Attack on SNP poverty strategy fed by Lib Dem/Tory think tank funded by Zombie insurance



These headlines are the predictable outcome of the publication of research from the supposedly independent think-tank, the Resolution Foundation, titled ‘Wrong Direction’ which suggests the SNP’s poverty targets, 12 years from now, will not be met. The research is based on determined, at times puzzling, negativity in the production of mere estimates by a researcher and a group strongly connected to the Lib Dems and the Tories and funded by proceeds from an insurance company accused of ‘sleazy’ practice where ‘pensioners are the losers.’

The report does go on to blame UK austerity for much of the projected increase but by then the title and the headline claims have fed the media with just what they want. The author is familiar with mediated politics and so must have known what would happen. Details below.

This is the report:


The key findings including the third, at which point BBC investigators stopped, drooling excitedly:


‘Although uncertain?’

An early graph and comments caused this researcher to wonder what is going on here:


Maybe I’m being thick but at the last point when we have actual data, 2015-2016, poverty had fallen to 23% and quite steeply too from 27%. From that point on, they predict an almost 90 degree turn upward, based on their estimates, predictions, guesses. Remind me, are economists known for their ability to predict the future? Howe did they do with the crash in 2008? How, on earth, can they be so sure that current and future devolved powers will not continue to eat away at poverty? Did they consider the possible transformation in control of the economy which might result from gaining independence or is that not in their mindset to imagine? Is that because they are aligned with the worldview at the softer end of Conservatism but still, crucially, wedded to the Union? Let’s find out. First who is the author and where has he been:


Centre Forum, remember them for later but we all know what ‘centre’ means in UK politics – Blair, Cameron, neoliberal economics. Adam, we see below, has no problem associating with, writing for, Tories:


The think tank, Centre Reform, was founded in 1998 and became Centre Forum in 2005. In 2016 it became the Education Policy Institute, headed up by David Laws. Remember him?



That’s nice, a Lib Dem popular with the Tories. Let’s get him to lead an independent think-tank. Adam has moved to the Resolution Foundation. Who are they? Here’s their Executive Chair:


They made 1.5 billion in donations in 2017 but no details of the sources are published.


‘The largest single donation was £60.75m which went to the Gatsby Charitable Foundation from Lord Sainsbury, followed by £42.88m from Sir Clive Cowdery to the Resolution Foundation’.

What does Cowdery do?

‘Clive Cowdery made his fortune selling on ‘zombie’ insurance funds. Now the entrepreneur is targeting distressed financial companies.’

‘The whole business of buying up ‘zombie’ insurance funds, refurbishing them and selling them on for vast profits is sleazy enough and a better regulator than the Financial Services Authority should never have allowed this to happen. In fact, it ought to be far more cautious about the similar game being played with pension funds. The real losers in both these cases are the policyholders and the pensioners whose life savings are passed around like junk at a car boot sale.’

Well, I’m reassured now.





8 thoughts on “Attack on SNP poverty strategy fed by Lib Dem/Tory think tank funded by Zombie insurance

  1. William Henderson March 23, 2019 / 10:26 am

    Whatever has happened to trust as a basis for civilised society?

    How many people are out there operating this web of deceit and deception in support of greed and a lust for power?

    Is psychopathy now the norm?

    Questions, questions…….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brian Powell March 23, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    If they can’t get any negative stories for now, then make some up for the future. Every BBC reporter’s handbook.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Alasdair Macdonald March 23, 2019 / 4:35 pm

    Can anyone tell me why David Laws was not prosecuted, while several other MPs were and some, indeed, served time in jail?


      • Alasdair Macdonald March 25, 2019 / 9:07 am

        I am sure that was a main factor. Mr Laws was the LibDem whose philosophy was comfortably within the range held by the bulk of the Tories. He was probably ‘drier’ than Mr David Cameron. However, I think, too, that he had gone to the ‘right kind’ of school and university. I remember an article at the time, sympathetic to and excusing of his criminal action, that he had done it in such a covert way, because he ‘did not want his mother to find out that he was gay and feared that this would have distressed her’. Homosexual acts between consenting adults were decriminalised during the 1960s and Mr Laws’ misdeeds were perpetrated more than 40 years later. Although ‘gay’ men still suffer abuse the general ethos is hugely more accepting of a range of sexualities.

        It was, on a much smaller scale, a parallel with the establishment attitude to Mr Jeremy Thorpe’s muderous intentions. It was about money – a sordid business to a class which routinely deals in millions – and about a trifling sum of around £70 000, less than what one would spend on a skiing holiday in Klostermann, Gstaad or Kitzbuehl.

        The drunkard and oaf, Mr Jim Devine was put a way because of a few thousand pounds. He deserved to be, of course, but the contempt spewed on him by the media was the nastiness of the class war, which is waged day and daily by the media


  4. Alasdair Macdonald March 25, 2019 / 9:10 am

    Klostermann???? Klosters – why did autocorrect make that change?


  5. sam March 25, 2019 / 5:16 pm

    CH 3 of the ONS review of the long run rates of relative poverty in UK households since 1961 shows that rate of poverty in 1961 was 13%. This rose sharply in the 1980s and 90s to peaks of 25%. After 1997 the poverty rates declined gently to 22% where it is now. The rise in poverty was caused by Thatcherism and coincided with Scotland’s health inequalities also rising sharply.

    The ONS statistics are here p15 House of Commons Library Briefing Paper, Number 7096.

    Child poverty was and is caused by policies of the UK government.

    The effects of Thatcherism on rising income inequality, poverty and health inequalities can be found here

    Click to access 007970850fe7951c3aa4ca4e81891f23cb90.pdf

    “The rises in cause-specific mortalities such as alcohol- and drug-related deaths, suicide and violence, and the widening health inequalities, occurred during the same time period in which unemployment, poverty and income inequality all rose. The antecedents of these types of cause-specific mortality, and of health inequalities, are well-explored in the literature; reviews of this evidence highlight the importance of social and economic determinants of health (79). Given what we know about the impact of Thatcher’s neoliberal reforms on the social and economic landscape of Britain, it seems clear that Thatcher’s legacy includes the unnecessary and unjust premature death of many British citizens, together with a substantial and continuing
    burden of suffering and loss of well-being.”

    The Scottish government has limited powers to tackle child poverty. It controls welfare spending amounting to about 15% and has little control over the economy. Control of these powers are needed to tackle inequalities of all kinds, particularly income and health inequalities


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