Monday, 27 October 2014

Changing perspectives

I’ve enjoyed ballet music as light background music and I’ve watched the occasional ballet as a sometimes enjoyable spectacle but I’m not sure I’ve really seen the point.  Why would men want to dress from the waist down in the next thing to being naked but be heavily costumed from the waist up?  As undoubtedly clever balancing and revolving on one’s toes is, why would one want to watch variations on the same circus turn repeat through a whole evening?

But our latest 'Live Stream' experience was to see the Royal Opera House’s Manon including just enough commentary to alert us, for example, to the way a pas de deux between the principals in each act demonstrates their developing relationship.   And it did - from the ‘two people as a single body’ early on with the female principal apparently as light as a feather to her being convincing both as floppy as a rag doll and as a dead weight at the end.  I'm sold.

Saturday’s Independent had an interview with Shami Chakrabarti, Director of Liberty, once described in the Sun as ‘the most dangerous woman in Britain’ by a journalist who, following his subsequent sacking, now has a case against his former employer in the Court of Human Rights in which Liberty has intervened to support him.  ‘Everybody loves their own human rights’, she comments,‘it’s just other people’s that are problematic’.  Delicious. 

Today’s Grimsby Telegraph has an item about a speech by Rob Walsh, Chief Executive of North East Lincolnshire Council, which brings into sharp focus a recent post of mine.  ‘In two years’ time the council will have 40 per cent less money than two years ago... We spend 62 per cent of our money on protecting the vulnerable and safeguarding children... [and] I can’t see that amount changing...  Local authorities need to be the strategic enablers of growth... enabling and facilitating, not necessarily intervening.’

I’m neither sold on nor savouring this, but nevertheless it is really helpful to be so clear about it.  His main focus was on the infrastructure for economic  growth, especially with the potential of the renewable industry locally.  My focus is on waiting for the report due now on the implications of all this for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise sector.

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