Here in the UK, there are many who believe that there are those who are working behind the scenes to weaken the UK from within, while also preparing new government structures and putting in place new leaders via quasi secret society that doesn’t declare itself to ordinary people.
An organisation that has been the focus of such criticism is Common Purpose (CP), a registered charity that was founded in the UK in 1989. As stated in an article by the BBC in March 2009, “Its critics say it is a secret networking organisation at the heart of the establishment, with a hidden agenda and influence. More than 20,000 people -- identified as the next generation of leaders -- have attended its courses, but if you are not one of them, you have probably never heard of it. It is called Common Purpose and prominent supporters include BBC business editor Robert Peston, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Cressida Dick of the Metropolitan Police and numerous top public sector officials. It’s a not-for-profit organisation which organises training and networking events for high-fliers.”
Common Purpose is in fact an international political organisation masquerading as a charity, with leaders of a new order being trained and placed in key positions around the world. The Common Purpose effect, we are told, is inspiring leaders around the UK and giving them the knowledge and connections they need to improve how society works. Over 120,000 leaders have contributed to or participated in a Common Purpose programme and this grows by at least 3,000 people each year. A prominent critic of Common Purpose is Brian Gerrish.
Here, the chair of the Trustees of Common Purpose, Sir David Bell, addresses the so-called conspiracy theories about common purpose. (Note: Sir David Bell has suspended his chairmanship of the Media Standards Trust, owing to his appointment to the Leveson inquiry).
On 6 February 2002, the official website of the UK Prime Minister announced, “Dame Rennie Fritchie re-appointed as Commissioner for Public Appointments.” In the following minutes (Number: 716), dated 23 May 2002, Julia Middleton, CEO of Common Purpose, states that she is working for Dame Rennie. This gives Julia Middleton a great deal of influence in appointing suitable Common Purpose graduates, to key leadership positions throughout the public sector, in an effort to ensure that EU legislation is implemented and adhered to, so that the EU encroachment into the UK runs as smoothly as possible.
Parliament UK: Select Committee on Public Administration, Minutes of Evidence. Examination of Witnesses, THURSDAY 23 MAY 2002 JULIA MIDDLETON AND AMELIA SUSSMAN.
Excerpt from minutes:
707. Chairman: ". . . could I ask you very quickly and if you could be very quick when you answer it; because, first of all, how did they find you?
(Ms Middleton) Tapped me on the shoulder.
708. Who did?
(Ms Middleton) I cannot even remember.
709. A man?
(Ms Middleton) Somebody from the Department wrote me a letter.
710. Which Department?
(Ms Middleton) The DTI.
711. “Will you be one of our independent assessors, please?”
(Ms Middleton) Yes.
712. Okay; and what is involved?
(Ms Middleton) Sifting through the application forms, making sure that the short-listing **** is fair and decent, and then attending the interviews, making sure that that is fair and decent and an appointment is made appropriately.
713. In about how many appointments a year?
(Ms Middleton) I have done two this year. (Ms Sussman) No prior briefing. (Ms Middleton) Dame Rennie has made some improvements to this system.
Mr Lyons 714. But neither have made assessors?
(Ms Sussman) No.
(Ms Middleton) Yes, I do think she is advertising for assessors, is she not?
(Ms Sussman) I do not know.
(Ms Middleton) But she has made some good improvements to the system; it is not an easy one to do. And I do know that I am slightly different, because, not being portfolio and having a full-time job, I pay the mortgage on my full-time job salary, and, therefore, when you have to say, “No, I believe this is the right way to do things,” the fact that my mortgage does not rely upon it makes it much easier for me to say, “I believe this is how we should do things.”
Chairman 715. Do you feel you are working for the Department?
(Ms Middleton) No.
716. Who are you working for?
(Ms Middleton) Now, Dame Rennie; before, I have no idea who I was working for.”
Chairman: “Good. I am sorry we cannot do justice to that, but I just wanted to dip into it ever so slightly. Thank you very much. It is fascinating; and George Orwell once talked about the deep, deep sleep of England, and it is interesting that you have come here to wake us up, and the work you are doing I think is extraordinarily interesting, and we have learned more about it, and I think we would like to know more about it too, and also thank you for doing it. Thank you very much indeed.”
Dame Rennie Fritchie became a Baroness in 2005 and is a member of the House of Lords. Baroness Fritchie is Chair of Nominet, and was Chair of the Web Science Research Initiative at Southampton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) until 2009. Baroness Fritchie works closely with inventor of the web Sir Tim Berners-Lee, (a Professor at MIT and Southampton University) W3C, and the Tetherless World Constellation in helping to develop the open government data initiatives, and the Semantic Web and Internet of Things to develop a global system of total information awareness.
The W3C office for UK and Ireland is hosted by Nominet. In 2007 the MacArthur Foundation awarded a grant of $350,000 to the Media Standards Trust and the Web Science Research Initiative to develop their plans for authenticating news on the web. The board of trustees of the Media Standards Trust include Julia Middleton (Common Purpose), Sir David Bell (Common Purpose) and Anthony Salz, the executive vice chairman of Rothschild.
Julia Middleton, has founded or helped in the founding of the Media Standards Trust, DEMOS, The Good Governance Network, Impetus Trust, and Alfanar. Julia is also on the board of the Orwell Prize and was an editor of the magazine ‘Marxism Today’. Common Purpose videos can be found here and here.
Julia married Rupert J. Middleton in April 1984 in Hackney, London. Julia’s husband, Rupert J. Middleton is group director of manufacturing at Trinity Mirror Newspaper Group. Julia Middleton is author of the book ‘Beyond Authority’, and also author of ‘Quality Circles’ (1982), published under her maiden name Morland, while she was employed by the Industrial Society. The Common Purpose Campaign, 1978-1986. (p.32), was active at the time that Julia was employed at the Industrial Society.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming and political correctness are favoured tools of Common Purpose so as to manipulate agreement within society on a range of issues. In the article, Mental Health and World Citizenship, J.R. Rees, a founder of the Tavistock Institute, writes of “learning to apply some of our understanding of individuals to the problems of group attitudes and international tensions. No doubt psychiatrists should be able to provide the central focus for much of the thinking that is necessary, but they certainly cannot do it alone.”
The National School of Government, Public Service Leadership First Annual Conference, includes Workshop 8, ‘Leading in Partnerships and Beyond Authority’ -- the facilitator is, Julia Middleton, chief executive of Common Purpose. The following is an excerpt from a reply to a freedom of information request regarding Workshop 8 that can be found at whatdotheyknow.com (WDTK).
“After careful consideration, the National School of Government has concluded that it must withhold the names and job titles/ranks of those who signed up to attend this particular workshop, citing the exemption detailed at section 40 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘personal information’). . . . no documentation is traceable for Workshop 8. I can also confirm that the National School does not hold a syllabus or any other learning material relating to this workshop.”
If you have trouble accessing the above link, you can do a search at WDTK for ‘Public Service Leadership First Annual Conference’ and find reply with the same title dated 22 February 2010.
In this article by the ‘Yorkshire Post’, it is reported that Common Purpose was granted free office space by a UK government department for 11 years and that the government department could find “no formal record of the decision being made and no rental or tenancy agreement of any kind”. Also see the answer in parliament from Derek Twigg to a question from Philip Davies regarding 'Sums paid to Common Purpose UK' for Ministry of Defence staff training between 2002-2007.
Common Purpose meetings are held under the Chatham House Rule so that "...participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed...The Rule allows people to speak openly and to express views that they may not otherwise express if they knew their comments would be shared publicly."
Common Purpose has members in the public and private sectors, including: Central and Local Government, Houses of Parliament, Civil Service, Quangos, Media, Police, Defence, Legal Profession, BBC, Social Services, Health Services, Health & Safety, Education, Watchdogs, Not-for-Profit sector, Financial Institutions, Chambers of Commerce, Church, and Academia. This makes lodging complaints against Common Purpose difficult because Common Purpose graduates and trainees are everywhere. See also: World Economic Forum - Davos
David Cameron, Nick Clegg, and Gordon Brown are Common Purpose graduates. Consecutive Labour and Conservative governments in the UK have been handing power over to the EU for years through use of ‘Henry VIII clauses’, a practice that still continues. (See: House of Commons debates, 18 May 2011: Column 458.) More info at about Henry VIII clauses at Statutory Instruments UK. Also see: Gordon Brown’s New World Order Speech, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for World Government, and the One World Trust.
Other notable Common Purpose graduates include:
Jonathan Porritt who is on the board of the BBC Wildlife magazine and is Chairman of Forum for the Future. Both Jonathan Porritt and his colleague Sir David Attenborough are patrons of Population Matters (formerly the Optimum Population Trust). Both Jonathan Porritt and Sir David Attenborough would like to see the world human population reduced to at least 4.5 billion and the UK human population reduced to 17 million. Pop Offsets is a ‘Population Matters’ project that has been adopted by the Population and Sustainability Network.
Sir Brandon Gough is Chancellor of the University of East Anglia (UEA) and was Chair of the Common Purpose Charitable Trust. The email controversy at the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit. (CRU) began in November 2009 and became known as "Climategate"). An independent review headed by Common Purpose stooge Sir Muir Russel cleared climate scientists of accusations that they fudged their results and silenced critics to bolster the case for man-made global warming. Sir Russell Muir (a layman) is Chairman of the Judicial Appointments Board for Scotland (JAB). The Law Society of Scotland in its members' magazine Journal was critical that the appointment of laymen as opposed to lawyers as Chairman is "Unique in Europe”. The JAB has statutory responsibilities under the Judiciary and Courts (Scotland) act 2008. The Board's role is to make recommendations to Ministers for appointment to the office of judge, sheriff principal, sheriff, and part-time sheriff as well as other judicial offices set out in the Act.
Lord Adair Turner: who is on the Bank of England Court of Directors, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, and was Chair of the Economic & Social Research Council, Vice Chairman of Britain in Europe and a member of the Policy Advisory Board of the Social Market Foundation.
In a 'Summary Information Return of Aims, Activities and Achievements 2006', we learn that the Common Purpose Charitable Trust (CPCT) in itself has minimal activity as its activities are mainly carried out through the subsidiary charities: Common Purpose UK and Common Purpose International, and the trading company, Civilia Limited. The aim of the CPCT is to improve the way society works by increasing the number of informed individuals who are actively involved in the areas where they live and work, and by encouraging collaboration between individuals, sectors and organisations. The Common Purpose Charitable Trust’s objectives, they say, “are the advancement of education for the public benefit and to educate men and women from a broad range of geographical, political, ethnic, institutional, social and economic backgrounds . . .” The most significant activity of the CPCT in 2006, they say, was spending £6.4 million on the delivery of a range of educational programmes for a diverse range of participants. We are also told that the CPCT does not have a CEO. A deed of covenant was entered into on 27 May 1999 whereby the ENTIRE profits of the company, Civilia Ltd, as computed for corporation tax purposes, have been covenanted to The Common Purpose Charitable Trust.
DEMOS was founded in 1993 by former Marxism Today editors Julia Middleton, Martin Jacques, Geoff Mulgan, who became its first director. DEMOS was formed in response to what Mulgan, Jacques and others saw as a crisis in British politics. At an event hosted by the Overseas Development Institute in 2003 to examine the role of think tanks as policy makers, Tom Bentley, executive director of DEMOS, is of the opinion that, “As New Labour has discovered, the gap between policy and practice is one of the most difficult to bridge. DEMOS has in many ways acted as an intellectual intermediary in the policy/practice sphere, introducing and working on new terms (e.g., ‘social entrepreneurship’ and ‘joined-up government’) as well as applied thinking. Many policy makers are not well equipped to build institutions, and DEMOS therefore works through partnerships to develop this capacity.” This would complement the role of the Fabian Society which has played a central role for more than a century in the development of political ideas and public policy.
Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in the U.S. was the founding president of Demos (U.S. Think Tank), an organisation of which he is currently board chair. The History section of Demos informs us that Barack Obama was recruited to Demos when he was a state senator in Illinois.
Ken Craggs on Twitter @BetweenMyths