Friday 20 February 2009

Mangling English but Don't Panic!

Guess which national Quango involved in our sector was responsible for this sentence: "we understand that you wish to implement an engagement and planning framework which will take you efficiently through a seamlessly connected series of collaborative steps, culminating in ‘customer focused’ and ‘regionally engaged’ work plans for each of the national workstreams

Amazing. I wonder what it could mean? Do we really use public money to disseminate this?

Last night I watched the new film "Milk" about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay elected official in America - elected to office in San Francisco in the 70's and then assassinated. A great film; Sean Penn was Milk.

In many ways we have moved on and our culture is much more open to and valuing of diversity. I had forgotten the dreadful campaigning of Anita Bryant in the 70's which even infected politics here with the infamous Section 28 brought in by Thatcher. But the religious bigotry that fed that disgusting piece of legislation is still around - witness the statements of the Pope on homosexuality and his promotion of a Bishop who believes that the New Orleans hurricane was a punishment for homosexuals. We have to value and protect liberal values and our human rights legislation. Never assume they cannot be reversed. Just witness the hysteria over the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights on compensation for those held without due process in our system which put the war on terror over respect for our traditional liberties.

"Don't Panic", the useful advice of Sergeant Jones to Captain Mannering in Dad's Army must apply to us in the sector. It's amazing that only five months ago I was being told by a senior sector CEO that we were being alarmist calling for emergency aid for the sector and now I'm being told it's the end of the world as we know it.

Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. But keeping our nerves as CEOs is still by far the best approach. And it's time for an end to the amateur charity. Professional and business like approaches will see us through. The amateur and panicky trustee must be consigned to history.

I'm in Charlbury working on my Lecture for March 3rd and the informal report for James. My Head of Policy, Ralph Michell, is here and we retire to The Bull for lunch and a thought stimulating claret. So the lecture will be great!

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