Civil Society

Raising More Tax Requires Investment in Civil Society

Hans Zomer | Posted 27.07.2015 | UK Politics
Hans Zomer

We must not allow a situation to arise where the focus is merely on increasing government income, without ensuring adequate accountability mechanisms are in place to ensure the tax money raised is spent wisely. And as we know only too well from our experience in Ireland, a healthy civil society is absolutely vital in that regard.

Garrick Vote: You Poor Men

Fiona Hotston Moore | Posted 07.07.2015 | UK
Fiona Hotston Moore

It seems a waste of time to put energy into a rational argument to counter your irrational position. But perhaps now that at least we are all talking about your strange habit, things might change. n the meantime, what the rest of us can do is stop treating your club as exclusive, but instead as ridiculous.

The Voluntary and Community Sector Must Respond to the 2015 Election With Both Sophistication and Voice Anchored in Its Values

John Tizard | Posted 11.05.2015 | UK
John Tizard

The outcome of the General Election has significant implications for the voluntary and community sector (VCS). At both a local and national level, it must now respond - in a constructive but principled manner.

The Importance of Civil Society Organisations in National Conversation

Muhammad Abdul Bari | Posted 06.05.2015 | UK
Muhammad Abdul Bari

Charity and philanthropy depend on citizens' concern and proactive activism for the good of humanity, at home and abroad, in areas such as poverty alleviation, social justice, equality, clean environment and healthy politics. Dedicated volunteering from under-performing communities can lift them up which also enhances better community relations.

Racists on Trains and the Silence of the Bystander

Gabriel Webber | Posted 19.06.2015 | UK
Gabriel Webber

History's worst acts of evil all happened amidst the silence of the bystander. Ms Nagesh is most unwise to encourage her readers to keep quiet when they witness acts of hatred.

2015: Setting the Right Course

Lord Michael Hastings | Posted 11.04.2015 | UK
Lord Michael Hastings

2015 gives me hope, but we need faith in the political system, in businesses, in civil society and in the people running them to ensure that the promise of the SDGs is fulfilled and the global economy works for all communities, now and in the future.

Charity Regulation: Time to Debate the Fundamentals, Not Just the Charity Commission and Its Chair

John Tizard | Posted 03.04.2015 | UK Politics
John Tizard

The re-appointment of William Shawcross as Chair of the Charity Commission has understandably and rightly sparked much media and charity sector interest in his views and political allegiance as well as the role of the Commission itself. The latter is old news...

A Message for 2015 to Charity Sector Leaders: Step Up - or Step Aside

John Tizard | Posted 06.02.2015 | UK Politics
John Tizard

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.

After Scotland: English Devolution - why, what and how?

John Tizard | Posted 26.12.2014 | UK Politics
John Tizard

September 18th 2014 has changed the politics and governance of the UK radically and irreversibly. But let's please be clear about what we are seeking to do and for what purpose; and then let's get to it!

Self-Confidence Is Essential in the Voluntary and Community Sector

John Tizard | Posted 17.12.2014 | UK
John Tizard

The voluntary and community sector faces unprecedented challenges. These challenges are deep and very significant including the withdrawal of public funding, political attacks, and increased demand for services (especially as a result of cuts to public services and the impact of austerity).

Bailing Out the Food Banks

Adam Hamdy | Posted 13.12.2014 | UK Politics
Adam Hamdy

Food bank use is rising almost as quickly as executive pay. If something isn't done to correct the worsening structural inequality in the economy, the government may find itself called upon to bail out the food banks and provide basic nutrition to people living in one of the richest nations in the world.

Memorandum to the New Minister for Civil Society - Time for Action

John Tizard | Posted 04.12.2014 | UK Politics
John Tizard

Dear Minister, Welcome to the new job. I write this memorandum as someone who works with many civil society organisations, is a trustee of some national and local charities and as a former senior executive in that sector.

Time for National Charity and VCS Bodies to Lead a National Discourse

John Tizard | Posted 25.10.2014 | UK Politics
John Tizard

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.

Jimmy Savile and the Banking Crisis - United by Failure to Question

Fiona Hotston Moore | Posted 05.10.2014 | UK
Fiona Hotston Moore

There is a great deal we could gain as a culture from being more questioning, which is not the same as being more cynical. Scepticism is what allowed the Age of Enlightenment to emerge in the Seventeenth Century, a liberation of arts and sciences from the stranglehold of religious orthodoxies.

The Inequality Row: Has the Penny Dropped?

John Nickson | Posted 30.07.2014 | UK
John Nickson

Evidence of increasing inequality has been accumulating for 30 years. Taxes were reduced, the financial, property and IT sectors boomed and billionaires appeared. Since then, the number of billionaires based in Britain is reported to have increased tenfold to 104.

Football in Brazil: It's Different for Girls

Beth McLoughlin | Posted 27.07.2014 | UK Sport
Beth McLoughlin

While I do think that can be true in any country in the world, Brazil is a particularly macho society and girls still get subjected to insults or ridicule just for having an interest in playing football. The FIFA World Cup presents a great opportunity for children all over the country to meet people from different cultures and experience the magic of the game.

What Has Brazil Learned From South Africa as the FIFA World Cup Approaches?

Beth McLoughlin | Posted 14.07.2014 | UK Sport
Beth McLoughlin

I am here in Brazil investigating the effects on children, and so far I have seen children suffer from health problems and miss out on school due to evictions and event-related works, while FIFA is set to make $4bn from the tournament. Many have been rehoused, but they are now hours away from their schools and from hospitals and other essential services...

The UK and Syria: Turning Anger and Passivity Into Constructive Action

Harry Shotton | Posted 25.06.2014 | UK Universities & Education
Harry Shotton

The focus on policing those who are emotionally affected by the situation in Syria does not deal with the crisis in hand. People have the right to be angry, and should be angry at the sheer death and destruction being wreaked on Syria by the regime...

On the Brink of a Revolution in Social Entrepreneurship

Helen Stephenson | Posted 08.06.2014 | UK Politics
Helen Stephenson

Social enterprise - sustainable businesses that exist for more than simply profit - is not a new concept, but their recent growth is. There are now 180,000 social enterprises in the UK and sector contributes at least £55bn to the economy.

Cyprus Talks Re-Started: Will The New Hopes Survive The Old Methods?

Yeshim Harris | Posted 29.04.2014 | UK Politics
Yeshim Harris

After a long break, a new round of talks has started again in Cyprus. Both communities are busy preparing their negotiation teams; their politicians and leaders are discussing their shared views and remaining differences; and external stakeholders are looking on with very visible interest...

Asa Bennett

MP Blasts Coalition's 'Pernicious Lie' To Young People

HuffingtonPost.com | Asa Bennett | Posted 20.02.2014 | UK Politics

Coalition ministers have "badly let down" young people looking for other career options like taking an apprenticeship instead of going to university, ...

Lobbying Bill Is a Pernicious Attack on Our Freedoms

Melanie Ward | Posted 16.03.2014 | UK Politics
Melanie Ward

The Bill would massively restrict the amount that campaigning charities and other UK community groups could spend in the year before an election whilst silencing us with unnecessary red tape. And if you're wondering why US-style funding systems don't yet exist in the UK, it's because they're already illegal.

Bring Back National Service! - The Lazy Generation Is Over

Kevin Godlington | Posted 13.03.2014 | UK
Kevin Godlington

This is the cry we have heard from the mouths of our old folk, usually when 'the youth of today' have enraged them. However, hold your scorn at the title, more than ever there are strong and compelling reasons to consider bringing back National Service. It might be a solution to a number of our social problems...

Critiquing Electoral Democracy: The Case for Looking Beyond the Ballot Box

Harry Shotton | Posted 13.11.2013 | UK Universities & Education
Harry Shotton

Relying solely on the ballot box will not fulfil the democratic ideal of a legitimate government by the people and for the people. Election results in both Egypt and the UK demonstrate the need for the political process to be anchored much more in a highly participatory civil society, with high levels of ongoing social engagement both before and after elections.

Stop Blaming Our Young People...

Kevin Godlington | Posted 05.11.2013 | UK Politics
Kevin Godlington

I read this week that the minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd was getting some heat for daring to mention that young people today perhaps lack the "grit" of yesteryear, necessary to find jobs and succeed in life. He was referring to the Neets, a subject close to my heart, those young people Not in Education Employment or Training. So is he right?