Wednesday 16 July 2014

Ave et Vale

So it’s hail Brooks Newmark and farewell Nick Hurd.

I think the fact there has been such a strong response from sector leaders paying tribute to Nick says a lot about how well he has done his job. He cared about the health of our sector, and avoided the political extremes inhabited by some in Parliament on both sides who want to relegate us to the margins.

I always enjoyed talking to Nick. I'm sure he always thoroughly enjoyed my helpful texts of advice and occasional expletives about "developments". He was a strong supporter of social finance and did much to promote it. He should also be remembered for his acts of omission. He refused to get sucked into the nonsense of CEO pay and refused to attack charity campaigning. He lived by his mantra of "do no harm".

So his final advice to me about Brooks (he'll forgive me for repeating his text I'm sure) was "Good guy. Bright. A good listener. Nice and genuine. Business background. Think you will get on despite everything I tell him about you!"

And I also had a great intro to Brooks from Crispin Blunt MP who is on my SIB Board and who also gave him a strong write up.

He said he was, “imaginative, open minded and convinced by argument. Not a zealot".

Finally, though he is relatively unknown to us at present my Deputy, Ash Singh, knows him and some of his team and he likewise tells me good things about him. Harvard and Oxford. Involvement with various charities, including one he set up.  Work in Rwanda. Treasury whip. This bodes very well.

And I speak to him today. I shall remind him of some of his illustrious predecessors. Indeed one Party Leader began his ministerial career as the first third sector Minister, so the auguries may be good for us all hearing much more about Brooks. 

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