I Haven’t Laughed So Much Since…

…well, since the last blue-on-blue:

Staff are striking in Amnesty offices across the globe, and a vote of no-confidence has been passed in its leadership.




The increasingly bitter crisis comes as cuts of £2.5m are being implemented at AIUK, despite a steady annual growth in income, and despite staff agreeing to a pay freeze. The cuts are being implemented so senior managers can switch large amounts of money to Amnesty’s International Secretariat in a plan to run down the London operation and build new “regional hubs” in Nairobi, Johannesburg, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

Ah. So, reading between the lines, the cosy life in London on the international charity party circuit is coming to an end, and staff might be expected to – *shudder* – mingle with those horrid people in the slums!

One union official, Alan Scott of Unite, described Amnesty as “one of the most mendacious employers” he has known.

“Amnesty International cannot be an effective or credible human rights organisation if it does not respect the rights of its workers,” he said.

*chuckles* Yes, Amnesty are clearly worse than the worst sweatshop boss in the East End…

It points to an ideological rift. One side insists that Amnesty must physically position itself in solidarity with those whose causes it champions, who are mostly in the poor world. The other alleges diligent and effective human-rights research is being sacrificed by marketing managers who want to “build the Amnesty brand” to recruit more members and raise more funds.

*orders more popcorn*

6 comments for “I Haven’t Laughed So Much Since…

  1. November 24, 2012 at 7:57 am

    So AI are moving to areas where staff are cheaper to hire then. Surprise surprise. Even progressive lefties have to bow before real economics when it comes to their own money rather than other people’s money.

    Why does AI need an expensive London office other than to raise funds. Though there have been some serious lapses in legal judgements recently, we aren’t quite a despotic nation locking up all and sundry for stupid reasons. If they can do it more cheaply elsewhere then they should. And charities’ second job after their main raison-d’etre is to raise money and that does mean marketing.

    I’ve got a large bag of Lidl popcorn ready.

    • November 25, 2012 at 7:36 am


  2. November 24, 2012 at 11:44 am

    The Words “International Secretariat” make me think that United Nations funding is the prize. Its easy to grow a business when the funds are unlimited.

  3. November 24, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    This reminds me of Labour’s decline under Foot and Kinnock. It was only when the party became ruthlessly capitalistic and cynical – “New” Labour – that its fortunes revived. Similarly, the takeover of Amnesty by grasping marketeers should see profits rise tremendously, with the low-paid jerks in the provinces expected to do all the donkey work, as if they were Labour constituency party members. At this rate Amnesty will go blue chip, its shares an attractive alternative to BP’s should the Iranian oil war not come off, although a buy-out might reverse this situation.

    • David A. Evans
      November 25, 2012 at 3:48 am

      I’m betting on World Wildlies Fund leading the bidding with Fiends of the Earth a close second.


      • November 25, 2012 at 7:37 am

        Buy ‘shares’ now!

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