Yesterday we told you how David Miller runs a website that reproduces material from the notorious anti-Semite Kevin MacDonald.
If that was not bad enough, what causes real concern is that David Miller admits that his first project, Spin Watch, emerged as a result of an ESRC grant. The ESRC is a public research council providing taxpayer funds for economic and social research.
In a nutshell: that’s you and me funding Miller’s moonbattery.
There’s more. After receiving all that state funding which ultimately led to the creation of Spin Watch, Miller created a private consultancy called ‘Public Interest Investigations’ in 2005 which focuses on people whose politics he doesn’t like. According to the Articles of Association (you can get these from Companies House, but we decided not to make them available here as they contain personal details) the company lists its aims as follows:
The object of the company shall be to undertake investigations deemed to be in the public interest, in particular into the activities of the PR industry and the Government, and to publish articles, disseminate reports, and inform via a website with the aim of educating and informing the general public.
The Spin Watch website (which is a spinoff from the ESRC grant) is registered to that company.
Domain ID:D103461409-LROR Domain Name:SPINWATCH.ORG Created On:15-Dec-2003 22:40:29 UTC Last Updated On:22-Oct-2008 12:39:30 UTC Expiration Date:15-Dec-2009 22:40:29 UTC Sponsoring Registrar:1 & 1 Internet AG (R73-LROR) Status:OK Registrant ID:SPAG-32464757 Registrant Name:David Miller Registrant Organization:SPIN Registrant Street1:XXX Registrant Street2:XXX Registrant Street3: Registrant City:XXX Registrant State/Province: Registrant Postal Code:XXX Registrant Country:GB Registrant Phone:XXX * Personal information has been removed.
The question is: why is Strathclyde University allowing one of its professors who received state grants to run a political consultancy on the side which peddles anti-Semitic canards and smears his opponents?
Remarkably, among its board of advisers Spin Profiles lists: John Pilger, George Monbiot, and Caroline Lucas. Its donors also apparently include the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, Network for Social Change, and Greenpeace. Spin Watch claims to have raised the following amounts of money:
In 2006 – £18287
In 2007 – £13238
In 2008 – £28682
In 2009 – £21000
There is also an amount for £30000 which straddles 2008/09 and it is not clear how the money was split over the two year.
But the Annual Returns filed by Miller’s company for (you can download the pdf’s here) 2006, 2007 and 2008 show markedly smaller amounts going through their books. If the website is owned by his company and people are donating money to it, then surely it should have gone through the company’s books?
There could be some entirely benign reasons for this, so I’m not implying any foul play, but it does raise legitimate questions about where all that money has gone. After all, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust is a Quaker movement which must be concerned about some of funds being used to support a website which promotes anti-Semitic conspiracies.
Miller’s company secretary is another Strathclyde University employee, Dr William Dinan who lists his academic interests as:
political communication, lobbying, media, sustainable development, forms of governance, and regulation.
The names Dinan and Miller might sound vaguely familiar to some of our readers. That’s because they recently secured ESRC funding to offer a studentship which looks at:
Understanding and communicating Islam in official discourse and policy in Scotland and the UK
They’ll both be jointly supervising the project along with Osama Saeed from the Scottish Islamic Foundation, and one-time spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood linked Muslim Association of Britain. Saeed is also on record as having supported the al-Qaeda theorist Anwar al-Awlaki.
Miller and Dinan also own another website (through their company) called Spin Profiles – their first ‘wiki’ venture. There you will find the most tasteless smearing of their fellow academics on the flimsiest of pretences. For a bunch of academics, Miller and Dinan seem incapable of defining their terms robustly and applying them dispassionately and objectively.
Some of the British academics it attacks or smears, inter alia, include: Professor Fred Halliday, Professor Tom Gallagher, and the late Professor William Gutteridge. And look, here’s another PhD student, Tommy Kane, on an ESRC scholarship in Miller’s department at Strathclyde who describes himself as ‘a regular contributor to Spinprofiles’.
Finally, we get to Miller’s latest adventure which is Neocon Europe where Idrees like to create ‘wiki’ entries. The picture below reveals that the website is registered by Miller to his university email account.
Again, the website is not beyond smearing fellow academics at other British universities as neocons, dismissing the likes of Dr Alan Johnson, Dr David Hirsh, Michael Burleigh, and Michael Spencer. To give an impression of just how broadly the ‘Neocon’ label is used (essentially smearing anyone with whom they disagree) just look at these other people who are branded ‘neoconservative’: Sunder Katwala (from the Fabian society), Anthony Julius (lawyer & genius), Colin Wagman (who the website describes as a ‘wealthy British Zionist’).
Miller is using ESRC funds (that’s our tax money) and his PhD students (some of whom are also ESRC funded) to inform his moonbattery and further his online smear campaigns against those he doesn’t like. He doesn’t necessarily do that directly with ESRC funds, but it all goes towards informing his already warped view of the world. That invariably means resorting to the most shoddy of academic standards (classing the most eclectic groups of people as ‘neocons’)and frequently attacking fellow academics in other British universities just because they don’t share his views.
Intellectual debate is one thing. Smearing opponents is quite another.