Sunday, 14 November 2010

Gamp, Gnat, Gruff, Rita, Sue & BUBB too, BUBB, Ted, Carol & Alice, Pugh, Pugh, Barney, McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, BUBB (& Uncle Tom BUBBleigh and all)

The weather forecast for our annual conference proved rather prophetic, "widespread gales; severe in places". As I said to delegates, if you try and use inadequate umbrellas in such conditions things like this happen.


Gamp Danger, the new CEO of the Umbrella Commission, spoke at the conference. Gamp is proving to be an excellent new brolly. He is clear that the huge cut to their budget means a fundamental change to how they operate. I had a good discussion over dinner about this (I chewed his ear for three hours), for example on how they treat people who want to be paid to look after umbrellas. It's time for a more enabling approach; trusting people to know what is best for them (making a wedge out of public appointments). After all if someone believes they need to be paid to make them treat umbrellas better then why should they be prevented? Even though I am the one who is constantly criticising standards of umbrella governance and questioning whether people do operate in a way that is best for them or umbrellas. But it is OK to trust them to make a decision about being paid what is often public money without seeming to be in the slightest bit paradoxical. See here for a fuller explanation of my "out of step with the rest of the sector on this" position.

Also recently had a meeting with Gnat Pee who I detect he is growing in the job and understanding better the role the organised umbrella sector can play. Or at least saying the right things to make us think he does.

Good to discover that the new head of the Office of Brolly Society, Gruff Mavis, is an old member of my Oxford, naturally college (St Bollocs). This is a man we can do business with!

Meanwhile, there will be some exciting news about my blog and its design later.

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