The reaction from the Charity Commission on these cases was in my eyes exemplary. Not only did it act swiftly to remove a charity that should have never been on their register in the first place but it also was quick to reassure the public on social media and elsewhere that the programme did 'not reflect the vast majority of charities that are properly run by honest trustees'.
The charity and wider voluntary and community sector faces many challenges, most of which originate externally. However, I do fear that an unfortunate proportion (hopefully not too large a proportion)of these challenges are self-generated, and of these, it seems to me that far too many stem from within these organisations' executive and trustee leadership teams.
For two decades money raised by National Lottery players has been re-invested in local communities and national projects to the tune of an eye-watering £32billion. Anyone who has ever bought a National Lottery ticket has helped to combat homelessness, tackle the stigma of mental health illness, inspired filmmakers, kept museums open and parks appealing.
one thing charities do well is to knit together the threads of the range of issues important to us, in order to propose positive solutions to the challenges we seek to address. And having knitted together positive solutions we obviously want to show them off - hence our advocacy to politicians, businesses and others.
These are going to be critical months for the voluntary and community sector (VCS) and charities more generally - and this is especially the case for the national sector bodies. It will also be a critical period for all of us and there needs to be an open debate about the future of society which these bodies can lead.
When that space is claimed and tainted by perceived security interests and the engagement with certain actors has more to do with the fear of legal retribution back home than any tangible threat from individuals or groups, the sector has surrendered to the political and interests of our governments, not of universal humanitarian principles.