Centre for Scottish Public Policy

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According to its website The Centre for Scottish Public Policy 'is an independent think-tank formerly known as the John Wheatley Centre, established to provide a focus for imaginative and innovative policy debate on the key issues facing Scotland.'

According to Hartwig Pautz 'In summer 2004, Ross Martin, a former Labour Councillor and failed Labour-candidate for a seat in the Scottish Parliament in 1999... was appointed Executive Director. He followed Gerry Hassan, who was previously Head of Communications at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry lobby group (SCDI), and who is now working with think-tank Demos on the ‘scenario-building’ project Scotland 202038. Prior to his new position at the CenSPP, Martin was head of the Scottish Forum for Modern Government at Aberdeen’s Robert Gordon University. This institute, set up in November 1999, has effectively ceased to exist. Martin wants the CenSPP ‘to act as a bridgehead between the government and the people they seek to govern by providing opportunities for engagement, by challenging vested interests’39. He wants the institute to be seen as ‘centre-left’40, although not aligned to a political party. The CenSPP’s aim is the ‘promotion of an imaginative public policy debate’ by ‘organising opportunities for politicians, policy thinkers and practitioners to meet and to learn from each other’41. In cooperation with the SCF, the CenSPP is pursuing research into ‘public sector reform in Scotland’42.'


The Board


The CSPP used to be called The John Weatley Centre, and was named after the respected Independent Labour Party MP who passed through legislation enabling government action on Glasgow"s Housing Problem, arguably the chief cause of misery in the city at the time. Old socialists (and their socialism) are not welcome round these here parts no more — so the name was been changed along with the purpose.

The web page for their event "The New Scotland" stated that: "The centre is not aligned to any political party." Their brochure described the CSPP as "independent of political parties." and "...managed by a Board drawn from a wide cross-section of Scottish society." Judge for yourself— this is the board according to the Centre: Dr. Alice Brown: Dept. of politics Edinburgh University. Gordon Dalyell: Solicitor, Wheatley Centre on Law Reform. Mark Lazarowicz: An Advocate, and former Labour councillor. He stood in the '92 election as a Parliamentary Labour candidate in the Edinburgh Pentlands seat, losing to Malcolm Rifkind by 4,290 votes. It had previously, in 87, been a Labour majority of 1,859. He is the convener of the CSPP. Anne McGuire: Labour MP, was appointed Donald Dewar's Parliamentary Private Secretary. Shortly after the conference she was the principle "gate keeper" who drew up the list of prospective (i.e. acceptably right-wing) Labour candidates for the new parliament. An ardent sycophant she took the opportunity of PM"s question time to ask: "Does the prime minister recognise that our emphasis over the past year on the economy, health and education has kept faith with the voters." Rosemary McKenna: Labour MP. On the House of Commons Scottish Affairs Committee which is enquiring into "welfare to work." The Herald of 24/3/97 reported that McKenna's appointment to the seat of Cumbernauld and Kilsyth was accompanied by the purge of the Home rule faction of the local party at the conference in Inverness. Fears were voiced that this had been "engineered to give a clear run to councillor Rosemary McKenna, who is a leading figure in Network, the pro-leadership grouping which orchestrated the Inverness slate". The Network has been described as "garrulous college leavers anxious to be seen doing the leader"s bidding." Its origins are said to be in Jim Murphy, another new MP and responsible for the acceptance of student loans while President of the NUS. He was assigned as "special projects officer" by those in the Scottish Labour Party hierarchy anxious to bee seen as Blairite. The big "success" of the network was McKenna's election. Jim Murphy also spoke at the conference. Henry McLeish: Disgraced Labour MP was the late Donald Dewar's second in command. Minister for Home Affairs, Devolution and Transport, was opposition spokesman on social security—i.e. the country's chief exponent of workfare. David Martin: Labour MEP and has been Vice-president of the European Parliament, (which funds the CSPP) for ten years—an ex-stockbroker"s assistant. David Millar: Formerly a clerk in the house of Commons, then director of research at the European Parliament, now with the Europa Institute, Edinburgh University. Kenneth Munro: European Commission. Matt Smith: Scottish Secretary of Unison one of the biggest unions in Scotland and the UK.

The Thatcher period was marked by scores of "non-partisan" but ideologically directed research institutes, who financed and publicised the work of approved "experts." The CSPP's pathetic disguise of their political connections relegates them to similar forms of intellectual prostitution. That period also witnessed a huge increase in what was officially called "public diplomacy" a new doublespeak term for what used to be known as government propaganda. We can now re-name this "public policy." As a result of the conference, the CSPP has an advisory board and a board of directors totalling thirty-eight people. There are eight new directors including Paul Thomson: the editor of "Renewal" (a magazine devoted to pushing New Labour propaganda), Ronnie Smith: the General Secretary of the EIS, Grant Baird: the Chief executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, and some academics. The advisory board has been padded out with Councillors from Glasgow and Edinburgh and more academics. Twenty-nine of the total of thirty-eight spoke at the conference, which had fifty-five speakers on day one and seventy-four on the other. CSPP members were scattered throughout the three sessions each with eight different seminars per day. More or less half of the talks were non-political and largely arbitrary cultural themes and these ones they avoided. Some talks contained nothing but CSPP members. I think it is fair to say we were somewhat shepherded into hearing the views the organisation is pushing. No one mentioned this in the press.

The CSPP aim to set agendas for the Scottish Parliament, attack home rule, advocate coalition politics and promote the EU (without actually asking what good it does)—where the Social Democrats and the Labour Party merge into one in the European Parliament. They are in the business of manipulation, and were a part of larger manipulative attempts within the Labour party to push the party towards the right in Scotland and silence any criticism. There were no attempts—one begins to doubt whether there is even the capability—to understand this within the mainstream media. Complicity (perhaps unwitting) could easily be argued. The Herald and New Statesman (who are desperate to re-invent themselves) were after all joint sponsors of the event. It could mean nothing, but several journalists from the Scotsman, STV, Scotland on Sunday, Sunday Times and the Economist all chaired seminars at the conference.

On their web page it also stateed that they receive money not only from the EC but also from an organisation called the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. This is another example of covert government sponsorship and funding. The Friedrich Ebert Foundation focused on involving trade union leaders in "independent" programmes for Third World unions. Its board comprises of "high ranking members of the Social Democratic Party and [it is] financed by government, business and unions. A parallel Christian Democratic body exists, the Konrad Adenuer Foundation...About the Friedrich Ebert foundation...there are quite clear parallels between the expansionist German foreign trade policy and the work of this foundation."[Where were you Brother? Don Thomson and Rodney Larson, War on Want,1978] They told me that they received this funding to stage a members meeting with the European Movement. But back in the early 60s: "The European Movement, the elite international pressure group which takes much of the credit for the founding of the Common Market, took secret US funding...about £380,000 of US government money passed secretly from the CIA-controlled American Committee to the European Movement."[Dirty Work (The CIA in Western Europe), Editors Philip Agee & Louis Wolf, Zed, 1978]

The CSPP were/are to an unknown extent funded by government or quasi-government organisations, some of whom have since the 50s moved the Unions and the Left towards the right—by semi-covert and covert means. They are (perhaps unwittingly) straying into territory dominated by the non-parliamentary right and the psychological operations of the secret service. "The main organisational focus points for the trade union right in recent decades have been Industrial Research and Information Services (IRIS), the Jim Conway Foundation [JCF] and the TUCETU (formerly the Labour Committee for Transatlantic Understanding). One single funding conduit links all three organisations...the Dulverton Trust. JCF facilitated contacts between anti-Scargill factions of the NUM and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the wealthy foundation for the promotion of social democracy linked to the German SPD." [New Labour, New Atlanticism: US and Tory intervention in the unions since the 1970s, David Osler, Lobster 33, 1997] [[1]]


Annual membership rates: Individuals: £30 + £5.25 VAT = £35.25 Unwaged: £15 + £2.63 VAT = £17.63

Corporate: Charities, voluntary organisations and local organisations: £50 + VAT = £58.75 Local authorities: £250 + £43.75 VAT = £293.75 Large national organisations: £500 + £87.50 VAT = £587.50 Others: £100 + £17.50 VAT = £117.5

Membership benefits:

1. Advance notice of events 2. Discounted delegate rates at conferences and seminars 3. Priority invitation to the new Annual Lecture 4. Copies of our publications 5. Exclusive member-only policy events


Source: http://www.psa.ac.uk/2005/pps/Pautz.pdf


Achieving the Vision: The Edinburgh City Region Conference 2005 Edinburgh, Thursday 26 May

Keynote speaker: Tom McCabe MSP, Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform

in association with City of Edinburgh Council Scottish Enterprise Edinburgh and Lothian Media sponsor: The Scotsman Conference sponsors: BT, First, Citigate Public Affairs


Reports available:

Delivering Transport Policy for Scotland Working Together for a Sustainable Scotland A Healthy Scotland Public Service Reform in Scotland Scotland's role in the Enlarged Europe The Implications and Consequences of Introducing STV for the Scottish Parliament Elections


Chisholm House 1 Surgeon Square High School Yards Edinburgh EH1 1LZ

Tel/Fax: 0131 558 8179 mail@cspp.demon.co.uk

External links

CSPP website [2]

External links

Hartwig Pautz 'Think-Tanks in Scotland' Paper for the 55th Political Studies Association Annual conference, 4-7 April 2005, University of Leeds, www.psa.ac.uk/2005/pps/Pautz.pdf