The right-leaning, ex-Tory libertarian Quixotean quester Mr Guido Fawkes (GuF) really has given up trying on quality control. Today he has this story alleging that Northern Rock - now offering by far and away the best and most secure savings punt on the high street AND good winnings for city boys - have donated MASSIVE (sic) amounts of money to a think tank.
Fascinating stuff from Mr GuF. But are we really talking "donations" as in good causes or would these more properly be called "sponsorship" on which VAT may have been charged and for which there is a business purpose for the sponsor? Or "commission" or "support" as in paying for some research that you'd like to see completed as part of your Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
To help readers decide:
Nationwide sponsor League and International Football. Their logo goes on stuff, they get an agreed list of benefits such as tickets, food and drink, advertising, press stunts and photo calls, VAT due, tax deductible. And they aim to sell more of their "never better" ironclad savings accounts - 6.7% with a full guarantee.
The Nationwide Foundation (a separate entity) donate some money to a local charity to build a scout hut. They still benefit in a warm fuzzy feeling kinda way. But no VAT, no list of benefits, tax can be reclaimed using Gift Aid, no names on shirts in 8" high letters, no tickets to games, no champagne.
Nationwide Community and Environmental Affairs also support the IPPR. This is by way of commissioning and/or generally supporting the work of the organisation as part of the company's commitment to CSR.
So was this transaction between Northern Rock and IPPR warm and fuzzy with gift aid and all that? Was it even from the Company itself?
Did the mortgage bank then get a green light to manage themselves very poorly as a result of a few quid for some thinking?
Or was this commercial sponsorship or perhaps a CSR contribution from the Northern Rock Foundation?
I think probably the latter. Yet another non story from the Old GuFfer.
Fiona Ellis, Director, Northern Rock Foundation does serve on IPPR's Commission on Public Sector Reform in the North East. Northern Rock are listed among 180 supporters. But here's one for Dizzy Thinks ... the columns on the IPPR are totally unequal. Some of the supporter names in the right hand column break onto two lines. New Labour-related IT gauche at its worst.
REMEMBER REMEMBER: Guido: "Be funny, be fierce, be fearless" and let's not forget Fawkes ... be fuckwitted.