Thursday 31 October 2013

Adieu, Sir Nick...

We were going round in circles at the time (in the revolving restaurant of the BT Tower as it happens) . Apt somewhat, as I was chatting to Andrew Lansley MP about the Lobbying Bill – as you might expect. I was making my helpful suggestion of a "pause" and listening exercise on the Bill; as suggested by the superb report from the Commission on Civil Society. He laughed, which I think means no. But we will see. There is major support for the work of the Commission across the Lords (and the Commons too). All the talks that acevo has been having across the parties indicates deep concern. So I'm sure the Lords will make amendments! Even if we don't win the argument on a pause. The trick then is to persuade Government to accept those changes.

A gathering of the great and the good to celebrate the work and achievements of fellow Knight and friend Nick Partridge, who has run Terence Higgins with such distinction for years. He is the sector's guru on mergers, having done over 30 of them.

The story of HIV/ Aids has been an object lesson in how citizens or "patients" can make an impact on the medical profession in the way treatments and care are delivered. And an object lesson in challenging stereotypes and bigotry. It was fitting that Norman Fowler was there; he was SoS of Health at the time the AIDS scare was at its peak. He provided strong leadership in challenging prejudice and was behind one of the world's most successful advertising campaigns; the tombstone ones that many of us will remember. At the time I was the Chair of the Landmark, which was South London's equivalent of the more famous Lighthouse (though Diana also was involved with us and indeed opened the Centre).

Nick with the new interim CEO of Terence Higgins.

Looking at my house on Brixton Hill (can you spot it?). 

 Home late, after an unhealthy amount of canapes, champagne, gossip and  sector companionship (good old BT for providing such a fitting send off)!

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