So who is going to fill the shoes of Sir Martyn 'good news' Lewis?

Plus: Philip Goodwin, Camila Batmanghelidjh and a Himalayan 'Cat'

Gina Miller and Andy Benson: tactful diplomats?
Gina Miller and Andy Benson: tactful diplomats?

The newly knighted Sir Martyn Lewis will shortly complete his six years - very calm, very positive - as chair of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, and the search for a successor has begun.

At Large would like to open the odds with Gina Miller, firebrand chair of the True and Fair Foundation, and Andy Benson, an in-your-face director of the National Coalition for Independent Action until it closed recently. The newly published job description says, after all, that "outspoken campaigning" will sometimes be needed.

It also calls for "tactful diplomacy" and "political impartiality", however, which might just rule them out.

One big battle in the charities bill was about whether there should be a proper appeal against the warnings it will empower the Charity Commission to give. All charities would be able to do is seek judicial review, a cumbersome process that everyone knows would rarely be used. Word has got around that if an appeal to the charity tribunal had been conceded, the commission would have wanted the power removed - which tends to confirm the suspicion that it wants a quick and dirty weapon for those Cage-type situations.

As well as running round the world as chief executive of VSO, living in Somerset and working in Kingston upon Thames, Philip Goodwin, is also a guitarist, singer-songwriter and co-author of a management book. His latest album, Dreams in the Water, features, intriguingly, a track entitled Wheels on the Bus; but it's not what you think - his children are a bit older than that. He also shares the current nervousness about fundraising methods, managing not to give an answer to three iterations of "Does VSO buy or sell lists?" Eventually his comms director intervened to say she would come back later on this: and it turns out the charity has indeed bought lists.

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