Tuesday 18 May 2010

What's in a name?

Or as Shakespeare put it, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet".

So despite Maud telling the ACEVO Conference in November thay had decided not to indulge in pointless name changing, new stationery, logos and all that, the first action taken by our new Third Sector Minister is to change the name and order new stationery!

"Civil society"; what is that exactly? An organisation dedicated to promoting better manners? It doesn't exactly have instant name recognition, does it? And because of that Nick Hurd is reduced to issuing a press release which has to refer several times to "charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations". And the problem with that formulation is that it misses our community organisations! It doesn't exactly trip off the tongue or make for pithy speeches or press releases.

But never fear, it's a fad and ACEVO remains will remain "third sector" and as we uphold our national traditions we will continue to use OTS and the Third Sector Minister as our nome de plume for these institutions.

I would have thought there were somewhat more important things to do than spending money on rebranding?

Will "civil society" go the way of "Big Society" I wonder - a term no longer to be heard in Tory High Command. There is a lesson here for politicians who waste time on names and other such ephemera.

So, whatever. As I travel I'm used to Non-Profits in America, social economy in France and in the UK we move from the voluntary sector to the voluntary and community sector to third sector and now a choice of civil society or charities, social enterprises and voluntary organisations.

Good job Chief Executives getting on with the day job have better things to do than worry what we are called!


Anonymous said...

Finger on the button as ever: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8688860.stm

Robin Bogg said...

Stephen, this is gold. Pure comedy gold. Did you read my blog post before writing this? This is another of your clever spoofing things isn't it?