At Large - Stormy Leather pipes up, reputation reboot for Roo

Dame Suzi Leather, Gordon Taylor and the Directory of Social Change are on our minds this week

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney

The recent appearance on the BBC's Politics Show by Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the Charity Commission, raised a sector eyebrow or two, She said, in essence, that local councils would cut charities first, and that would pull the rug from underneath the big society. This kind of remark from this particular regulator won't have gone unnoticed by beady eyes in Westminster. But the sector view seems to be: good on her - she might as well use the time she has left to tell it like it is.

- Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, says Wayne Rooney needs a charitable cause to rescue his reputation. One suggestion: the National Theatre has just renamed the Cottesloe stage after Lloyd Dorfman, who gave it £10m; so if Spud Face tops that, we could say goodbye to the name Lyttleton and go to watch Professional Foul or An Evening With Gary Lineker in the Rooney auditorium.

- An exchange at the round-table event at the Directory of Social Change last week sheds light on the pain of elected office. Grass-roots person: "I've got a win for you." Nick Hurd, charities minister: "Did you say win or whinge?" Person: "A win." Hurd: "I get a lot of whinge, so a win would be nice." It's a hard life, being a minister.

- We mentioned the antics of fundraisers last week. They were at it again this week at the conference of the Institute of Fundraising Scotland. Alan Clayton, a gung-ho agency man, told his audience he wanted to die "by being shot in bed by a jealous husband at the age of 65". So that was nice. And then they moved on to a session with a title beginning "What the **** is going on?" The speaker said she thought the organisers would edit the working title she sent them. She thought wrong.

- Two reports on Gift Aid, each trailed with fanfare, are becoming black holes. First up is the final report of the Gift Aid forum, which was slated for publication by the Treasury on 30 September but is still pending. Then there's the chief executives body Acevo, which asked 1,000 people how they felt about Gift Aid and the loss of transitional relief. This was meant to be published just before the spending review but has mysteriously wriggled its way to the bottom of the pile. Could it be that the survey found that the public doesn't give what fundraisers would call a ****?

- Mathew Little is away. Contact Third Sector at

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