Tag Archives: Harpal Kumar

IS CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO MICHELLE MITCHELL THE UK CHARITY SECTOR’S BIGGEST HYPOCRITE?

One of the themes which keeps recurring when looking at the behaviours of those who lead Cancer Research UK is that of hypocrisy. At times that hypocrisy is so subtle it could be overlooked by those not aware of the facts of the charity’s treatment of Jim Cowan, the man who created the Race for Life. And we can only wonder at what further hypocrisy they may be displaying in other areas we have less information about.

When the current Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, assumed her role a little over a year ago she was taking the reigns of an organisation where hypocrisy was already embedded as standard and acceptable behaviour by those at the top. We were hopeful that a new broom might bring more integrity and address the issue. Far from it. In fact, Mitchell has taken CRUK’s hypocrisy to new levels, and always delivered with a straight face and with no thought for the impact it has on others.

In 2018 we shared articles addressing CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy. We wondered at their then CEO, Sir Harpal Kumar, and his hypocrisy in steadfastly refusing to recognise (or even acknowledge) Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life while happily accepting recognition for his own work and achievements. Textbook hypocrisy.

We looked at the issue of hypocrisy across the charity and asked whether CRUK is the home of charity sector hypocrisy? And we looked at the charity’s Chairman, and its committees and Board of Trustees and exposed yet more examples of glaring hypocrisy.

So when CRUK announced that Michelle Mitchell would be succeeding Kumar we took the announcement with some optimism that a new leader might prove to be the turning point. That the charity might rediscover integrity and honesty and cease its hypocrisy.

It didn’t take long to discover that optimism was misplaced. Whether Mitchell brought her own hypocrisy with her or whether she just got consumed by CRUK’s institutional hypocrisy we don’t know. We do know that she has taken that hypocrisy to new levels.

On 20th January this year Mitchell tweeted, “A very important reminder today, and every day. Mental health matters, and mental health problems can be devastating. It’s something I’ve seen up close too many times, and proper support is vital.”

On the surface a positive tweet supporting an important issue. Except, and Mitchell is aware of this, her actions expose her comments as nothing more than PR, as spin. And as hypocrisy. 

It is hypocrisy. And it is hypocrisy she is aware of and therefore seemingly cares not a joy about. We know she is aware of it because in October last year when marking World Mental Health Day she also spoke about the importance of addressing mental health issues. We reminded her that neither her nor her organisation cared one jot about Jim Cowan’s mental health when spending 25 years lying about him, when covering up the fraud of their own employee who we have evidenced stole the idea for the Race for Life from Jim. When saying CRUK had never heard of Jim when a prospective employer was checking his CV, thus costing him a job offer. The list goes on. The stress, the pressure, the strain placed on Jim has been enormous. Mitchell’s response? Silence.

Does Mitchell or her organisation care about the possible toll on Jim’s mental health? No. Not a jot. To them mental health is a topic they are selective over, a topic with more value as a PR message than one requiring actions to back up their hollow words.

But hypocrisy demonstrated by her statements on mental health, while inexcusable, probably wouldn’t make Mitchell the charity sector’s biggest hypocrite. No, to award her with that title she would have to have displayed consistent hypocrisy across a range of topics, ably supported by statements from the the organisation she heads.

And, in the short time she has been in post as CEO at Cancer Research UK, we have already highlighted numerous examples of this hypocrisy. It is hypocrisy which comes from the top. It is hypocrisy deeply embedded with the charity’s culture.

27th January 2019: We reported on Mitchell’s tweet where she described as “amazing” meeting Grand Challenge winners. The hypocrisy of recognising some while refusing to recognise others was apparently lost on her.

4th February 2019: Mitchell tweeted about ‘volunteering’ at a Cancer Research UK event. No sign of any realisation that calling it volunteering when she is paid £240,000 p.a. to work for the organisation smacks of just a little hypocrisy.

15th April 2019: We reported how, following correspondence with Mitchell it had become abundantly clear that, while she was/is happy to receive recognition for her own work and achievements (including accepting an OBE), she was going to continue with Cancer Research UK’s policy of refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. An example of text book hypocrisy.

4th May 2019: We shared an analysis of correspondence between Jim Cowan and Michelle Mitchell which highlighted the ongoing hypocrisy of both the CEO and the organisation in refusing to recognise Jim Cowan for his amazing creation. The analysis also highlighted how Mitchell’s (delegated) response has failed to address a single issue raised in Jim’s correspondence. Given the importance Mitchell claims to place on collaboration (see 23rd October 2019 below) we can only wonder at her continued desire not to recognise the importance to her organisation of Jim choosing to collaborate with her charity when he created the Race for Life? It is clearly hypocritical and surely any sensible person or organisation would think twice before collaborating with CRUK in future, especially given their willingness to cover up the fraud of their employee who stole the idea from Jim. Textbook hypocrisy but definitely not textbook collaboration.

19th May 2019: We took a look at examples which demonstrate how deeply embedded hypocrisy is in the culture at Cancer Research UK, including examples of hypocrisy from those at the very top.

5th June 2019: To mark Volunteers Week, Cancer Research UK were again busy on social media, busy thanking and recognising their volunteers. This is as it should be but we questioned the sincerity of those thanks given that no such words of thanks, or even recognition has ever been extended to Jim Cowan for creating the Race for Life. Hypocritically given thank-yous are not thank-yous at all, merely hollow words.

11th June 2019: We gave Mitchell a new title as Cancer Research UK’s ‘Hypocrite in Chief’ when reporting how, yet again, she was gushing on Twitter about CRUK employees receiving recognition for their achievements in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Again, the hypocrisy of doing so while refusing any recognition to Jim Cowan for his incredible creation seemed to pass her by.

13th June 2019: Again the social media world was awash with posts and tweets from CRUK. This time they were asking people to nominate their Race for Life Hero (or Heroes). With a straight face they asked for nominations in the full knowledge that without Jim Cowan there would be no Race for Life and therefore no Race for Life Heroes. Our supporters rallied around and nominated Jim as their Hero. Sadly theirs were the only posts and tweets responding to the request which received no reply. Mitchell’s organisation once again providing an outstanding example of hypocrisy.

7th August 2019: We questioned the hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK selling pitches to caterers who were selling bacon rolls and other bacon products at 2019 Race for Life venues. Why? This is the same Cancer Research UK, the one led by Mitchell, which warns people that bacon is carcinogenic (cancer causing). We wondered whether they saw the hypocrisy in effectively saying, “Bacon is carcinogenic. It causes cancer. Here, have a bacon roll while we pop to the bank!”

15th August 2019: In an interview in Third Sector magazine, Ed Aspell, CRUK’s Director of Fundraising announced plans to retire at the end of the year. In the interview Aspel revealed that he would love to have come up with “that one, radical, transformational change that is different from the traditional model…” Had he done so, it is very reasonable to assume the charity would have lauded his achievement and praised him with recognition. The very opposite of what they have done with Jim Cowan who came up with just such a game changer when creating the Race for Life in 1993.

17th September 2019: Having tweeted about talking to Cancer Research UK supporters about the charity’s history, we replied to her asking how accurate that history is? After all, we know that her organisation has spent over a quarter of a century trying to rewrite the history of the Race for Life and attempting to erase its creator from its history. What we don’t know is what else the charity claims as its ‘history’ is also made up to fit whatever tale they would rather spin. How anyone could be expected to trust any organisation, let alone a charity, which acts in this way, we are at a loss to explain. The ensuing silence from Mitchell suggests she is too.

23rd October 2019: Addressing the NPC Ignites conference, Mitchell talked at length about the importance of collaboration to the charity sector. We can only wonder at her sincerity given her organisation’s history of stealing ideas from those seeking to collaborate with them. The Race for Life comes to mind. Maybe not sincerity, more hypocrisy. We raised the issue with her but, as per usual, the silence in response was deafening. And it wasn’t a one off oversight on her part. Mitchell has continued voicing her hypocritical line on collaboration since, for example in Civil Society magazine on 26th November.

4th November 2019: After a supporter got in touch to tell us about Mitchell’s hypocritical tweet on 10th October marking World Mental Health Day, we reported the facts, highlighted the hypocrisy, and via Twitter (seemingly her favourite platform for communication) asked Mitchell if she cared to reply? Other than as a tool for PR and spin, mental health is not as important a subject to Mitchell and her organisation as they would like us to believe. Or is it just Jim Cowan’s mental health she cares nothing about? Whichever it is, her hypocrisy is laid bare for all to see.

8th January 2020: Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK’s Media Relations Officer in Scotland, tweeted that she was “so proud to be a part of this” when retweeting a Race for Life tweet. Given her profile states ‘media with honesty’ we challenged her on whether she would be “applying some of that honesty and recognising the man who created the Race for Life? Or did she be support CRUK’s lies for the last 25 years, covering up of fraud, etc. Honesty: words or deeds?” Her response was to hide our tweet. Media with honesty? Or gross hypocrisy? You decide.

12th January 2020: In a repeat of their hypocrisy of 13th June 2019 (see above), the charity headed by Mitchell again asked for nominations for Race for Life Heroes. Race 4 Truth supporters again rallied round and nominated Jim Cowan. Again, they were the only nominations, to date, to be ignored.

20th January 2020: As reported above, Mitchell again used the issue of mental health for PR and spin purposes. At least we assume it to be PR and spin because, surely, if she really took the issue seriously she would give far greater consideration to Jim Cowan’s mental health given her charity’s shocking treatment of him.

It is quite a year (and a bit) Mitchell has had in her new role. It is far from easy to reach, let alone sustain, such levels of hypocrisy. That hypocrisy has, under her leadership, reached new levels and remained deeply embedded in the culture at Cancer Research UK. 

For 26 years this unethical, immoral, hypocritical organisation (and its leadership) have waged a campaign of lies about the origins of the Race for Life, inconsistent lies at that. They have attempted to erase the event’s creator from its history. They have covered up the fraud of Jill MacRae, the employee who originally stole the idea from Jim Cowan.

For the record, that Jim created the Race for Life can be evidenced and witnesses are willing to come forward. That Jill MacRae stole the event can also be evidenced. Sadly, the truth, the facts, do not fit the story Mitchell and Cancer Research UK want to tell the world. They have been offered the opportunity to view evidence, to see correspondence from 1993 and 1994 which prove the event’s origins. They have ignored these offers while acknowledging they have no records of their own

We find it hard to believe there can be a more hypocritical CEO in the charity sector, or a charity where hypocrisy is more deeply embedded than at Cancer Research UK. And we can only wonder at the breadth and depth of that hypocrisy given what we have discovered is likely to only scratch the surface given the size of the organisation.

The Cambridge Dictionary defines ‘Hypocrisy’ thus: a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: e.g “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.” 

Created by Jim Cowan, the Race for Life, is well on its way to raising its first £1 Billion. An astonishing amount. 

If that isn’t worthy of recognition, we struggle to figure out what is. And it is in the accepting of recognition for themselves while denying it to others that the hypocrisy of Michelle Mitchell and Cancer Research UK really stands out.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK’S MANY & VARIED TALES ON THE CREATION OF THE RACE FOR LIFE

Given Cancer Research UK’s continued lies about Jim Cowan and the claim he did not create the Race for Life, even recently costing him a job offer, you would think they would offer an alternative as to where the event started, as to how it was created.

After all, they must have records of the discussions and the meetings which led to the event’s creation? And, given that, surely they paint a consistent story as to the events beginnings?

Well, no. They don’t. But that is the problem with falsehoods, eventually you forget what you claimed and claim something else. And, of course, you have no evidence to support your fiction because it is just that, fiction. No records of discussions, of meetings, of correspondence. Because they don’t exist.

Interested in checking out Cancer Research UK’s false claims, we did a little research which has exposed a story which keeps changing. There may be more and different claims, but in less than a day’s digging, this is what we have uncovered:

1994

In a letter from Jill MacRae (nee Baker), its then National Events Manager, what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) credited Jim Cowan with coming to them with the original idea for the Race for Life. This was the last time they were honest about who created the event.

1995

After severing all ties to Jim Cowan, Jill MacRae started to claim she came up with the Race for Life herself. It would appear that ICRF/CRUK believed her. She went on to build a successful career in the sector on her false claim.

2000

In an article in the 19th July issue of Athletics Weekly, an ICRF/CRUK spokesperson claimed that the Race for Life was based on, “a concept from America called Walk for a Cure.”

In the same issue of Athletics Weekly, a letter from Louise Holland, the Race for Life’s then Director, stated, “the concept was taken from the Susan Komen Foundation.”

2013

In November of 2013, Jill MacRae contacted Jim Cowan via Linked In and email threatening legal action if he did not stop claiming to have created the Race for Life. Supported by Jane Arnell, Tony Elischer, and Sarah Guthrie (former colleagues of hers at ICRF/CRUK), she claimed they were all “shocked” by Jim’s “misleading claims.” 

MacRae claimed to have never heard of Jim Cowan and asserted that her colleagues had not either. This 1994 letter from Jill MacRae to Jim Cowan puts the lie to that lie. Since launching Race 4 Truth last year, we have shared other evidence that includes correspondence to and from Jill Macrae to support Jim’s position.

Also in November of 2013, Jill MacRae amended the Race for Life entry on Wikipedia to state; “Race for Life was created by fundraisers Jill MacRae (nee Baker) and Jane Arnell at what was then the Imperial CancerResearch Fund.” At Jim’s request, supported by evidence, Wikipedia amended the page to show the truth, that the creator of the Race for Life was him.

On 12th December, Jim Cowan responded to Jill MacRae’s threats stating; “To say that I am surprised at both your claims and you accusation would be an understatement. Your cynical duplicity in laying claim to the original idea is preposterous and your accusation that my own claims are untrue is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.”

He added, “It also appears that at some stage you made a conscious decision to claim the idea as your own, whether by misleading your colleagues at the ICRF or with their collusion is unclear.” 

Jim has not heard from MacRae, or her colleagues, since.

2016

Jim Cowan was advised that the website ‘Informed Edinburgh’ had carried an article titled ‘Spotlight on Jill MacRae’ in which she stated; “I created the Race for Life and organised the very first 5K event way back in 1993 (sic), when I was National Events Manager at what is now Cancer Research UK.” The article was removed after Jim contacted the website advising them that, “Ms MacRae knows this not to be the case.” Indeed, she doesn’t even seem to know in which year the first Race for Life was staged (it was 1994 and was organised by Jim Cowan).

2017

In May 2017 , Nicki Ford from Cancer Research UK stated, “We do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event.”

In September 2017, Cancer Research UK’s Chairman, Prof. Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, stated, “We do not credit anyone with originating the event.”

It would appear that, unable to prove any of their previous claims Cancer Research UK and Jill MacRae had made about the creation of the event, the policy was now to simply shut up and claim nothing.

2018

Maybe she didn’t get the memo shared by Ford and Borysiewicz, or maybe it was just time to change the claim again. In May of 2018 Cancer Research UK’s current National Events Manager, Annette Quarry, stated that the original pilot was from yet another different source, this time the American Cancer Society.

2019

Writing on behalf of Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive (Michelle Mitchell), CRUK’s Complaints Manager (Graeme McCluskey) repeated the “we do not publicly credit anyone with originating the event line.” This was in response to Jim Cowan offering to sit down and share documents evidencing his being the event’s creator. 

Indeed, rather than accept the offer, CRUK’s stance was to state the blindingly obvious, that they have no documents from the beginnings of the Race for Life. Rather than correct the misinformation they have shared for 25 years, rather than get the history of the event right, they deliberately chose to continue their integrity fee campaign to erase Jim Cowan from the event’s history.

We now wait with baited breath for the next claim as to the creation of the Race for Life. There are two things we know for sure though:

  1. While CRUK’s story keeps changing, Jim Cowan’s has remained consistent throughout. 
  2. While CRUK and their various employees (current and former) have offered no supporting evidence for any of their claims, Jim Cowan has.

The truth is consistent. Cancer Research UK are not.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

NO REPLY FROM CRUK CHIEF EXECUTIVE OVER CHARITY’S FAKE HISTORY BRINGS TRUST INTO QUESTION

Yesterday (16th September), in a Tweet Cancer Research UK Chief Executive, Michelle Mitchell, mentioned talking about, “the charity’s history, its impact & the big questions that will shape our future.”

We find it surprising that Mitchell, in the full knowledge that parts of the charity’s history are made up, could post such a Tweet with a straight face. 

We replied to her Tweet with the direct question, “how accurate is the history you talked about?” We then reminded her; “you have rewritten the history of @raceforlife to exclude the person who created it and then spent 25 years spreading different fictional versions.” We then posed the question, “how can anyone know for sure that you haven’t rewritten other bits?”

Mitchell might, for the uninformed claim that she knows nothing of this rewriting of history, although as CEO she should avail herself of the facts. Of course, she has had that opportunity but declined it. We posted another Tweet reminding her of this; “it is no good claiming, as you have, that you have no documentation from the event’s creation, we have offered to sit down and share documents/evidence with you but you were not interested.” We then asked, “how can you talk about @CR_UK history when you don’t even care that it is accurate?”

To date, predictably, Mitchell has maintained her organisation’s hypocritical and unethical ‘heads in the sand’ approach and offered neither explanation nor reply to our Tweets.

So, to go back to her Tweet, surely one of the big questions that will shape her organisation’s future is that of whether it can be trusted? 

With a track record of rewriting history, lies, hypocrisy, turning a blind eye to fraud, low integrity, poor ethics, and absent morals, we certainly would not trust them. But they could very quickly make a start on repairing the damage by recognising Jim Cowan, putting the record straight on their employee fraud, and acknowledging the many wrongs done in the last quarter of a century.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

NOTE: We should add that we also know that the Race for Life’s creator, Jim Cowan, has offered to sit down with Mitchell, but she declined that offer too. It appears that historical accuracy, and with it trust, is not high up her list of priorities.

CANCER RESEARCH UK REACH NEW LOW AS WE UNCOVER MORE HYPOCRISY

The hypocrisy of Cancer Research UK (CRUK) and those who run the ‘charity’ are on record but this summer’s Race for Life series has set a new low in hypocrisy, even by the appallingly low standards CRUK set for themselves.

Both the current (Michelle Mitchell) and the former (Harpal Kumar) CEOs of the organisation have demonstrated textbook hypocrisy by happily accepting awards and recognition for their own work while steadfastly refusing to recognise Race for Life creator Jim Cowan for his own contribution.

A number of members of CRUK’s Board of Trustees likewise have accepted awards and recognition for their work but, led by Chairman, Leszek Borysiewicz, they endorse the CEO’s stance on denying any recognition to Jim Cowan.

The position is particularly hypocritical given that although they now take a stance of stating that they don’t credit anyone with the creation of the event, for the 25 years previously they have spun a range of fictional stories about the event’s origins; fiction they have never corrected.

More widely and beyond its executives, they regularly accepts awards and recognition for its work both as an organisation and for individuals in their employ and who volunteer for them. CRUK applauds the contribution of supporters, of participants in events, of event organisers. In recent months they have even run an online campaign for people to nominate their ‘Race for Life Hero’ responding to all nominations, sharing many on social media, while steadfastly ignoring the many nominations for Jim Cowan from members of the public.

CRUK’s hypocrisy is well recorded. It is also shameless.

Now, even by the very low standards they set themselves, they have reached an all time low. 

After warning the public of the dangers of eating bacon and other processed meats, warning of the carcinogens such products contain, they have happily taken income from businesses which profit from selling these products. Worse, they have accommodated them and allowed them to sell at Race for Life events.

It is a bit like saying; “hey, we know this product is damaging to your health but so what. They are willing to pay us to be here and we’ll happily take that money so tuck in!”

Now, you might excuse them by suggesting the extra income supports more research into cancer but you’d be wrong. CRUK’s own annual report makes it clear that event income does not fund research. No, it funds the gravy train.

“Bacon is carcinogenic. It causes cancer. Here, have a bacon roll while we pop to the bank!”

Examples of carcinogens on sale at Race for Life events in Brentwood and Epsom

Hypocrisy? You tell us!

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

Further reading:
Cancer Research UK CEO Provides A Textbook Demonstration Of Hypocrisy
Is Cancer Research UK The Home Of Charity Sector Hypocrisy?
New Cancer Research UK CEO Will Continue Hypocrisy Of Her Predecessor
Cancer Research UK Hypocrite In Chief At It Again
The Hypocrisy Of Cancer Research UK Committees And Trustee Membership
Amazing! Cancer Research UK’s Hypocrisy Continues Unabated
Hypocrisy Is Deeply Embedded Within The Culture Of Cancer Research UK
Race For Life Hero Nominations Once Again Highlight The Hypocrisy And Low Integrity Of Cancer Research UK
Bacon, Salami And Sausages: How Does Processed Meat Cause Cancer And How Much Matters?
Cancer Research UK Refusing To Correct Twenty Five Years Of Lying About Race For Life
Percentage Of Cancer Research UK Income Going To Research Is Lower Than They Claim

A CAREER BUILT ON A BAREFACED LIE

In 1993 when serial fundraiser Jim Cowan’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, he came up with the idea for the Race for Life and he took the idea to Cancer Research UK (then called Imperial Cancer Research Fund – ICRF) and their Head of Events, Jill MacRae (nee Baker).

The proposal was simple; Jim would organise the event at a growing number of venues every year beginning with a central London run in the summer of 1994. 

What followed saw Jim written from the event’s history by MacRae, her successors at Cancer Research UK (CRUK), and by the charity itself; while MacRae built a career in the sector on the back of falsely claiming the idea as her own.

Jim did organise the 1994 Race for Life, staged in Battersea Park, and then began work on expanding to six venues in 1995 and twelve in 1996. However, before he could proceed he received a phone call from MacRae informing him that his services were no longer required. 

Jim sought legal advice to be told that an idea could not be copyrighted and that therefore there was nothing he could do. Frustrated and angry but seeing no alternative, Jim turned his mind to other ideas and projects; ideas and projects that have raised many millions for a range of other charities.

The Race for Life went from strength to strength growing into the event Jim forecast his idea would become. Unfortunately, his name was whitewashed from its history with CRUK choosing to tell a range of different, false stories about the event’s origins.

Meanwhile, MacRae had started claiming that she was the creator of the Race for Life. On the back of that barefaced lie, she went on to build a successful career in the charity sector.

But then something happened, something that could not have been predicted in 1994. Social media arrived and exploded. Suddenly, MacRae’s friends were asking her who Jim Cowan was? Why was he appearing on Linked In, Facebook, and elsewhere claiming to have created the Race for Life when MacRae had (or, they thought she had)?

Boxed into a corner MacRae gambled that, over twenty years later, Jim would have none of the original paperwork. She wrote to Jim brazenly accusing him of falsely claiming what she described as her idea, insisting he stop doing so. She claimed she did not even know who Jim was, that she had never heard of him. She copied in former colleagues from CRUK, effectively making her accusations libellous by sharing them in print. She also edited the Wikipedia page for the Race for Life, amending it to give her and former colleague Jane Arnell as the originators of the event.

Jim responded in robust fashion, reminding MacRae that she had actually written to him acknowledging the event was his creation, stating how excited she was at the prospect of meeting and working with him. He added, “It also appears that at some stage you made a conscious decision to claim the idea as your own, whether by misleading your colleagues at the ICRF or with their collusion is unclear.” He then made it clear that Macrae, “should be advised that should you continue to make false accusations against or about me and which may lead to personal and/or professional damage I will defend myself and my reputation vigorously.

Jim also contacted Wikipedia, providing evidence as to his truth (and therefore MacRae’s lie) and they promptly corrected the page to reflect facts.

Jim has not heard from MacRae (or her colleagues) since and, following Jim’s robust response any claims to her being the creator of the Race for Life disappeared from her social media profiles. Unfortunately for her, it is the nature of the internet that a lie once told cannot be taken back and stories continue to emerge of her making her false claim.

However, the damage was done. Cancer Research UK continue to refuse to recognise, let alone thank, Jim for his incredible creation. Their current position is that they credit no one, a somewhat ridiculous position given that for the previous 25 years they have credited a range of different (incorrect) origins for the event. Given they have admitted that they have no records from the event’s beginnings, suspicious in itself, how they could make these various claims is anyone’s guess.

It is also worth noting the hypocrisy of an organisation always happy to accept recognition from others but who refuse to give the recognition due to Jim.

And what of MacRae? 

Her lie certainly enhanced her CV and has not held her back in her career since. After leaving CRUK in 1996, according to her Linked In profile she has worked in a range of high profile roles:
British Lung Foundation (Fundraising Manager)
National Autistic Society (Fundraising Manager)
PZA Consulting (Associate Consultant)
Blether Media (Director)
AmbITion Scotland (Specialist Advisor)
Scottish Women In Business (Committee Member)
Visibility (Fundraising & Business Development Manager)
Barnardo’s (Business Development Manager and, currently, as Acting Assistant Director Business Development)

And, while MacRae’s suspect CV has done her no harm (if she has lied about the Race for Life, could she have other fictional episodes recorded?), Jim’s honest CV has been brought into question when Cancer Research UK told a prospective employer fact checking his CV that they had “never heard of him.”

It is a tale of a man whitewashed from the history of the hugely successful event he created and who has then subsequently been lied about and ignored; and a tale of a woman who stole that idea and who has built a successful career on the back of that barefaced lie.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK (and Jill MacRae) are lagging behind.

FURTHER READING:
How The Race For Life Came About
Cancer Research UK Refusing To Correct Twenty Five Years Of Lying About Race For Life
Were False Claims About Who Created The Race For Life Fraud?
Race For Life on Wikipedia
More Evidence Emerges Of The Potentially Fraudulent Claim As To Who Created Race For Life
Hypocrisy Is Deeply Embedded Within The Culture Of Cancer Research UK
New Cancer Research UK CEO Will Continue The Hypocrisy Of Her Predecessor
Jill MacRae’s Linked In Profile
How Cancer Research UK Lie Cost Race For Life Creator A Job Offer

RACE FOR LIFE CREATOR IGNORED AS EVENT REACHES ITS 25TH BIRTHDAY

2019 marks 25 years since the very first Race for Life was staged in 1994 in London’s Battersea Park.

Most organisations might choose such a landmark as an opportunity to thank the person who created such a successful event, but not Cancer Research UK.

Jim Cowan came up with the idea for the event in 1993 following his father’s terminal cancer diagnosis. He took the idea to what was then the Imperial Cancer Research Fund (ICRF) and organised the first Race for Life a year later.

Unfortunately for Jim, the ICRF’s the Events Manager, Jill MacRae, decided to claim the idea as her own and went on to build a successful career in the charity sector on the back of her deception while Jim was told he was surplus to requirements.

Over the intervening years ICRF became Cancer Research UK (CRUK), MacRae moved on, and CRUK lost track of how the enormously successful event had begun, crediting a range of incorrect sources but ignoring Jim.

Nowadays, the people at the top of the charity know the facts but choose to ignore them, not even correcting the incorrect credits of the past. Jim continues to be ignored and, far from being recognised, thanked, or involved in the 25th birthday celebration of his creation, finds himself written out of its history by the charity it has done so much for.

We leave it to others to judge the level of integrity displayed by CRUK in their actions, instead choosing to thank Jim for his incredible, amazing creation; one which has undoubtedly saved  many lives and changed tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of others for the better.

CRUK won’t say it, but we will. Thank you Jim! 

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

HYPOCRISY IS DEEPLY EMBEDDED WITHIN THE CULTURE OF CANCER RESEARCH UK

What is hypocrisy?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines it thus:

Hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si); a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time:

There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.

And this definition fits perfectly in describing the culture within Cancer Research UK and its policy of accepting recognition both individually and collectively while refusing to offer recognition to Jim Cowan, the person who created their most popular and significant fundraising event; the Race for Life.

This culture of hypocrisy comes from the very top of the organisation with the new CEO, Michelle Mitchell, leading the way in continuing the practice embedded by her predecessor, Harpal Kumar. Both have refused to recognise Jim Cowan for his incredible contribution to the charity’s fundraising and yet both are happy to accept recognition for their own work, including a knighthood by Kumar and an OBE by Mitchell.

The organisation’s Chairman, Leszek Borysiewicz, is no better. He endorses the refusal to recognise Cowan but has also accepted recognition for himself in the form of his knighthood.

What about Cancer Research UK’s committees and trustee membership? On page 45 of their 2017/18 Annual Report we can see that the thirteen strong list includes three knights and one dame. Yes, the hypocrisy runs deep within the very fabric of the charity and is clearly endorsed from the top down.

What of other examples? There are many and anyone following the organisation’s social media will see regular tweets and posts offering recognition and thanks to those who help the charity, and thanking those who recognise them. But recognition for Jim Cowan, not a peep.

Examples include using Father’s Day as a marketing tool and calling on people to honour fathers affected by cancer while ignoring Jim Cowan and denying him recognition for creating the event, in full knowledge of the fact that the inspiration behind Jim’s creating of the Race for Life was his own father’s cancer diagnosis in 1993.

How about Cancer Research UK’s own annual Flame of Hope awards in recognition of their volunteers achievements, something we applaud. But every time they Tweet or otherwise share details of Flame of Hope Award winners without also recognising the man who created the Race for Life they again demonstrate that deeply embedded cultural hypocrisy.

Then there was Nicholas McGranahan, group leader at the CRUK-UCL Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, who last year won the MD Anderson Wilson Stone Memorial Award. Cancer Research UK were quick to applaud the award, to promote the achievements of one of their own. But what of Jim Cowan? Still nothing. 

The examples are many, of which these are but a few, led by the people at the very top of the charity every one of them providing a dictionary definition example of the hypocrisy which is not only embedded within the organisation but actively encouraged by Cancer Research UK’s leadership.

We do not criticise the recognition of any of the above, we take that recognition at face value and assume it to be deserved. But we ask Cancer Research UK, doesn’t Jim Cowan deserve recognition too? Doesn’t the person who created your biggest and most popular fundraising event deserve recognition (if not thanks) too?

Recognition for Jim Cowan is long, long overdue, a quarter of a century overdue. We had hoped that change at the top at Cancer Research UK would finally bring that change. Unfortunately, hypocrisy continues to reign supreme.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

CANCER RESEARCH UK TAKING AN OSTRICH LIKE VIEW TO FACTS

In our most recent articles we have shared correspondence from both Race 4 Truth and from Jim Cowan to Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, asking her to reconsider the organisation’s refusal to recognise Jim for creating the Race for Life.

For your reference, you can read our letter to Mitchell here, and her non-response here, followed by Jim Cowan’s follow up to her here.

After a wait of four weeks, Jim did eventually receive a reply although not from Mitchell, instead from her organisation’s Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey. We share that letter here with analysis of its content below.

It is perhaps telling that Mitchell does not extend the courtesy of replying herself, perhaps choosing to create distance between herself and the charity’s continuing and deliberate ignoring of the facts?

We had hoped when Mitchell was appointed that a new broom might see the dawn of a new culture at CRUK however, the reference to CRUK Chairman Sir Leszek Borysiewicz’s September 2017 correspondence tells us that under the new CEO’s guidance it will be ‘old broom, old culture’ – a culture lacking integrity and of questionable ethics, not to mention hugely hypocritical.

McCluskey, on behalf of Mitchell, repeats the mantra of “we do not credit anyone with originating any of our events”, stating that CRUK’s position has not changed. It sounds reasonable but is far from it.

  1. Cancer Research UK lied about the origins of the Race for Life for nearly a quarter of a century (outlined here). The ‘we do not credit anyone’ line was introduced in 2017 solely to avoid having to face up to and admit those lies. Many of those lies remain in the public domain, uncorrected. Any organisation with integrity would address this as a matter of urgency.
  2. The Race for Life is the only CRUK event which was not developed in-house or by hired contractor. Therefore any rule applying to it being developed internally and individuals responsible not being recognised should not apply.
  3. The event was entirely conceived independently of CRUK by Jim Cowan (see article here) and with the intention he organise and develop it. After he took it to Cancer Research UK (then known as Imperial Cancer Research Fund) proposing it could be a huge event raising funds for them, it was their staff who effectively stole the event by trademarking it behind Jim’s back before informing him he was no longer needed.
  4. They regularly credit, recognise, and thank individuals and organisations external to CRUK for organising fundraising events and challenges for them. Hypocrisy at its best.
  5. They happily accept recognition both for individuals and collectively as an organisation from external bodies. More hypocrisy.
  6. And even more hypocritically, their Chairman (a knighthood), their previous CEO (a knighthood – see article here), and Mitchell herself (an OBE) have happily accepted honours in recognition of their own achievements while refusing to recognise Jim Cowan.

McCluskey’s letter continues by claiming the charity has no record of the communication regarding the job opportunity lost to Jim when CRUK stated they had never heard of him (article here). Apart from being very convenient, it seems to support a view that record keeping within the organisation is somewhat lax and a long way short of what should be expected.

Cancer Research UK, the letter states, has neither employee nor contractor records going back to 1994. What the relevance of this is we do not know, other than to deliberately evade the fact that Jim Cowan was neither an employee nor a contractor in 1993 when he proposed the event to them, nor in 1994 when he organised the very first Race for Life.

McCluskey then reports that his organisation has no internal records of Jim’s involvement either,  suggesting they know he was neither employee nor contractor.

  1. Apart from being very convenient for CRUK it is also not unsurprising given it is highly likely that their then employee Jill MacRae would have covered her tracks and removed evidence to the contrary when falsely and fraudulently claiming to be the event’s originator in 1994/5 (details here and here).
  2. Regardless of (1), Jim offered to meet and share documentary evidence with Mitchell. Given the admission that CRUK has no documentary evidence of their own concerning the origins of the event, some might consider it strange that they have no interest (indeed, make no mention of) this offer. This is the ostrich approach, keeping their heads buried in the sand to avoid hearing facts that support a truth they know but won’t acknowledge. Yet again, this brings the organisation’s integrity into question.
  3. They know the lies they told over 25 years do not hold water. Indeed their lies contradict each other so frequently did they change their story prior to assuming their present ‘we don’t credit anyone’ position. They know they backed a fake and a fraudster in MacRae and rather than do the right thing and show some integrity they choose to keep the truth buried, thereby continuing to support the lie through their silence and their ‘credit no one’ stance.
  4. Indeed, it is about much more than giving credit where credit is due; it is about doing the right thing. What is it that they are so scared of that they do not even want to meet Jim to see and discuss his evidence which includes original documentation?
  5. The only logical conclusion is that they lack the collective moral compass, moral leadership and integrity to do the right thing and admit that they got it wrong.
  6. CRUK’s stance stems back to MacRae’s theft of the event from Jim. Everything since has been to protect that lie. Maybe initially CRUK were unaware but integrity would demand that once exposed, the lie be corrected, apologies made, and due recognition given.

Without correcting the lies of the last 25 years, many of their own staff are in ignorance of the event’s origins having been sold those same lies by their employer; a situation damning of the organisation’s leadership over that time. This is demonstrated by their National Events Manager, Annette Quarry’s (a CRUK employee of over ten years) misinformed insistence that the event originated with the American Cancer Society. This, in 2018 after the ‘credit no one’ policy was supposedly in place. One can only wonder at which version of CRUK’s fake history others in their current and former employ subscribe to. We do know it won’t be the factual version.

In addition to highlighting a disturbing absence in integrity within such a large charity, the ‘credit no one’ stance is extremely hypocritical.

  1. As mentioned above, Borysiewicz (Chairman), Harpal Kumar (previous CEO), and Mitchell have all accepted recognition for themselves while denying recognition for Jim Cowan.
  2. CRUK and Race for Life’s social media are littered with recognition and thanks for their own staff and volunteers while continuing to deny any recognition to Jim Cowan.
  3. CRUK are happy to accept recognition and thanks from others while continuing to deny any recognition and thanks to Jim Cowan.
  4. CRUK regularly thank and recognise a range of external fundraisers, volunteers, and events while (you guessed it) continuing to deny any recognition and thanks to Jim Cowan.

Given all of the above, is it any wonder that Mitchell has chosen not to meet with Jim? Is it any wonder that she delegated even replying to his letter? Perhaps, she is fully aware of the facts around the creation of the Race for Life, she is aware that the charity she now leads has lied about that creation for a quarter of a century? Whether she is aware or not, she should be. It is part of her role as CEO to be informed on such matters. The integrity and moral compass of the charity are being brought into question under her watch. That she chooses to distance herself is incriminating even without considering any/all of the above.

The correspondence between Race 4 Truth, Michelle Mitchell, and Jim Cowan started in January and concluded in April. During that correspondence Race 4 Truth and Jim raised several key points to Mitchell, points which needed addressing or, at a minimum, acknowledging:

  1. That the original motivation behind Jim creating the Race for Life was his own father’s eventually fatal cancer diagnosis. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  2. That there was documentary evidence available to support the facts and to prove that Jim was the creator of the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  3. That, in addition to documentary evidence, witnesses were available to support the fact that Jim created the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  4. That one of their own employees falsely and fraudulently claimed to be the originator of the Race for Life. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  5. The question of the integrity of the charity were its current stance on the creation of the Race for Life to continue. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  6. The question of hypocrisy of the charity and, individually, of its leadership were its current stance on the creation of the Race for Life to continue. IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK
  7. The offer to meet, discuss and share evidence proving who was responsible for the creation of the Race for Life was also IGNORED BY CANCER RESEARCH UK

In the interests of balance, the following are those items raised during our correspondence not ignored by Cancer Research UK:

1.

Cancer Research UK’s stance can only be described as ostrich like. They know the facts are out there, they know they have been wrong for 25 years, but so long as they keep their head buried in the sand, they can continue to ignore the truth.

IN THE RACE 4 TRUTH, CANCER RESEARCH UK ARE LAGGING BEHIND.

NEW CANCER RESEARCH UK CEO WILL CONTINUE THE HYPOCRISY OF HER PREDECESSOR

Here at the Race 4 Truth we have deliberately posted very few new articles over recent months. Why? Because we have been corresponding with Michelle Mitchell, Cancer Research UK’s new Chief Executive, in the hope that new leadership might see a desire to improve integrity and end the hypocrisy of her predecessor and of the current Chairman.

Having failed to get a satisfactory response, we passed the correspondence on to Jim Cowan who wrote his own letter to Mitchell. Rather than reply herself, she passed Jim’s letter to CRUK’s Complaints Manager, Graeme McCluskey, who eventually replied informing Jim that nothing would be changing.

We will be sharing these letters over the next couple of weeks and we will be analysing exactly what the contents of those letters tells us about the integrity of CRUK and its new leadership, along with the continued hypocrisy.

It is reasonable to suggest that hypocrisy continues to reign supreme as Mitchell, who was happy to accept an OBE in recognition of her own work and achievements, does not see fit to recognise the work and achievement of Jim Cowan in creating the Race for Life.

More to follow in the coming days.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.

WILL NEW CEO ADDRESS INSTITUTIONAL HYPOCRISY AT CANCER RESEARCH UK?

The Race 4 Truth was established in order to bring public attention to the way Cancer Research UK have denied recognition for Jim Cowan who created the Race for Life.

Over the last quarter of a century, Cancer Research UK has told a range of tales about the origins of the event, all excluding its actual creator. There is evidence that, initially, this might have been because they were misled by former employee Jill MacRae who falsely (possibly fraudulently) laid claim to being the event’s originator.

More recently, perhaps realising they have believed (and promoted) fiction rather than fact, instead showing the sort of integrity you might expect from a charity and acknowledging their mistake, they have taken up a policy of refusing to recognise anyone for the Race for Life’s creation.

In doing so, they have left the door open to accusations of hypocrisy, accusations which reflect reality. How?

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines hypocrisy thus:

Hypocrisy (hɪˈpɒk.rɪ.si); a situation in which someone pretends to believe something that they do not really believe, or that is the opposite of what they do or say at another time: “There’s one rule for her and another rule for everyone else and it’s sheer hypocrisy.”

And in refusing to give the recognition rightly due to Jim Cowan, every time they accept recognition (individually or as an organisation), or bestow recognition on others, they are acting hypocritically.

Their previous Chief Executive, Sir Harpal Kumar, was happy to accept a knighthood in recognition of his own work. Yet refused to recognise Jim Cowan as creator of the Race for Life. Hypocrisy?

They Tweeted using Father’s Day as a marketing tool and calling on people to honour fathers affected by cancer while (still) ignoring Jim Cowan and denying him recognition for creating the event and in full knowledge of the fact that the inspiration behind Jim’s creating of the Race for Life was his own father’s cancer diagnosis in 1993. Hypocrisy?

Cancer Research UK have annual Flame of Hope awards in recognition of their volunteers achievements, something we applaud. But every time they Tweet or otherwise share details Flame of Hope Award winners without also recognising the man who created the Race for Life, isn’t it hypocrisy?

Nicholas McGranahan, group leader at the CRUK-UCL Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence, recently won the MD Anderson Wilson Stone Memorial Award and Cancer Research UK were quick to applaud the award, to promote the achievements of one of their own. But what of Jim Cowan? Still nothing. Hypocrisy?

And what of their Chairman, Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, who was knighted in 2001 in recognition of his work. Where does he stand on recognising Jim Cowan for the creation of an event his charity has gained so much through? He refuses to recognise Jim at all. No, it is fine for others to recognise him but not for him to recognise Jim. Hypocrisy?

The above are examples of the dictionary definition hypocrisy which now runs through the fabric, the very culture, of Cancer Research UK. What is good for the charity, its people, its leadership, is not good for Jim Cowan. Hypocrisy? Without a shadow of a doubt.

We do not criticise the recognition of any of the above, we take that recognition at face value and assume it to be deserved. But we ask Cancer Research UK, doesn’t Jim Cowan deserve recognition too? Doesn’t the person who created your biggest fundraising event deserve recognition too?

The charity’s new Chief Executive Officer took up her new position last week. Michelle Mitchell already has an OBE so we know she is willing to accept recognition for her own achievements. We can only hope that, unlike those who preceded her, she is not a hypocrite and will be keen to ensure recognition to all who merit it both within the organisation and without.

Recognition for Jim Cowan is long, long overdue. Will change at the top at Cancer Research UK finally bring it or will hypocrisy continue to reign supreme? Time will tell.

In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK are lagging behind.