Not content with lobbying politicians on behalf of their secret funders, the free-market ideologues of the IEA distribute their propaganda to school children. “Right-wing think tank accused of promoting tobacco and oil industry “propaganda” in schools”.
Tweet by @MilesKing10

I have been prompted out of resting this blog by a matter dear to my heart. I reweeted that Ted Wragg would be spinning in his grave.

Here’s the full article reference from Open Democracy
Right-wing think tank accused of promoting tobacco and oil industry “propaganda” in schools
Adam Ramsay and Peter Geoghegan, 28 November 2018 [opens in new tab]

“The Institute of Economic Affairs’ magazine distributed to tens of thousands of British schoolchildren promotes tobacco tax cuts, climate change denial, tax havens, and privatising the NHS – but doesn’t say where its money comes from.

The Institute of Economic Affairs has been accused of “pumping seemingly paid-for propaganda” into schools after analysis by openDemocracy found that its free magazine for A-Level students has carried articles arguing against tobacco taxes and climate change science, and in favour of NHS privatisation. The magazine does not tell readers who funds the IEA.

The IEA, a registered educational charity, sends copies of the magazine EA free of charge to every school teaching A-Level economics or business studies in the UK.

The influential ‘think tank’ does not disclose its funding but it has received money from British American Tobaccooil giant BPJersey Financegambling lobbyists and right wing US foundations pushing to privatise the NHS. While articles on many of these topics have appeared in the IEA’s schools magazine, it does not disclose these financial links.”

[The article continues to exlore the agenda of IEA.]


Let’s be clear that I can firmly disagree with

  • free-market ideology;
  • tobacco, oil-industry, off-shore finance, gambling (each of these can be judged by the bad-company);
  • privatisation;
  • non-disclosure of interests.

However, it is non-disclosure that represents the over-arching objection to IEA.

There was a response to Miles King from IEA @julianHjessop

Cheers Miles. Do please take a look at EA magazine and judge for yourself . Obviously as a free-market economics think tank we provide a free-market perspective, but we back this up with arguments and evidence that people can see and challenge.

I think IEA and this magazine fails one principle of commercial sponsorship in schools: “Is the level of marketing activity proportionate?”

But, of course, as free-marketeers they don’t recognise the need for protective standards or self-regulation.

“An educational charity… must abide by Charity Commission requirements to be politically impartial, balanced and neutral in how it presents information and stick to its charitable object of education.”

See my post from 2011 “Making better protestors

What do you think?