Friday, 14 May 2010

Politics. Business. Jobs. Money

It's a farmyard out there

In the UK David Cameron is appointing his Ministers.

Believe it or not, charities, the 'voluntary sector', have become the business of government and – for the moment anyway this seems set to continue:

The interesting bit comes towards the end of this article –

Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, who has championed the work of smaller charities and expressed concerns about the increasingly close relationship between big charities and government, has been appointed Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

Quick to the trough

Why interesting? Because the ink was hardly dry upon the Ministers'l commissions when I received the following mass emailing from David Senior of an organisation called Action Planning –

Dear Andrew,

We are pleased to announce that the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP, who was yesterday given Cabinet-level responsibility for the third sector (as Cabinet Office Minister), will set out the new Coalition Government’s policy for funding the sector at a special national conference on 9 June. You and your team are warmly invited to attend.

Other top-level speakers at the event will include the Chair of the Charity Commission, Dame Suzi Leather, the Director of The Prince’s Charities, Sir Tom Shebbeare, and Britain’s most celebrated social entrepreneur, Tim Smit of the Eden Project.

There will also be a choice of three afternoon streams, including the annual Charity Investment Debate at which the Chief Investment Officers of leading charity fund managers go ‘head to head’ in debating investment strategy, performance and costs – plus streams on fundraising and income generation, and on building board performance.

There is a maximum of 400 places, of which 300 have already been booked. There’s more detail in my earlier email below and you can download the full brochure here and book here.

The conference is organised by Action Planning in partnership with ACEVO, CFDG, CAF, Charity Trustee Networks and Stone King Sewell LLP. The attendance fee is £145 for your first place and only £95 for up to three additional places.

We hope you can join us on 9 June. Kind regards, David

The event had of course been planned well in advance, whatever the outcome of the election, with three-hundred advance bookings made and paid for, . No doubt there will be no problem finding the further hundred punters required.

Iain Duncan Smith is a really nice bloke and I wish him well in Pensions (I am after all a pensioner so I declare a vested interest here). What I really wish, though, is that he might have been contributing his experience and understanding to the proposed 'Office for Civil Society'.

Otherwise the larger animals in the farm may shoulder and shove minor causes like Conductive Education roughly to the back of the scrum.


  1. Action Planning is "one of the leading UK fundraising, management and recruitment consultants to charities and not-for profit organisations" - or so they themselves say. I cannot see that they are themselves are a charity or not-for-profit organisation. Not that I've any special beef about how this individual or that earns their daily crust.

    Over the years, I've wondered at the vast army of professionals, managers, administrators - all of us, really - who earn their daily crust thanks to all the wonderful children and adults with disabilities and their families.

    Likewise, one can only marvel at this gathering of the "top-level speakers" and acronymised organisations listed as attending this conference who (with one or two notable exceptions) earn their daily crust off the backs of the likes of those of us who run front-line services.

    A ripe case for savage cuts?

  2. 'A ripe case for savage cuts?'

    I am sure that nothing so vulgar will be mentioned on the day midst all the slurping.