Little at Large: Compact's alter-ego would have Mussolini at the helm

Some may yearn for a Genghis Khan at the helm of the Compact, but it turns out that the people behind the 10-year-old agreement between the sector and the state have always been wary of any unfortunate associations with militaristic strongmen. Stuart Etherington, chief executive of the NCVO, revealed last week that 'the Compact' was a last minute name change for the agreement. Until then, it was to be known as 'the Concordat'. But then someone pointed out that the most famous 'concordat' in history was the 1929 treaty between Fascist Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and the Vatican. In 1998, New Labour was in the full flush of its 'third way' enthusiasm and any more linguistic resonances with Il Duce had to be stamped on. 'The Compact' had nice trans-Atlantic tones - the Mayflower Compact was the agreement between early settlers in America. But it's rumoured that agreement actually worked.

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