the role of charities in our society low down in government priorities
Lord Kamall has been appointed as the minister whose brief includes the interests of charities. Despite the charity sector’s importance in our society, the hundreds of thousands of volunteers and people working for them, their role in picking up the pieces of government failure – food banks et al – they feature as just one part of his sprawling portfolio.
He will be responsible for DCMS business in the Lords; growth; tourism (a major interest in itself); cultural diplomacy; heritage and civil society and youth. It does not look as though he will attend the cabinet on a regular basis.
He is clearly a bright man and is a professor at St Mary’s in Twickenham. A slight worry is his previous post with the Institute of Economic Affairs which is not an institute in any meaningful sense of the word. It is a front organisation for a variety of right-wing companies and interests and resolutely refuses to divulge all of those who fund them. They regularly appear on the BBC and other outlets without the interviewers asking the questions ‘who funds you and whom do you represent?’
The main point has to be that the charity and not for profit sector makes an enormous and essential contribution to our economy – some estimate it to be the equivalent of £40bn. Yet here we are being represented by someone from a right-wing think tank, sitting in the Lords, with a sizeable portfolio of other activities to contend with. Rather demonstrates the government’s lack of commitment to, or support for, the charity and not for profit sector.
Those supposedly representing the sector, as far as I can see, have not protested at this.
Author of How to be a Successful Trustee – ISBN 978-1-913012-61-8