One of the best conferences on the circuit is the Guardian's public services one held traditionally in February. This years event sounded great. They had asked me to speak but I had already booked my holiday in Cyprus. Shame!
But that great journalist Patrick Butler has done a illuminating story on it. I was struck by the contribution of The Bishop of London , my friend Richard Chartes. Let me repeat his contribution as reported by Patrick,
" The Bishop of London, the Rt Rev Richard Chartres, called for the intangible values of public service to be restored in the face of "a society of strangers and a low-trust world". The political obsession with "targets and figures" had impaired public services' capacity for "connected wisdom," he said. Markets that distorted the outcomes of public services should be judged "innapropriate on moral grounds," he added. At the heart of reform, he suggested, has to be the reconception of public services as the sign of a humane society. He quoted the Beveridge-era Archbishop of Canterbury, William Temple, who had welcomed the creation of a welfare state in the early 1940s with words: "Service is the only true dignity."
My new Board member Allison Agius , who runs Catalyst Stockton has done a blog on the ACEVO commission report on youth unemployment. Worth reading also as an insight into the day to day , or day to night life of a third sector CEO. See it here
Catalyst Stockton is a support organisation that provides help for third sector organisations within Stockton onTees. And as you will see from her blog she shares something in common with Hazel Blears; she rides a big black motorbike. Though not to ACEVO board meetings!
I know what she means about the demands of the job! I have a day packed with meetings , starting early with my very own Directors Group coming together to get their orders from Dear Leader , then a lunch with the new CEO of the London VCS and even an interview. Might have to catch up on The Archers on iplayer again. What a great invention. Will it catch on I wonder.
And finally my Thought for The Day , ( sent by my brother but I forget who said it),
" rather than waiting for your boat to come in , swim out and get it. ".