What’s in a word?

Nothing, it seems, if you are Richard Murphy. Always looking to attack those of us who believe in a smaller state and lower taxes, Murphy sent these tweets which purport to show that the think tank The Adam Smith Institute is government funded:

Which, to anyone who knows even a little about the ASI, seems odd… especially given that they don’t disclose where their money comes from.

If we read the (Gruniad) article to which Ritchie links we find this (my emphasis):

Attention has focused on the activities of Adam Smith International (ASI), a “leading international advisory firm” that is dedicated to promoting the “benefits of competition, good government and individual liberty”. Over 70% of ASI’s income now comes from the Department for International Development. The ASI’s managing director, William Morrison, received £1.3m in total pay and dividends in 2010.

Would it be libel to accuse him of deliberately lying to his followers?


  1. john77 says:

    Yes, because that assumes that he has bothered to check that they are different which is really too much to ask of someone who uses “tax avoidance” to interchangeably mean “tax evasion”, and “legally paying less tax than I think you should” and “not paying tax in the UK on profits earned overseas because you have already paid tax at a higher rate in the country where you earned those profits” to “using the same tax loophole as myself”. He is so certain of his own rightness that he never bothers to check.

  2. SadButMadLad says:

    Does The Murph ever do any research? I got the impression he just thinks up his brilliant ideas from thin air.

  3. Dickie boy has now apologised and the ASI has accepted his apology.

    But how much damage was done? The accusation is usually screamed and the apology whispered.


  4. Misanthrope Girl says:

    Although he has now deleted the two tweets I reproduce above at the request of the ASI and issued an (I suspect grudging) publicly apology, I doubt that it got the same number of retweets as the originals did.

    Looking at his timeline, it is clear from his discussions with the ASI official account that he stills believes the two organisations to be linked in some way despite being told that there has been no connection between the two organisations for 10 years.

    I suspect that we will see this untruth come back around a few more times.

  5. jameshigham says:

    Right wing fundamentalist thinktank – just spilt my coffee.