The Guardian reports that "a rightwing thinktank which claimed to have uncovered extremist literature on sale at dozens of British mosques was last night accused of basing a report on fabricated evidence."
The think tank in question is Policy Exchange. It's an interesting little outfit. Its former Chief Director was the pro-war hawk and unsuccessful Tory candidate Nicholas Boles, a signatory to the statement of principles to the notoriously neocon Henry Jackson Society. Its current Director is a former Times journalist named Anthony Browne, a man who once wrote a hysterically alarmist piece claiming that "73 million Eastern Europeans" who suffer from "high disease rates" would pose a major public health risk to Britons.
But the real driving force behind Policy Exchange is Dean Godson, former "special assistant" to disgraced neocon fraudster Conrad Black, who this week was sentenced to six and a half years in jail. Have a read of this Spinwatch report on Godson; as I'm sure you'll agree, it makes very interesting reading.
Whether or not Policy Exhange's report was based on fabricated evidence, as Newsnight claims, one thing is sure. The think-tank very clearly has an agenda: to stir up tensions between Britain's Muslim and non-Muslim communities in order to maintain the fiction of a 'clash of civilisations' which can only be won by launching more wars and more military interventions.
UPDATE: Commenter Shaun has asked if I have any information about who funds 'Policy Exchange'. I don't, but I've been to their website where they say they accept donations from individuals. The lady in charge of this is Sian Hansen and, if like me, you'd like to ask her if she would be willing to make public, in the interests of transparency, the names of large donors to the think-tank, then she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Quite rightly we have calls today for our political parties to come clean and reveal their sources of funding: the principle should surely be applied to think-tanks too.
UPDATE: Saturday. Seumas Milne blogs about the agenda of neocon think tanks such as 'Policy Exhange' and the ludicrously entitled 'Centre for Social Cohesion' here. 'Poisonous' and 'dangerous': apart from 'deceitful', it's hard to think of two other words which describe neocons so accurately, don't you agree?