Opinion: They said it

'The first and most important is to give comfort to the charitable sector; in effect, to be like a teddy bear to a small child. Secondly, it is to be a watchdog. Thirdly, it may occasionally have to be a bloodhound.' - Lord Shutt of Greetland on the roles of the Charity Commission in the committee on the Charities Bill.

'We are hoping to raise enough money to prevent Sting having to write a song about it.' - Jack Dee, the comedian, on Comic Aid at a benefit for the Asian Tsunami Appeal.

'There is no kind of protest, of any efficacy whatsoever, that the police or courts will not be able to prevent and punish if they choose.' - Environmentalist George Monbiot on the imminent passing into law of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill, on top of other Acts that outlaw various types of protest.

'Many of the radical campaigning charities of the 1960s have hit middle age plump with funding and, since 1997, increasingly close to the Government.... For many charities, that proximity to the Government is in danger of blunting their oppositional advocacy.' - Guardian columnist Madeleine Bunting welcomes the launch of the Sheila McKechnie Foundation.

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