Monthly Archives: February 2011

Why are the unions so hostile towards the voluntary sector?

On Wednesday night I was at Lambeth town hall in Brixton, south London, where around 150 protesters occupied the council chamber during a meeting, forcing councillors to leave.   The council meeting was to pass a budget that contained cuts of around £79m over three years. Once the councillors had left (to hold a private… Read more »

Social impact bonds are hot topics

The social impact bond seems flavour of the month. The US budget on 14 February was sprinkled with references to the concept, there known as a “pay for success” bond, and as much as $100m could be spent on them in the next few years. Other countries are also interested. Everyone seems to like the… Read more »

The smoke and mirrors are getting annoying

Saying that politicians sometimes manipulate statistics is like saying that footballers sometimes fancy their teammates’ girlfriends. Not only is it an understatement, but it’s also one of those things that everyone assumes to be their modus operandi. And it only makes the headlines when a particularly audacious episode takes place.    But the latest trend… Read more »

Big society fatigue sets in

It’s been hard to get away from the big society in the last couple of weeks. All the papers – including the Sun – have been on about it, and every second programme on radio and TV has been trying to get a handle on it. It’s been enough to make even current affairs addicts… Read more »

Just how useful is the Big Society Bank going to be?

The announcement that the Big Society Bank was to receive £200m funding “on a commercial basis”, rather than £1bn as a gift, surprised a lot of people, including, it appeared from some conversations I had yesterday, some people in the banks and the Treasury themselves. It leaves the third sector in a different, less useful… Read more »

The tune has changed for the big society

Back in October, when I went to the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, the big society was everywhere. It would have been physically impossible for one person to go to every conference session that had the phrase in its title. It was the buzz phrase of the conference, and was being used in a universally… Read more »

Blanket emails to MPs are lazy, wasteful and lack strategy

There is absolutely no point in sending someone a blanket email if you are hoping to spur them into any kind of action. This is the case whether you are hoping to convince them to care about your cause, persuade them give a donation to your organisation or even entice them into reading past sentence… Read more »