Monday, 15 March 2010

David, me and the cheese.

I was buying a gorgeous organic Cotswolds blue brie when I realised my neighbour at the stall was our local MP and his wife Samantha. The first time I have met Samantha , though I feel I knew her well from the morning papers! " You've certainly been shopping well " , he said looking at my 5 bags laden with booty from our marvellous Charlbury Farmers Market.

Always useful to have David Cameron as your MP and we talked about our upcoming ACEVO- Tory Summit on Thursday. He said jocularly, " I'm glad you've got our top team " as I mentioned the star cast for the day led by George Osborne MP.

But a historic occasion ; this is the first time David Cameron has met the Hound. And the Hound approved. I think a Tory supporter as she enthusiastically greeted the Camerons ! Though she would probably lick Gordon too!

Charlbury was resplendent in its early spring glory. Just feast on the photos taken in our Churchyard. And you have to just love the Cameron blessed Hound in the aconites!

Another Sunday hike to the rustic glory of the Plough Inn at Finstock. This time the Hound did without the deer hunting, and I managed to steer her away from Lord Rotherwick's prize sheep ( she had a lamb bone on Saturday and another would be excessive). Pints of Adnams broadside and Old Codgers and I positively salied home; just in time for R3 choral evensong from Kings.

The general election seems to be shaping up well for a more than usually interesting contest. Good that we will have a real fight and contest of ideas. This is the time when we can really influence the parties on the third sector. I have been keen in ACEVO to demonstrate what we can offer, not what we demand. When we all know that public spending must fall then it is foolish to present manifestos that demand more spending without showing what we can achieve for the country .

This week will be action packed for our sector. On St Patrick's day we have our debate with the 3 parties on the joint manifesto produced jointly by ACEVO , the Social Enterprise Coalition and the Community Alliance. We have meetings between Euclid Network and the Tories and a couple of round tables, on volunteering and on commissioning and the historic launch of the first ever social impact bond by the MoJ. All that and our Summit and a Board meeting of the Social Investment Business where we debate expansion.

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