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Society Diary: What’s in Tracey Crouch’s ministerial box?

11 Aug 2017 Voices

This is just a ministerial red box. Not the ministerial red box. Well, the more astute of you will have noticed that it's actually two red boxes. Any which way, it's what inside that counts.

So, how about that week what was, hey? Diary bets that when you woke up on Monday morning, you didn’t think that by the end of the week the world would have been pushed to the brink of catastrophic war by two oversized man-children with terrible haircuts and incredibly fragile egos. Welcome to 2017 and the new normal - and you thought that 2016 was a relentless cesspit of a year.

Anyway, this week in charitable sector satire: the new minister for civil society (amongst many, MANY other things) gives the sector a look inside her ministerial red box; an NCVO Twitter poll gives us all paws for thought and a Juan Mata pun, followed by maybe 50 more words about said pun.

Back in your box

Ok, before we kick off, let’s get one thing straight. When Tracey Crouch was first appointed minister for civil society (and sports, and digital, and all other manner of things. So many things) there were lots of jokes floating around the voluntary sector Twittersphere about what exactly was in her ‘briefs’. Diary for one stayed above such childish titillations and it will continue to do so with this piece.

Anyway, its parliamentary recess and all of the nation’s best and brightest politicians are off on their summer hols. While some have gone further afield than others – see big Theresa May tramping around the mountains of Switzerland plotting how to cause further irreperable harm to herself, her party and, indeed the whole country and, also your two mainest men Michael Gove and George Osborne off to the opera in Germany – Tracey Crouch has clearly just been enjoying quality time at home with her family.

A few days ago, Crouch tweeted a picture of her ministerial box and it was practically heaving with curios (oh, come on now!) but what was inside may well surprise the good people of the charity sector. Was it reams of documents detailing some bold new sector-related policy? Was it… something else pertinent to her job as minister for civil society?

No, it was full of children’s toys. See for yourself.



What you’ve got yourself there is a plastic lion, (at least) two little cars, a sort of giant bird thing lying flat on its face and a policeman, also lying flat on its face.

One can only hope that once Crouch and her colleagues return to the chamber in a few weeks, the pertinent sector issues of the day will take higher priority than her child’s plasticine playthings. Quite a cute picture though, to be fair.

Diary has no idea why this stuff is in there. None whatsoever. Although now this column is wondering what's in the red box that gets taken to the Budget each year. In Phillip Hammond's case, probably just a calculator and a pair of HB pencils.

PAW pa-poll

It’s silly season, folks and – despite the seemingly imminent threat of nuclear annihilation – not much else has happened this week, to be honest.

That’s probably why the good social media team over at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations decided to run a poll yesterday afternoon about whether charity staff and volunteers should be allowed to brings their dogs into the office.

It's got the sector hot under the collar.As opposed to just any, run-of-the-mill yes or no answer, NCVO instead offered four voting options: ‘Yes, of paws we do’, ‘No, no doggos for us’, ‘Only very good boys’ and ‘I wish we did’ with a sad emoji face.

NCVO dog tweet.JPG

The poll has so far received 128 votes – including Diary’s – and the results are alsational. ‘I wish we did [sad face]’ is currently winning on 42 per cent. 

Thanks, NCVO, for your pursuit of the most vital news. Your persistence is, er, dogged.

And, yeah, that’s all the news that’s fit to (paw)print on that.

Juan to eleven

Yep, Manchester United and Spanish international footballer Juan Mata has pledged to give away Juan per cent of his salary to charity. He’s also called on more professional footballers – who, Diary assumes you’re all aware aren’t exactly short a bob or two – to follow suit and donate Juan per cent of their earnings to charity as well.

Diary's waiting for his colleague Fellaini to step in and exceed his generosity, giving away Maroune per cent.

Fairly likely that Juan will indeed be the loneliest number, when it comes to this particular appeal anyway…

Good job for him he's not called Sven, probably.

Don't like our gags? What's the Mata with you?



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