3 Replies to “The Ethos Debate: Sectors are where movements go to die”

  1. I suspect a big part of the problem is the initial success of certain social enterprises attracting the attention of government (local or national), who nowadays seem eager to offload duties and responsibilities because they cost money. So they get someone else to do the job they’re responsible for and do it for less money. Of course, like the Government Agency drive of the 1990s, the idea is to make these functions “independent” but still allow politicians to take credit for the good things they do but avoid the flak when it all goes wrong. The social enterprises like it, too, because it confers official recognition and free money (if you can cope with the paperwork). And perhaps more money than they’ve seen up until then (even if the enterprises don’t realise that even a large sum of money is finite and soon disappears when you start spending it in the real world).

    But taking the Man’s coin has its downside; because it is taxpayers’/ratepayers’ money, there is a burden of regulation to be carried, in the name of Transparency, and Good Governance, and Accountability. And so the hoops that you have to jump through just keep on coming.

    So well done to you for making the trick work. And as for understanding the mechanics of money when it comes to your own living, don’t be too ashamed about that. I found that it took twenty years of working in utility regulation to make me a) understand business, and b) become a better (small ‘s’) socialist. (Paradoxically. In fact, I sometimes find myself understanding business better than some people who claim to be entrepreneurs or business people. Perhaps it’s the level of political detachment from capitalism makes me able to stand back and say ‘Even I can see that’s a bad idea…”)

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