- You've heard of the big society. Now meet the Big Unfair Society. Charities minister Nick Hurd bumped into it last week when, suitably garlanded, he visited the Asian People's Disability Alliance, had lunch with service users and saw a performance by Muskaan, a wheelchair-user bhangra group. But the visit was organised by Voice4Change England, the BME umbrella group that has just lost its Office for Civil Society partnership funding, and its chair, Elizabeth Balgobin, wasn't going to let Hurd off too lightly. She pressed upon him a "Big Unfair Society" petition for reinstatement of the grant so that the APDA and others can create a "Big Inclusive Society". Hurd accepted it with Etonian charm. Whether he'll change the decision is another matter.
- The share price of the government's big society adviser, Lord Wei, has fallen back recently, and it might not be a coincidence that the education charity Teach First is getting more strident about playing down his connection with it. In the past the Office for Civil Society, aware of the charity's glittering credentials, has been pleased to describe him as "one of the founders of Teach First". Not so, says the charity, sternly. He was "one of the organisation's first employees"; the most you can say is he was "a member of the founding staff team". How the mighty are rebranded.
- For more naming nonsense we head to Liverpool, where the council announced earlier in the year that it's no longer a big society vanguard body. Asked if it has accepted Leicestershire's fawning offer to supplant the Scousers, the Communities and Local Government department repeats the mantra that "we continue to work with the original vanguards", including Liverpool. Oh no you don't ...
Oh yes we do. But the CLG adds that Blaby, which is in Leicestershire, now has the honour of calling itself a "neighbourhood front-runner". Somehow that doesn't sound as much fun as a vanguard.
- Another name to reckon with: Third Sector has long contended that the Directory of Social Change, aka the DSC, is an excellent publishing and training charity with a name that is, shall we say, a bit random. If you're searching for it on Google, don't confuse it with another DSC - shorthand for the Dave, Shelly and Chainsaw Show, a "bawdy, raucous and often hilarious" shock-jock morning radio outfit that plays hard rock and has "sometimes sparked controversy" in San Diego, California. Wikipedia fails to explain the "Chainsaw" moniker of the third presenter - but perhaps some names are best left unexamined.