"For example, anti-smoking group ASH is entirely funded by various government bodies. In turn it uses this money to influence public policy. Regardless of your views on smoking, it does seem odd that the government spends our money to lobby itself. More sinisterly, it also means that such charities can potentially be used as a smokescreen for unpopular government policy objectives, concludes Snowdon, by making it seem as though the government is simply yielding to pressure from well-meaning charities, which are in fact acting as "sock puppets" campaigning for greater state power."
Is this yet another corruption of democracy? Death by a thousand cuts!
(Extract from Money Week article "The trouble with charities".)