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.
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.
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!’