Little at Large: No cash for ethnic group - is it because they is black?

Southall Black Sisters, the campaigning group that supports migrant women who have suffered domestic violence, could close when Ealing Council withdraws a £100,000 grant next month.

A raucous protest meeting saw a Tory councillor defend the decision by pleading that "the Government is telling us to curb our funding to ethnic groups". Is this government policy? I think we should be told. 

- Nationally, the Tories want the Government to reduce its interference in grants and the National Lottery. They say they are working on a draft green paper on sector funding. "We are looking for ways in which we can put a distance between ministers and departments and the recipients of grants by creating intermediatory bodies at much more local levels," Oliver Letwin, the chairman of the party's policy review, told Third Sector. A new era beckons - as soon as someone can work out what 'intermediatory' means.

- Is the sector becoming too big to conceptualise? Umbrella body the NCVO's latest almanac, as we know, broadened its reach to encompass all of civil society - not just charities and voluntary organisations but social enterprises, universities and trade unions. A total of 865,000 organsiations, in all. But why stop there? According to the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, social enter-prise includes "socially focused corporate activity" and innovative public sector projects such as NHS Direct. I've even heard the Institute of Directors described as an NGO. Don't tell me what civil society is - tell me what it isn't.

- Guess the mystery blogger: "This CEO blog promises to reveal the inside track of a third sector leader influencing in Whitehall, championing professionalism and causing a stir." Think panama hats.

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