Friday 8 May 2009


Well it's all fun. Moving 31 years worth of stuff. Amazing what I have uncovered. There is a marvellous full on Soviet flag down from the loft. Look good in the office perhaps. Useful for all those disciplinary meetings.... (Not that we have any such problems in ACEVO). And all those photos of that youth in long hair and flares....was that me?

Anyway a short break today from the packing cases for breakfast with the CEO of the Big Lottery Fund and my Futurebuilders CEO. Peter Wanless is wearing a great tie. Apparently purchased in order to receive his Honour from HM The Queen. I'm at that level of importance clearly.

We talk about how BLF and FBE might do more work together. It is clearly important that organisations that help to build the capacity of our sector get "joined up".

And a short hop from the Cinnamon Club to Central Hall where I make a speech on the recession to 500 people gathered together by the great Action Planning organisation. I speak after Gayvn Davies and its like being back in an economics tutorial at Oxford! My theme is "reasons to be Cheerful" (only some blog readers will recall the Ian Drury and the Blockheads song! Only surprised I hadn't come across the vinyl in the loft though I did find my Jethro Tull and Abbey Road).

Ralph, my Policy Head (Oxford naturally)and I meet with the Director of Policy Exchange Neil O' Brien who, as it turns out, was also at Christ Church (naturally).

It's the right of centre think tank and we are talking about work on public service reform. They will be very influential if there is a change of Government.

And the final meeting is back at the office with the dynamic duo Alistair Wilson and Nick Temple of The School for Social Entrepreneurs. What stars they are. And so good to see Alistair who is in the country after his travels in Australia, Canada, the States etc. All this gallivanting - I told him about Prague, but clearly he felt that not quite as cool as Sydney. I comment on how pale he looks. And he reminds me at our age we should keep out of the sun. Humph.

Nick mentions he has been lunching with Patrick Butler of The Guardian and their talk turned to The Blog - I guess this happens often in the sector. And my Blog that is, not that spoof one.

Anyway we all agree that actually the UK third sector occupies a world leadership role. No other country has such an advanced relationship with Government or such a powerful and influential role in policy making. We determine that we should be exploiting this. And we agree on a number of collaborations between the School and ACEVO.

And finally it is off to the dear Post Office to try, for the third time, to have my mail redirected. These days any attempt to engage with the State seems to involve endless papers to prove who you are and where you live. The assumption appears to be that you are Osama Bin Laden's best mate unless you can produce utility bills, tax forms, passports etc to show you are who you say you are. My first attempt managed to satisfy the "List A" requirements but not "List B". And having heard on The Today Programme that the Police are apparently stopping someone every three minutes to demand who they are, this over intrusive state apparatus makes me cross. As if any of this would put off a terrorist anyway.

And soon we will all be expected to carry an ID card to prove who we are. And at huge expense. I, for one, will not be volunteering for one of these. I doubt many of my fellow Charlburians will either. We rather like the ancient liberties and freedoms of the English. Let's try and hang onto them.


Unknown said...

So that's where you've been hiding that soviet flag. About time you rebalanced the bollinger with a bit of bolshevik anyway.

Anonymous said...

This whole blog is a joke, right?
- S