Monday, 28 July 2008

Zeitgeist and Warwick

I have been taken to task by " anon" for my less than respectful comments on the "superstarry lamb banana"sculptures I assumed were mutant cows. Now apparently Liverpool's half lamb and half banana creation is a wonderful reflection of the scouse zeitgeist.....and appropriate to a City rich in history as a port involved historically in the export of lambs and the import of bananas. So there you go . Glad we have that straight.

And I thought it was time for Sparkles to make her debut on the blog ; and don't those Hollyhocks look superb ( see photo below )! It was such a brilliant weekend . So hot in fact that I hardly picked up my blackberry , and for me that is unusual .

Was not the news from the gathering at Warwick depressing ? The weekend when Labour Party activists , ministers and unions got together to discuss their Manifesto. The reporting of the huge list of demands from the unions was like being transported to Jurassic Park. Old and tired stuff form a different era. Although it is said no concessions were made on the issue of public service reform and outsourcing to the third and private sectors , I wonder ? And do you think there was anything on the third sector? The unions are indifferent to the sector and some are actively hostile to our increasing role so I have a sinking feeling there will have been little at all for the sector in these discussions .If that is so then that will have been a serious error for the Labour Party . Whilst there are many members of Government who seriously get our role , this is sadly not true across much of the union movement or ,I suspect , with Labour activists. At such times I am reminded of the comments of Peter Drukker that the 21st century is the century of the third sector. And it is clear the conservatives are making the role of the sector a key part of their platform.It will be interesting to find out just how much attention the panjandrum's of Labour spent in discussing the role of the sector and whether in tackling the social and economic travails of the country they see us playing anything other than a marginal role?

I had a fantastic meeting with Esther Rantzen this morning to discuss some work we may be doing with her .She has just published a book; " If not now ,when? Living the baby boomer adventure ". It tackles the issue of age and the potential waste of the talent of the baby boomer generation , of which I am a proud member. She was great . I saw her at the Centre for Social Justice Awards which she was ably comparing . We were discussing whether as you get older you get more irascible and inflexible . I said, " yes , guilty " . She said isn't it just that we have reached the point where we know hope does not triumph over experience !!

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