking ideological actions without fully assessing what the outcomes are.

    Well done, keep the Tory vote solid.

    • overburdenddonkey

      are you saying had they known they shouldn’t have made a protest…?

    • Obviously do not want to offend but there is a serious problem when politics is shielded by charities and exaggerated sentimentality. The focussing of the public emotion on particular events by perpetual proxy outrage is not healthy for a democracy or the outrage mongers.

  16. Another smear on Activist Campaigns – last week it was Carswell – before the election it was Farage – I think the media are trying to sway people to go against the activists. Does austerity just affect the working class, disabled and unemployed people? Why not start with cutting these Mayor jobs – after all austerity cuts should affect everyone in the country. Of course this is a set up by this Mayor from Liverpool – can the Charity legally accept part of the cash raised? Charities and Politics do not mix and that is the reason why I advocate to anyone being sent on a MWP with a Charity to seek advice from the Charity Regulatory Body within the location the charity is based. Every city seems to have a Mayor costing the Taxpayer money – more money than the benefit claimants. I would rather see benefits paid to ordinary people who are entitled to these benefits and not to some person who puts on robes every once in a while and has the title of Mayor. From what I have read about the Love Activists there is no way they would have protested against the Charity set up in remembrance of this little boy.

  17. What about their second jobs – Stephen McPartland – £42,000 from Village ? advertising dream mattresses quoting the Bedroom Tax. They should have one job and nothing else.

  18. GR posts are deleted.!!! BILL GUNNYEON has asked for all bad publicity to be removed !!!


    49m ago
    8 9

    What has the Minister got to say about this: ‘UK Welfare Reform Deaths ~ Updated List ~ October 21st 2014’

    And this?

    ‘The DWP have launched a last minute appeal against an order by the Information Commissioner that they must publish controversial claimant death statistics. There is now a strong possibility that the figures will never be published.’

  20. Anderson has recently lost this case too Johnny, make your own mind up whether he’s just another pig with his nose in the trough.
    The evidence would suggest yes he is!!

  21. The Corporate (fascsist) State red in tooth and claw. I can’t see this cesspit of a government be in power for a full term. The first cold snap next winter could see an insurrection against now-armed police.

  22. overburdenddonkey

    update; re status northmost, northbritain, scotlandshire, island’s debarcles….

  23. iain duncan smith


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