Monthly Archives: December 2010

Arise Sir Stephen – and honour is satisfied

For a long time it was a moot point whether Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, or Stephen Bubb, head of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, would make it first on to the honours list. Etherington had length of service, gravitas, a longer track record and a… Read more »

Talking tough on Hard Talk

It’s the trademark of the BBC news channel’s Hard Talk to give its interviewees a good pummelling. And the gravel-voiced Stephen Sackur didn’t hold back when questioning Sir Stuart Etherington, of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, about the big society at the weekend. Wasn’t Sir Stuart a bit complacent about the cuts that are… Read more »

The commissioning reform green paper contains something that could alarm the sector

While flicking through the Office for Civil Society’s green paper on commissioning reform, I came across something that might alarm the sector. The document is looks at ways to make it easier for civil society organisations to bid for public service delivery contracts. Sounds uncontroversial enough. It even provides an innocuous-sounding definition of civil society:… Read more »

Big society conference has a whiff of civil disobedience about it

On Tuesday I listened to people from the often-unheard community sector discuss the big society. There was no government speaker and hardly any suits or ties in the room. A rather hirsute man wearing jeans and a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, and with a strong West Midlands accent, chaired the event. Very nearly half the 35… Read more »