Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Vexatious Statement

Further to the stooshie caused by the discovery that the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust had granted the lying MP and former Secretary of State for Scotland, Alastair Carmichael £34,000 towards his legal fees, we now discover in the response statement from JRRT, that they are intent on giving him a further £16,000, bringing their contribution up to £50,000.

Following is their statement in full.

JRRT Statement

Alistair Carmichael MP
Following media and public interest in our recent grant to Alistair Carmichael MP, the Trust has released the following statement:
Thanks to the perversities of the UK’s electoral system the 50% of Scottish voters
who supported unionist parties at the General Election are represented by only three
MPs. Had nationalists succeeded in their case against Alistair Carmichael, they would
have worsened further the current misrepresentation of Scottish voters’ views in
Parliament. Worse still, the effect on case law would have been to subject many
more legitimately elected Members of Parliament to the risk of personal bankruptcy
in defending themselves in court against vexatious and highly political claims

Before I proceed to analyse this statement, let me remind you from my article yesterday, that 5 of the 7 current directors of this trust are well known Liberal Democrats, including the Liberal Democrat party president. It may well even be a full house,as I have not been able to confirm the remaining 2’s political affiliations.

The perversities of the UK electoral system which they speak of, suited the Liberal Democrats very well, by enabling them to be part of the toxic coalition. The fact that their referendum for a slightly less perverse AV system failed is no reason to support Carmichael or anyone else, should members of the public in the MPs constituency  feel they have been conned.

The SNP in particular have suffered at the hands of the system for decades,and were grossly unrepresented in Westminster because of it. Had it been an SNP secretary of state who had behaved like Carmichael had done and been taken to court, would they have given them a grant? No, of course not, as they go on to say later that they have previously given grants to all 3 major parties (not the SNP obviously,as they only regard Labour, Tory and Lib Dems,and all Unionists, as major parties)

Had nationalists succeeded in their case against Alistair Carmichael, they would
have worsened further the current misrepresentation of Scottish voters’ views in

Those that brought the case were 4 ordinary members of the public,and at potentially catastrophic financial risk to themselves, with no political prompting from any Nationalist party, and no financial support from any party or political Front organisation, such as the JRRT now admit to being for the Lib Dems.
Their major complaint it seems, Is that the Unionists are now unrepresented with only 3 MPs between them….Well tough luck….Unionists make the rules for Westminster, and can hardly complain if they get trounced on their own park. And never before have any of these so called main partys ever achieved such an overwhelming victory as the SNP has… Nor has any countries electorate within the Westminster system ever achieved anywhere near even 50% of the votes cast,as the SNP did.
The SNP achieved 50% of the votes cast, The Torys,Labour and Lib Dems combined could only achieve 47.7%   A very clear mandate from Scotland.
And while we are at misrepresentation….Since when if we are to be fair, did the Torys last have a mandate to rule over Scotland….but we have to suck it up.
I agree with them that their is a misrepresentation of Scottish views in Parliament…and that is Scots representation, even if every Scots MP was every SNP MP, we are hugely out numbered and can easily be voted down at every turn, and now we will never see another Scots PM because they cannot vote in all votes, which is EVEL , but English MPs can vote down Scottish questions.

Worse still, the effect on case law would have been to subject many
more legitimately elected Members of Parliament to the risk of personal bankruptcy
in defending themselves in court against vexatious and highly political claims”

Vexatious and highly political claims they say!

I guess they never read the Law Lords Judgement, that the claimants had been right in 2 out of the 3 points of law, and only failed narrowly to absolutely prove their point on the third.
To be vexatious, their case would have had to be entirely without merit, which was decidedly not the case here.. Indeed the Law Lords called Carmichael in their legal speak, and lying conniving sleekit toad.
If anyone is being vexatious, it is the JRRT with this statement.

They go on to say the following:

Background Q&A
“Is this the only grant the Trust has made in 2016?
No. And the grant made to Alistair Carmichael constitutes less than 5% of the £1.2m the Trust will make available to support political campaigns during 2016. An initial advance of £34,000 was made to Alistair Carmichael in January 2016, with a final further award of £16,000 agreed in March once final liabilities in the case were known.”

And entirely against their so called rules!
This from their website…..

What we don’t fund

We are not a charitable funder and we will not accept unsolicited applications from charities, or for work which may be funded from charitable sources.We do not fund the following:-

  • Unsolicited applications from registered charities.
  • Unsolicited applications for work which may be funded from charitable sources.
  • Campaigns outside the UK.
  • Local campaigns without national impact.
  • General appeals.
  • Academic research.
  • Work which we believe should be funded from statutory sources, or which has been in the recent past.
  • Legal fees.
  • Administrative or other core costs of party organisations.
  • Personal support of individuals in need
  • Educational bursaries
  • Travel & adventure projects
  • Building, buying or repairing properties
  • Business development or job creation.

    So let me see….. No grants for Legal fees!
    NO grants for personal support of Individuals in need!

What are the Trust’s priorities?
The vast majority of our funds go to relatively small groups who campaign for political reform, to uphold civil liberties, protect personal privacy and promote human rights.
“What is the relationship between the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust and the other JosephRowntree organisations?
While we share a founder, the Reform Trust’s Board, governance, and priorities are completely separate from those of the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust and Joseph Rowntree Foundation.”

Lying gits….it must be catching from Carmichael or Lib Dems are duplicitous.
Again from their own website…. Completely separate my bahookie!

The JRSST Charitable Trust

(Charity Registration No. 247498)

was endowed by The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Limited and only gives charitable grants in areas closely related to the work of the main Trust.  All Directors of The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd are also trustees of The JRSST Charitable Trust.  Grants made are listed on the grants awarded page. Please note that we do not accept unsolicited applications to The JRSST Charitable Trust.”

Is the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust a charity?
No. Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust is a limited company, which pays corporation tax, and was setup by Joseph Rowntree with the express intention that it should act beyond the limits of charitable activity.
“Where does Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust’s money come from?
The original endowment by Joseph Rowntree is now invested in an equity portfolio and in UK property. The Trust pays UK corporation tax on its income and capital gains.”

But funds passed onto the charity for quasi political purposes wont, will it?

“Does the Trust support the Liberal Democrats?
The Trust has made grants to individuals and organisations within all three major parties. Over many decades, successive Boards of Directors have, however, believed in the importance of strengthening the one political party that has most consistently promoted democratic reform and defended civil liberties in Britain – causes that are at the very heart of the Trust’s purpose.”

The short answer here is YES! But they avoid directly answering their own question, and go on a ramble instead.

And as for their Aims…. Well have a look at what they are supposed to be.

Our Aims

The Trust seeks to:

  • correct imbalances of power, supporting the voice of the individual, the small and weak where that voice is stifled by the group, the big and strong;
  • strengthen the hand of individuals, groups and organisations who are striving for reform, speaking truth to power and challenging the systems that hinder justice;
  • address the underlying causes of weakness and injustice in the body politic rather than remedying its superficial manifestations;
  • foster creative intervention by anticipating and brokering change within the body politic;
  • support a politically plural society by helping to correct the financial imbalance between the major parties;
  • assist political liberals from all the major parties in the UK to promote new liberal ideas and policies.”

    According to points 1-3 of their main aims…..have they not ripped them up by supporting Carmichael? Surely but surely, according to these, they should have been donating to the Orkney 4

I know who I think has been vexatious….and my finger is pointing straight back at them!



About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
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5 Responses to Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Vexatious Statement

  1. Born Optimist says:

    a) I agree with your final remarks entirely.. If this money was deserved by any individuals, it was the Orkney Four, not Carmichael.
    b) After the unethical behaviour of the three unionist parties in the Indy Referendum I resolved never to vote for any of their candidates ever again, regardless of the circumstances. This chicanery simply strengthens that resolve though, as I live in England, it is sometimes difficult to find decent alternatives willing to confront the major parties.

  2. I notice that they say they will not fund legal fees. I belive that is exactly what they have done as they state that the “grant” is specifically because of the case against the liar.

  3. Neil Ralley says:

    Would it be fair to assume that this money is taxable? Presumably someone will be ensuring that it is reported to the Inland Revenue…..

  4. OfMen and Markets surely makes the comment They will not fund legal fees. Are they not acting in breach of their trust.Is that not misappropriation of funds. Should the police not be told?

    • I would think that it is the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which should be inspecting originally, even though they claim not to be attached to them. If indeed the Foundation is telling the truth on the matter, they still control the fund, and how it is used, and if it is being abused, they can cut off the money flow to them.

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