Fundraising news, ideas and inspiration for professional charity fundraisers

13 tweets designed to mock Brooks Newmark’s knitting comments

13 tweets designed to mock Brooks Newmark’s knitting comments

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 to make their point with a mixture of disdain and wit, including the creation of the hashtag #knitgate.

Here are some of them:














  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:


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…

5,592 total views, 5 views today

Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp.

Get free email updates

let us keep you up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email.

* We do not share your email or personal details.
  • Here’s a statement from Knit for Peace criticising the Minister for his comments that denigrate “knitting as a marginal, outdated activity, to keep women in their place”.

    The charity concludes positively with an invitation:

    “We invite Mr Newmark to come and see the benefits of knitting”.

  • Pingback: Turn Lemons Into Lemonade | madandtalking()

  • Joe Public

    Conceived & co-ordinated by a “charity” Political & Legal Unit. QED.

    • Er, what do you mean? What was conceived by a charity?

      • Joe Public
        • Replying with only a link makes for a tricky discussion. On the assumption you are using Guido Fawkes’ publication of an email from Friends of the Earth to suggest that that particular charity (or are you implying all charities?) takes political actions, I disagree that your QED stands.

          Friends of the Earth is a campaigning organisation: it is not a charity. Therefore, like any other body, it can do what its memoranda and articles or constitution state it may do, including lobbying government.

          FOE has an associated charity – hence the reference to a registered charity number on its website. Amnesty International and Greenpeace have the same set-up. However, there are limitations on what activities charities can undertake.

          So, the letter you cite is an example of activities being co-ordinated by someone who works for a campaigning organisation not a charity. It might seem nit-picking, but it’s an incredibly important difference in the eyes of the law, and one which, from my 25 years experience in the charity and campaigning sector, most charities are well aware of and careful not to transgress.

          So, the FOE letter does not in any way support your suggestion.

          • Joe Public

            Friends of the Earth is two distinct organisations (FoE Ltd & FoE Trust) with the same objectives.

            They claim being a charity and a limited company means they can do their job better. To the realist, it means it can simultaneously suck at the public teet, and, campaign politically.

            It is inconceivable that the legal section of FoE Ltd does not provide assistance to FoE Trust.

            Therefore FoE is receiving public funds & campaigning politically. QED.

          • I can’t see that FoE Ltd receives any funding from government:


            FoE Trust received a grant from the UK Aid Matched Giving fund, but then it isn’t FoE Trust that is involved in the campaigning you and Guide Fawkes highlight. It’s FoE Ltd.

            If FoE Ltd doesn’t accept funding from government, surely it is allowed to lobby government (within the law etc)?

            So I still don’t see you have demonstrated enough evidence to claim your argument stands ‘QED’.

          • Joe Public

            Most of FoE work is carried out by FoE Trust, part involuntarily-funded by taxpayers.

            But FoE want to have their cake (or rather the free money) & eat it; so they set-up FoE Ltd to operate political campaigns out of the same bldg etc.

            I object to my tax-funds being used to campaign against the very government which donated my tax funds to the ungrateful recipient.

            If FoE objects to government policy, it shouldn’t be so hypocritical as to accept money from it.

Sign up for free fundraising news by email

Before you go…

let us keep you up to date with fundraising news, ideas and inspiration with a weekly or daily email.
" />