An appealing invitation

This morning broadcasters have invitedimages (194) Bernard Jenkin MP to speak about the failing of a high profile charity and what wisdom he and other backbench MPs can bring to bear on what happened. One of his comments on Radio 4 was to suggest that Kids Company had become politicised as a result of the appearance of Camilla Batmanghelidjh at a Tory Party Conference. As he pointed out this was not a matter for the Tories alone, the Labour Party made exactly the same mistake with the same charity. The challenge for charities is to make sense of what in the eyes of people like Bernard and his colleagues, leads to a line being crossed. As an example last week a Government Minister was in Sussex visiting a charity with the Police and Crime Commissioner. This was publicised, by the Conservative Party (the PCC is a Tory) even though there is less than 4 months to go until the PCC stands for re-election. In the spirit of part 2 of the lobbying bill, the charity should have refused the invitation, pointing out that in the year before the PCC election, that she should have stayed away. This cannot be treated as anything other than politicisation surely? Yet the visit provided the charity with publicity that it cannot easily achieve alone, and it allowed a key issue to be profiled on regional media. By the same token charities I have been involved with have been invited to send workers and charity recipients to attend fringe meetings of Political Parties of all hues. In part this is because the charity concerned was a key change maker and because it is based in the same location as a venue that political parties use for their conferences. Is that politicisation? or is it a way of helping to influence decision makers to better understand how hard work and appropriate levels of investment? The problem is that there are no absolutes. It is easy to be wise after the collapse of a charity, but it appears that the two largest Political Parties failed to be wise beforehand. It is this that is needed. Hindsight is available in large volumes. What we need is a review into the lack of foresight by the leaders and managers of our Political Parties!


About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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