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March 2008 Edit

  • 26 For a week before Easter, I observed at close quarters the passion and commitment that goes into community organisations and social enterprises. I watched ordinary people express ideas for projects to make their estates and neighbourhoods better, and start turning them into business plans.
  • 12 Anyone hearing business and enterprise minister John Hutton this week might be forgiven for thinking they’d been transported back to the 1980s.
  • 5 You might have thought that after a decade of government promises to tackle child poverty and social exclusion, a shared objective would be the least we could hope for.

February 2008 Edit

  • 27 Maybe it’s my age, but I had more than a sense of déjà vu when Hazel Blears and Caroline Flint announced the government’s policy on lifetime homes this week. It’s a bit like watching a teenager discover rock ‘n’ roll.
  • 20 Research must be one of the most abused words in the English language.
  • 6 As I write this, a friend of mine is reapplying for his job in a government quango. He isn’t sure he really wants it.

January 2008 Edit

  • 30 If you were to fly over north Liverpool in a helicopter you wouldn’t see much of significance in a patch of grass and mud in front of a dilapidated terrace, sandwiched between two arterial roads.
  • 23 Events have a nasty habit of unravelling the best-laid plans. Anyone who still thinks property development is the yellow brick road to regeneration is probably still looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
  • 16 Many years ago I visited Sri Lanka as the guest of a local church minister. While showing me a project to improve the living standards of poor labourers in the tea-planting region of Nuwara Eliya, he observed: ‘God is on the side of the poor. They wouldn’t survive at all otherwise.’
  • 9 As business leaders warn that we’re in danger of talking ourselves into a recession, there are echoes of Basil Fawlty’s famous injunction: ‘Don’t mention the war!’


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