Thursday, 21 April 2011

Take the King's shilling and you dance to the King's tune

The Directory of Social Change are in a funk about the conditions attached to contracts for the Office for Civil Society's 'Strategic Partners":

Jay Kennedy, head of policy at the DSC, told Third Sector that terms relating to the £8.2m strategic partner transition fund appeared to reward charities for promoting government policy rather than providing impartial advice.

Clauses in the application guidance sent to prospective bidders say partners must "contribute to the development of the big society agenda" and "help to support and deliver strategic policy of OCS".

 "The DSC does not believe that this should be the purpose of government funding for charities. If the OCS is going to pay for strategic partners it should be for them to give critical, constructive advice rather than to deliver policies that come down from the top."

Everywhere charities are taking government funding and "delivering" the government's agenda. That's the deal - there isn't any difference between these 'strategic partners' agreeing to support Big Society and other 'third sector' organisations twisting their values so as to land contracts from DWP, DFID or a host of local councils.

As the man says - you take the King's shilling and you dance to the King's tune. If charities want to be independent there's a simple answer - go out and shake those collecting boxes!


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That makes them not much of a charity if it's predominantly government tax money funding them. It makes them just an extension of government policy really, nothing more. And if they're getting predominantly corporate funding, then it makes them nothing but schills for whatever industry is paying their tab. Somehow the definition of what charities are and do has become perverted. The word might be spelt charity, but the meaning has been turned completely upside down. And imagine one of them out there shaking the collection boxes indeed. That might be 1% or 2% of what they can get instead by simply taking from government or industry to be schills instead of charities, thus more profitable to them to remain non-charities or charities in name only.