The latest version of the compact – the bit of paper that reckons to set out a more equal relationship between voluntary organisations and the government – has now been put off indefinitely.
We’re not too worried as the compact continues to ignore the bulk of small scale voluntary action. Meanwhile the compact industry sucks up to government while persisting in a naive belief that a piece of paper can sort out unequal power relationships.
The task facing us is to rediscover our own perspectives and consider whether what the goverment wants is compatible rather than waiting around for the powers-that-be to tell us what to do. We have to recognise the difference between government intentions and independent voluntary action.
If we can understand our respective roles and, above all, organise ourselves to redress power imbalances, we will have some chance of getting what service users and communities want. Then a compact can be a useful weapon in our armoury. Otherwise it will definitely remain a useless piece of paper.
NCIA is a member of the Community Sector Coalition, who were asked by Compact Voice to endorse the compact with a bland statement. Instead of just going along with the endorsement, CSC asked its members what they thought and raised some key concerns. You can read the compact and the summary of CSC’s concerns here: www.communitysectorcoalition.org.uk/news-events/latest-news/renewed-compact
Read the Third Sector news story about the delay in the compact here: www.thirdsector.co.uk