Little at Large

No satirical blog can match the reality of corporate perks

Aside from Mr Charity, the 2001 sitcom set in a charity shop that was unaccountably axed after only six episodes, the sector has never been thought worthy of satire. Until now.

Allow me to introduce Robin Bogg, chief executive of the British Umbrella Backing Body and chair of Umbrellabuilders England, whose blog has been gracing Blogspot.

Bogg lives in the charming village of Blacbury, where he likes to relax after consorting with government ministers such as James and Ed, and with people such as Darcy Maxwell of the Institute of Gampraising. Any impression of a rift between him and Hubert Carrington of the National Canopy and Visor Organisation is blown out of all proportion by a scandal sheet called Brolly Weekly.

We at Third Sector have the sneaking feeling Robin Bogg is based on an actual person, quite well known in the sector, but we can't think who. And the inspiration for Brolly Weekly is equally mystifying.

There's been a debate about acceptable trustee benefits in the sector for a long time. But some seem to have been enjoying more perks than others. Take Sir Brian Bender, former chair of the Civil Service Benevolent Fund, who was named "greatest beneficiary of corporate largesse" by The Guardian. Bender, soon to retire as permanent secretary at the Department for Business and Regulatory Reform, accepted 13 breakfasts, 18 lunches and 15 dinners in a year, according to the Cabinet Office. Then there was the Derby and Wimbledon. How did he find time to chair the fund?

We know that Baroness Jill Pitkeathley, chair of the Office of the Third Sector Advisory Body, and David Emerson, chief executive of the Association of Charitable Foundations, were recently married. But back in the 1990s they were writing partners. Age Gap Relationships: The Attractions and Drawbacks of Choosing a Partner Much Older or Younger than Yourself was fruity in parts but is out of print. Their other opus, The Only Child: How to Survive Being One, is milder and has just been translated into Latvian.

Mathew Little is a freelance writer

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