Comments yesterday by Brooks Newmark MP on what he considered the proper role of charities did not go down well with many charities, their staff, advisors and supporters.
The Daily Telegraph reported that the new Minister for Civil Society said that charities “should “stick to their knitting” instead of getting drawn into the “realm of politics””. Conservative MP Newmark then added:
“When they stray into the realm of politics that is not what they are about and that is not why people give them money.”
While some expressed their disgust at a charity sector Minister’s patronising and sexist tone and views on the role of charities in society and politics, others took to Twitter to make their point with a mixture of disdain and wit, including the creation of the hashtag #knitgate.
Here are some of them:
— Fawcett Society (@fawcettsociety) September 4, 2014
— UniteForOurSociety (@Unite4Society) September 4, 2014
If charities should stay out of politics they might start by refusing to engage with Brook Newmark #knitting
— Neil Crowther (@neilmcrowther) September 4, 2014
… Still, I’m sure someone from the charitable sector could find time to knit him a moral compass. #BrooksNewmark
— Chris Connaughton (@intextchris) September 4, 2014
— Daniel Jones (@dmjonesoir) September 4, 2014
— Society of St James (@SSJCharity) September 4, 2014
Brooks Newmark is right; I’d have achieved so much more when I was a policy manager at a charity if I’d actually been Chief Knitting Officer
— Sally Percy (@sally_ah_percy) September 3, 2014
Some of these are so good, they could be entered for a Knitting magazine’s competition which has just been announced:
Two parody accounts
The controversy has also generated two Twitter accounts parodying the Minister:
Tweets by @BrookesKnitmark
Now, if the Minister had chosen instead to accuse charities of spending a little bit too long on Twitter, then he might have had a point…
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