Third sector at large: Lord Wei and Victoria Beckham join Twitter

Social networking - are we just going round in circles?

Lord Wei, David Cameron's adviser on the big society, has only just joined Twitter, as has Victoria Beckham, who has been tweeting busily about her outfits. Wei, by contrast, declared that he wanted to follow only five people "who most get/articulate/live Big Society. Any recs?" Top sector tweeters like Toby Blume of the Urban Forum rushed to tell him that the whole point is to follow lots of people. Wei is getting the hang of it now and by last Friday was following 36 others. Attaboy!

- Still on social networking, the Charity Commission tells us that its Facebook page, disparaged in passing last week, is nothing to do with the commission. Come on, somebody - own up.

- What goes around does indeed come around. You might have been following BBC Newsnight's series about the big society, which examines progress in the cosmetic maintenance of a roundabout in Hastings that conveniently doubles as a venue to interrogate big society advocates. Civil society minister Nick Hurd was recently served tea in the middle of the roundabout and now it seems the same stunt will be inflicted upon Tory peer Lord Hodgson, NCVO president and chair of the big society deregulation taskforce. But the government's not for turning.

- Hurd looked a mite uncomfortable at the tea table, but there was a twinkle in his eye at the ResPublica Digital Giving report launch last week. He admitted he had not yet read the entire document: he'd just got married again and had faced objections when trying to wade through 84 pages on his mini-moon. A better excuse than most.

- It used to be called the All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Community and Voluntary Sector. But at its second meeting of the new parliament last week, this had become the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering. Hmm. One detects here the hidden hand of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, which has caught the civil society bug big time: the NCVO provides the secretariat for the group, and its chair, Alun Michael MP, is old mates with the body's leadership.

- Nick Clegg, by contrast, has not yet been re-educated. His website Your Freedom asks what "third sector" regulation the government should repeal. That's more like it - except David Cameron will probably have it changed to "first sector".

Mathew Little is away.

Contact Third Sector at thirdsector@haymarket.com

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