What happened after my on-air clash with the IEA
The pressure is starting to show among the small group of opaquely-funded lobby groups supporting Liz Truss.
A clip of my appearance on LBC last night went viral due to a rather fiery exchange between myself and a representative from the opaquely-funded libertarian lobby group, the IEA.
The IEA and its family network of associated ‘think tanks’, which were all originally located in London’s Tufton Street, hit the headlines in recent weeks due to the Prime Minister’s heavy reliance on their ideas and former staffers to form her new administration.
As I pointed out in our discussion, representatives from these groups have become regular features on TV and radio discussion programmes over recent years, despite their refusal to ever declare who actually funds their work and why.
My longstanding and (I believe) reasonable position is that such groups should have to declare who pays for their work, as a matter of law.
As my fellow panelist, the Labour MP Rachael Maskell, pointed out during the programme, political parties, members of parliament and government ministers, already have to declare their funding and interests. I can’t think of a convincing reason why the same should not apply to these other hugely influential groups.
Yet rather than choose to debate this point, the IEA’s Head of Media, Emily Carver, instead interrupted me in order to suggest that my employers Byline Times were somehow being secretly funded by Max Mosley, who she described as the son of “an actual fascist.”
Aside from the fact that Mosley is now dead and unable to fund anyone, it is worth pointing out for the sake of accuracy that Mosley never provided any funding for Byline Times.
He was an early minority investor in Byline Media and its then annual festival, but was never involved in funding the newspaper. For the record Byline Times, like this newsletter, is entirely funded by our generous subscribers and supporters, rather than billionaires, or corporate sponsors.
But even if Mosley was somehow funding our newspaper from beyond the grave, the fact is that such information would be readily available to anyone seeking to find it. The same cannot be said for the IEA, or any of the groups, or individuals, who continue to secretly fund them.
Yet as interesting as this exchange was, it was what happened both before and after the cameras started rolling last night that was really revealing…
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