In London this weekend. My sister Lucy, a member of the Royal Choral Society, singing in the glorious Monteverdi vespers in Southwark Cathedral. My nephew Julian, who is currently working in Paris was there - having spent the weekend back in London; much to his relief no doubt, but inevitably casts a gloom. Mass at All Saints, Margaret St on Sunday obviously focused thoughts on the Paris massacres. A thoughtful sermon made the point that we should think past the rather obvious politicians responses - villains and heroes - and reflect on what this means for our place in wider society and our communities.
We have to avoid the stereotypes that portray Muslim communities as a threat and indeed work with community leaders in those communities to tackle alienation and build a cohesive society; particular working with younger Muslims. That's why I believe ACEVO's work with the Muslim Charity Forum is so important and why we will redouble our efforts to work with Muslim charities.
What a strange world the Treasury inhabits. Up to their necks in the spending review and you might expect a rather more radical look at spending. I saw a headline in the Standard which screamed "if Osborne wants to control spending he must cut the NHS". Dramatic! But hides a truth.
So we heard last week that we have had the highest ever figures for people stuck in hospital beds despite being fit for discharge but care is not in place and that we will face a winter crisis in A+E. We know that the third sector can play a central role in keeping frail elderly people out of A+E and getting them home early. Yet is anyone on the phone from the Treasury or DH asking us to do that? Obviously not!
And social care in councils is on the verge of collapse. There is a direct link between care breakdowns, charity cutbacks and demands on the NHS.
Time for a major shift of resources out of hospitals and into community support, social care and prevention.
And don't even get me onto the stupid decision not to introduce a sugar tax....
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