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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Today Third Sector has provided me with a few things to talk about.

Third Sector home

Dont Shoot!

Firstly a feature piece written by Indira Das-Gupta looks at the way new anti terror laws will affect campaign groups.

The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act came into force last month, one of it’s specific aims being to quash animal rights activism. However the new laws and powers awarded to the police include a loop hole allowing the bill to be extended to cover other kinds of activism, also know today as terrorism.

Quote from the article
The Serious Organised Crime and Police Act might have come into effect only on 1 July, but it has already been applied to circumstances beyond its original remit.

The article states the degrading of civil rights liberties should send a shiver down the spine of the entire [not for profit] sector; however I would go so far as to say everyone.

Fathers 4 justice, a group I am not personally fond of, have been warned their tactics could place them in deadly dangerous positions, and that new guidelines to shoot for the head. The fella who scaled Buckingham palace just under a year ago was merely minutes safe of a fatal shot it has been revealed.

This draws it’s base from the fatal shootings of innocent man Jean Charles de Menezes. I tend to think though that this is rather a leap of backward reasoning. For me this boils down essentially to, if you cause trouble or act up in any way be very afraid. Our officers are armed, dangerous and will shoot you without question. Shouldn’t we be addressing the failure of the security services to provide good accurate information and our ‘highly trained’ police force terror unit’s eager willingness to end lives without trial or justice.

Shouldn’t a shot to the head be the very very last resort, when intelligence conclusively points to a suspect, rather than because they climbed a building they shouldn’t or because one copper was taking a whiz when he was on watch.

It's a womans world, but men are in control

Harking back to my earlier post about gender imbalance in the not for profit sector, Beth Breeze has some interesting observations here.

Beth praises the profusion of women at a recent awards function for excellence in the fundraising sector, comparing her experience as an attendee to that of a mans everyday at work where he is surrounded by male peers. However despite the fact more women work for charities etc 39 of the 50 named influencers at the convention were men, and only 4 women even made the top 25, the highest ranking tenth.

She suggests a some of interesting, and for me quite amusing reasons as to why this may be.
The first being the make ego – that men are more comfortable with praise and being awarded a ‘guru like’ status. I would suggest that while this may sometimes be the case, I do not think it is a male only trait, and that today women are more and more comfortable with being rewarded for their successes. This I feel is more of an excuse for the occurrence than the reason behind it.

Secondly she suggests that men are more comfortable seeking success. I believe everyone wants to be successful at what they do, they may not want to be the best for it, but most people would like to think they do their job well. Perhaps men are more inclined to actively seek work related status than women who may base their self image on non work related things. I for one hate to define myself by what job I do – there is far more to me than pushing pencils about.

More realistically perhaps men find it easier to pursue the top jobs because people believe them to be more capable based on stereotypically make characteristics such as reasoning and decision making skills. Perhaps they do not loose out on promotions and perceived status among their contemporaries because they take time out to have children. This is a big issue still. The head of my department and senior manager gave a friend and colleague of mine a terrible time when she announced she was pregnant. When her yearly appraisal came up she was told there was no point because she would not be here – have she not just spent an entire year working her ass of? Did she not deserve feedback on her work even if she was going to take a few months off? I doubt someone would say this to a man going on sabbatical.

Thirdly Beth suggests women spend less time managing their image than their male colleagues. Excuse me? Did I hear than right? Women are forced to manage their image at all times – we have been doing it so long and so well that no one notices anymore.

Also in this issue

Childline are in a funding crisis
Prisoners receive a ‘radical’ new re-introduction programme to society. They are given advice on housing benefit and problem solving on their own outside the prison. I can astounded to find this is not the norm – no wonder re-offending rates are high, we take someone out of society, remove their independence and ability to make decisions for themselves, for sometimes many years until they become totally reliant on the system, then we turn them out, completely on their own. No wonder people go back to crime if it’s the only thing they know. Insane!

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