Society Diary: Tory barriers and fundraising snails

05 Oct 2018 Voices

Barriers to opportunity at the Conservative Party Conference

Happy Friday dear readers! It's that time of the week to follow our Prime Minister's lead by ignoring all the world's troubles by dancing your cares away.

Barriers to opportunity

One of Diary’s scribes was dispatched to Birmingham to spend four days in the company of Conservative Party members, political lobbyists, charity campaigners and a lot of other journalists. We do this so you don’t have to.

This year’s theme was “opportunity”. It was hard to miss – the word was stamped on just about every available surface, presumably to discourage other slogans such as “Boris for PM” or “deport all foreigners” from appearing.

Anyway Tories are all about opportunity, with hard work leading to the promised land of milk and honey.

The only tiny snag was that to reach opportunity one had to make it through two layers of protesters (shout out to the man offering free castration for cats and a certain former foreign secretary) and ten layers of security – including scary men with guns.

So you might understand our scribe’s frustration, having finally reached the land of opportunity, to be turned away from a fringe event because the Conservative Councillor’s Association does not welcome press at their events.

It turns out that the opportunity mentioned doesn't include the opportunity to hear what the Tories think about charities. Or even to go through doors. Or to learn how councils can work with charities in emergencies. 

We’ve asked for clarification and the CCA's out of office says they’ll be back in March – so don’t hold your breath.

Just to keep track, the number of charity events attended by the charity minister was zero, which is not a new low. But there was one mention of the civil society strategy. That is a new record.

Fatboy Slow

In exciting news this week, Trump-supporting rap genius Kanye West announced that he has changed his name to YE, which is the second syllable of his actual firm name.

Explaining the name change, YE told US radio host Big Boy: "I believe 'ye' is the most commonly used word in the Bible, and in the Bible it means 'you. So I'm you, I'm us, it's us. It went from Kanye, which means the only one, to just YE - just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything.”

You get the impression that he's hired so many people to agree with him that he actually thinks this is a good idea.

Anyway, not to be outdone, Fatboy Slim also announced a rebrand this week, albeit a temporary one.

The dance music legend, real name Norman Cook, will change his name to Fatboy Slow for one day, 19 October, all in the name of charity.

Slow will walk 26 miles around Brighton on Be More Snail Day to see a new collection of 50 snail sculptures around the city.

He hopes to raise £5,000 for The Martlets hospice which cares for terminally ill people in Sussex, which is a lot to shell out.

Slow has also sponsored one of the snails, decorated like a mix tape, while YouTuber Alfie Deyes has sponsored a beach-themed snail.

The trail is open until November 18 before the models go up for auction.

Explaining the idea behind the walk, Slow said: “Completing the whole trail in one day was an obvious idea and, as I’m a little bit of a runner I thought about a marathon taking in every snail.

“The more I thought about it, the more I wanted to embrace the idea of slowing down. By walking, it is a far more sociable affair. I can get a selfie at each snail, chat to people as I’m walking.”

Diary can understand where Fatboy is coming from. Why bother doing something physically gruelling like running when doing some pleasant like going for a walk will achieve the same outcomes.

In honour of his endeavour, this column has changed our name this week to Slowciety Diary. Although it's a pretty pointless thing to do, because we've only just done it now, and we have no plans to write anything else until next week, by which point we'll have changed it back.

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