Above you'll find one Davey Spillane blowing up a storm on his uillean pipes. Back in our music promotion and management days we worked with him on a number of occasions, spookily at the time of this Atlantic Bridge song and the Out of the Air album it's taken from. You may know Spillane from his Moving Hearts days? But I digress. Today's lesson is about a very different "Atlantic Bridge". Apparently so furtive that there are no AV records of their activities responding to Googling. Pointers appreciated.
LOL's fellow Chorlton-based Labour blogger Stephen Newton has taken a look at the Tory-Through-and-Through "charity" and "think tank" of the same name as the piper's tune The Atlantic Bridge and finds them in shameless defiance of Charity Commission rules, cancelled from the Con Con Fringe under the cloud of a probe which Stephen triggered, and looking for all the world like a Sham Cam Scam. What follows is a precis cum annotation of the first part of Stephen's highly recommended investigation.
This "charity" appears to mainline on sponsorship of predominantly private and sometimes clandestine events at which senior Con Men – including shadowy cabinet mimicsters – and their rather rabid US allies may "bond" behind closed doors. Far from the disinfectant of sunlight. Never mind the democratisation of You Tube.
Their Con Con Fringe promised: "members of the Shadow Cabinet ... joined by a prominent American leader." Cancellation means these rabid types have been denied their anti-NHS anti-EU bonding opportunity. No chance now to defy Andy Burnam’s call to ban anti-NHS Tories from the Manchester event. At least, they're not now visible on the public agenda.
Stephen invites readers to: Come back at 9am tomorrow to learn about the Atlantic Bridge Travel Club: Atlantic Bridge submission to Charity Commission implies, ‘well planned, systematic corruption.’
As Stephen reports a charity must never endorse a political party or indeed play any part in party politics. So, the weaselly Atlantic Bridge Sham Cam Scam achieved charitable status in 2003 by claiming to be an education and research scheme or think tank.
TAB's Honorary Patron Margaret Thatcher glossed this "charity" as ‘a bulwark against the… people on the left’ and the Advisory Board is a who's who of Tory wingnuts in high places: shadowy limp biscuit chancellor George Osborne, former Tory leader and beer monster and shadow foreign secretary William Hague, shadow (multiple) home secretary Chris Grayling and two other shadow cabinet members. Another shadow minister, a hereditary Conservative peer and a backbench Tory MP complete the UK line-up, reports Stephen.
This may of course be different to the legal Board of Trustees of the "charity" and as this tale is told it will be interesting to see who's on that one, and whether there have been any interesting desertions or additions cf The Policy Exchange.
STOP PRESS: This is very different indeed. The Board are as follows with a mere three of them identified as "Trustees". Which in itself would be a cause for concern in terms of charitable credentials and good governance. Here's the names and you'll find the "Advisory Board" US and Uk also listed at the link:
The Charity Commission is it seems unaware of any case of a charity being identified as a sham by a court in England and Wales.
The Atlantic Bridge may be the first. And based on the parliamentary estate in Portcullis House to boot.
How very embarrassing this could be. Room 341. That translucent charities crusader Guido Fawkes and his Sunlight COPS will be onto this directly, without fear or favour.
*FOOTNOTE: Guido Fawkes / Dead Gaza Children / Advertising Dollars montage sourced from the magnificent Beau Bo D'Or. Sunlight Arsehole as rosette, clumsily added by LOL Graphics. Incidentally Stephen Newton is also responsible for the delightful Buffing the Banana with Paul Dacre Mail-watching service. Delivering the gloss without the muck.