Its been an interesting start to the year for the third
sector. As we all get to grips with GDPR (more later), we have been subject to
increased media attention as first we reeled from President’s Club revelations
to the far deeper impact of this week’s revelations about Oxfam (and others).
There is much that can be written. Undoubtedly there are
some in media and politics who will seek to exploit the 1/3 of us who don’t
think aid should be sent overseas to change policy off the back of bad
behaviour by some people. We could face a drop in giving to international
development, as supporting Oxfam is no longer seen as acceptable (like buying a
plastic bag). I suspect this will recover at some point, possibly in different
However, there is a deeper moral crisis for third sector
organisations and my fear is that Christian charities are not immune.
To explore this let me go back a month. The President’s Club-
where charities were set to receive significant amounts of money from an…
Each year I take a calendar month and record what I do in it. I break each day into twenty minute chunks and note down what happens in each twenty minute block. I don’t do the same for designated Sabbath time (nor do I note each bit of time outside of the beginning and end of a working day, no-one needs to know how long I clean my teeth for). I categorise each thing that I do (an imperfect science) with a view to getting a handle on what I do with my time. This year I did the audit in November (as clergy I always avoid doing this in Lent, Advent or August). So- what did I discover? I work around 55 hours a week. (thats up one hour from last year) That work is spread over five and a half days. The only sabbath day that was interrupted by work was about processing a painful meeting. Of 26 working days, I worked 12 evenings. In terms of what I do: In November 17% of my time was taken up with prayer, reading and learning. Thats a slightly false read as I had a 48 hour away time in there. Prayer…
We are now into day five of the nonsense about whatever Boris has or hasn’t said about women wearing burkas. Older white man makes derogatory, ill informed comments about what women wear. That’s not news. That’s every day.
I am not belittling the impact- but there is some mischief going on here.
I just finished reading Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened”. It’s not for the feint hearted- analysing loss is an ugly business. But in the midst of the pain she makes a really wise comment about the way the media covered the more outlandish things that Donald Trump said during the campaign. Her view is that it did no further damage to Trump as everyone knew he was a buffoon (my word), but it dominated the news cycle and stopped people talking about real issues for days at a time.
Over the weekend senior economic types (like the head of the Bank of England) talked about the danger of a no deal Brexit. The pound continues to tank. And the media is dominated- not even by a serious piece about …