Robert Whelan

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Robert George Whelan (born 31 December 1951) is a long time conservative activist and think tank operative. He was the original Deputy Director of the right-wing think-tank Civitas. He is Managing Director of the New Model School Company, set up by supporters of Civitas in 2003 to create a network of low-cost independent schools. Previously he was the Assistant Director of the IEA Health and Welfare Unit and from 2000-04 was Director of the Family Education Trust (the moral conservative pressure group formerly known as Family and Youth Concern).[1]

Whelan is editorial director at Civitas and a visiting fellow at the University of Derby’s Centre for Educational Research.

Advocating extreme privatisation

In 1996 Whelan wrote an article in the Institute of Economic Affairs's journal Economic Affairs suggesting that multi-national corporations should be invited to bid for the right to run countries in Africa. According to the Press Association Whelan proposed that corporations should be granted a lease to run a country for around 21 years, claiming that they would have an interest in establishing the conditions necessary for economic growth, such as national security and law and order, as this would increase tax revenues. He was quoted as saying: 'Foreign aid has created too many wealthy dictators for us to have any very high expectations of what can be achieved by making cash grants to Africa. The only answer would be to reform the way in which African countries are governed.' [2]


  • Robert Whelan, Choices in Childbearing: When Does Family Planning Become Population Control? (London: Committee on Population and the Economy, 1992).
  • Whelan, Robert, Whose Choice: Population Controllers' or Yours?, London: Committee on Population and the Economy 1992 (36 pp.)
  • Robert Whelan, Broken Homes and Battered Children: A Study of the Relationship Between Child Abuse and Family Type, Family Education Trust, Oxford, United Kingdom, 1994.
  • The Corrosion of Charity (1996);
  • Involuntary Action: How Voluntary is the 'Voluntary' Sector? (1999);
  • Octavia Hill’s Letters to Fellow-Workers, 1872-1911, co-edited with Anne Anderson (2005);
  • The Corruption of the Curriculum (ed.) (2007).



  1. About Us, Civitas, accessed 3 June 2009.
  2. Bob Newton, 'PRIVATISING AFRICA - THINK TANK MAN'S SHAKE-UP PLAN', Press Association, 27 September 1996
  3. Annual General Meeting & Conference - 12 June 2004, Family Education Trust, Bulletin No. 116 Summer 2004, acc March 2012
  4. 4.0 4.1 Spectrum: Who's who in the drive for a moral resurgence The Times (London) January 5 1987, Monday SECTION: Issue 62657.
  5. Barbara Lamb A lesson to handle with care The Times September 26, 1990, Wednesday, Features.
  6. Robert Whelan Overpopulation Is Not to Blame The Washington Post October 17, 1988, Monday, Final Edition SECTION: EDITORIAL; PAGE A14; LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  7. Robert Whelan A state struggling to cope with 77 million people, Daily Telegraph, 12:01AM BST 28 Aug 2008
  8. TOBY YOUNG LITTLE BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!; There is a spate of eco-friendly cartoons. Why? 'Children are formidable evangelists for a green world, making adults think,' says Jonathon Porritt. The Guardian (London) August 14, 1992 THE GUARDIAN FEATURES PAGE; Pg. 27
  9. Robert Whelan], Battle of Ideas, 2007, acc March 2012
  10. 'Moralising the curriculum':The battle for children’s minds, Battle of Ideas, Sunday 28 October 2007