Saturday, 6 June 2009

Tessa and TS Eliot

I am recuperating in Charlbury . Somehow I'm sure the country air will do me good . And i have managed to get a rather smart cool bag , from Brixton market no less , which I use to carry around the eye drops I need to take with alarming regularity .The old roses around my small cottage are flowering prolifically , and the scent is beautiful. Recovery is slow and painful and it will be 4 months before I know if the Op has been successful . But I am optimistic.

I have been following the political events with fascination . Great to see we now have Tessa Jowell as our senior Minister , replacing Liam who goes to HMT. These are both good moves for us . Tessa is an old friend from the days we were in London Local Government . She is a good friend of my great Deputy Peter. In the days I first met her she was CEO of MIND , and so it is of great note that we now have a Cabinet Minister who was a member of ACEVO . Indeed Tessa is one of the early founding members . So she has always been a good friend of acevo and our third sector .

And the advantage of Liam as Chief Secretary is that he will be in charge of pushing the Social Investment bank . I know from my many discussions with Liam that he is a keen supporter of the Bank and indeed when he was at Harvard made a study of the power of the Social Reinvestment Act , of which he is a fan . Lets hope that we now get both sorted quickly. My prediction on Liam for the Home Office turned out to be wrong , but good he is at HMT and will push for a SIB .

I see that ncvo are now fully backing a Bank . Good to have their support . That means we are united as a sector in a demand for social investment. But a rather curious article by Stuart Ethrington in the Guardian makes the bizarre suggestion that they should steal money from Futurebuilders to help fund the Bank . A proposal that fortunately will go nowhere. Futurebuilders is now incredibly successful under dynamic new leadership : Jonathan Lewis our CEO ( currently on paternity leave ! ) has impressed the sector with his no nonsense commitment to delivery and the rooting out of inefficient bureaucracy .There have been ;lots of new ideas and tools and products to support the sector . This success has been crowned with tender wins , of the Social Enterprise fund by DH and the possibility of community builders ( though awaiting news on that ) . Now some have suggested that this proposal has more to do with upset at ncvo losing the contract to run FBE than what might be good for the sector but I could not possibly comment . But that curiosity apart , its welcome to have their support for something many of us have long been advocating.

There was a wonderful programme on BBC 2 last night on modern poetry . It concentrated largely on my favourite poet , TS Eliot. Eliot was received into the Anglican Church in the parish church of Wilcote , just 7 miles from Charlbury . His masterpiece is the Four Quartets and I have a gorgeous copy by Faber . There is a particular verse I love and which I think is an inspiration for all Chief Executives ;

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we first started
And to know the place for the first time

No chief executive can afford to forget that success requires continuing exploration and search , for new ways of doing things , for new ideas and innovation ., bringing on talent and giving younger people their head to do it their way. And as we get older the temptation is to sink back into old ways and approaches and refuse to look at new ideas . It is a temptation I hope never to succumb to myself even at 56 !

So why not get out and buy a copy of this transformational work. Over the summer I hope to get down to East Coker in Somerset where Eliot's ashes are laid to rest in the village in Somerset where his ancestors came from . I am due to stay with a great friend , Barbara Frost who was my Vice Chair and is CEO of WaterAid. She lives just outside Frome in Somerset so we may venture there. And whilst there I shall even be tidying up the grave of my Great , Great Grandparents who lived in Marston Bigot , Barbara's home village when she is not traveling the world on behalf of her marvellous charity .

So no ceasing from exploration for me ( eye problems or no).............

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr Bubb, your writings are always enjoyable to read. Please note that T.S. Eliot was received into the CoE at Finstock, not Wilcote.

Best regards, Joe