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The Guardian’s Holocaust Memorial Day Surprise

The Guardian has celebrated Holocaust Memorial Day by running a “gotcha” piece which implies that Michael Gove MP improperly provided government money to the Community Security Trust:

Michael Gove, the education secretary, awarded £2m of public money to an organisation that he promoted as an adviser for four years.

The education secretary personally made the decision to give taxpayers’ money to an organisation to fund better security at Jewish schools. Gove has promoted the Community Security Trust (CST) as an adviser since 2007.

Documents obtained by the Guardian show that Gove personally wrote to the trust confirming that the education department was awarding the money to it. He issued a public statement saying that he had “secured the funding” to the trust.

Richard Benson, the trust’s chief executive, replied to Gove twice thanking him for his “personal commitment” to providing the funding. Benson’s letter lists Gove as a member of its advisory board, along with more than 50 others.

The minister has taken a strong stand against antisemitism. However, questions are being asked over whether he should have taken any role in awarding the money to the organisation.

But, as the CST – who were not contacted by The Guardian for comment – point out, the money was not provided to The CST. The CST is, rather, the non-denominational Jewish communal body responsible merely for the distribution of the funds:

CST is astonished that the Guardian has chosen to mark Holocaust Memorial Day by attacking the funding provided by the government to pay for security guarding at Jewish state schools in England and Wales.

This funding is provided to protect Jewish schools against terrorism. This is a real threat: just this week, as we reported on this blog, the authorities in Azerbaijan announced that they had foiled a terrorist plot relating to a Jewish school in Baku.

The Guardian story is misleading as it suggests that the money provided by the Department for Education pays for CST to provide security at Jewish schools. In fact the money is merely administred by CST and distributed in full to the Jewish schools who then use it to employ their own security guards (not from CST). Previously, these guards were paid for by parental contributions at the Jewish schools. CST does not keep any of the grant money and there is no allowance made for CST’s staff time in administering the funds to each school. In the end the project actually costs CST money, the exact opposite of the impression given by the Guardian.

Ah. But where did this nasty little story come from?

Why – Professor David Miller of Strathclyde University!

David Miller, of the Spinwatch pressure group, which campaigns for greater transparency in politics, said: “It is blindingly obvious that he should have stood aside, as this is a potential conflict of interest. This is another example of transparency rules in the UK being ineffectual and in serious need of overhaul.” Miller first drew attention to Gove’s advisory work for the trust.

David Miller was also brought in to attack the CST in support of the case of the racist hate preacher, Raed Salah.

David Miller also runs a series of websites, one of which reproduced the thesis of a notorious neo Nazi, Kevin MacDonald. MacDonald believes that Jews are genetically predisposed to scheme and conspire against non-Jews. The article was eventually removed, after this was pointed out to them. But, as far as we can tell, nobody was “sacked” from Miller’s project for promoting neo Nazi antisemitism.

How long until the Guardian closes down?

UPDATE

Marcus Dysch who just Tweeted:

“Would have been refreshing if the Guardian had used #HMD to ask why in 2012 British Jewish schoolchildren need extra security funding…”

Correct.

In Guardianland, Jews are attacked because they deserve it. A vile paper.

UPDATE 2

Oh yeah, cracking. The CST reports:

After a complaint from CST, the Guardian have now added a paragraph near the end of their article which reads:

All the money is distributed by the trust to the schools which then employ the security guards. As the trust’s role is essentially adminstrative, none of the money is retained by the trust or pays for any of the trust’s work.

However, this acknowledgement that the grant does not pay for CST’s work is not reflected in the headline or opening paragraph of the article, which have not been amended.

How about The Guardian asking themselves how they’ve got themselves so closely associated with the likes of David Miller, that they publish his bollocks without even bothering to check the facts?

Perhaps this is the new “open journalism” which will be the Guardian’s new business model.

“[It] is a collaboration between journalists within the building and experts out of the building … who are experts because they care about the subject matter as much as we do. They don’t have to be called professor,” he said.

Although in the case of David Miller – he is actually called Professor. Of sociology, apparently.

Obviously, we’re only talking about the online version of the paper that has this correction. The print version has already gone out.