A couple of years ago I decided to set down my experience of activity in the voluntary sector. The document, entitled The Pursuit of Social Justice, ran to forty pages. At the end I made the following comment:
So, dear patient reader, should you have reached this point, congratulations on your stamina. I leave you to judge if my endeavours have been worthwhile. Have successes outweighed failures? It has been difficult, times of despair, times of elation, but an overwhelming sense of frustration that so much effort has produced so little of lasting significance. However, the fight for social justice continues.
Now, the fight has stopped as far as voluntary work is concerned. I am tired of battling, tired of the failure of statutory organisations to fund the voluntary sector to the extent they should, tired of political platitudes and tired of the in-fighting within charities.
I shall be continuing with Communities Food for a while as I hope it will provide me with part-time paid employment. Apart from that I have no position with any voluntary organisation.
A former political adversary had this to say about my efforts:
Can I for one mourn your severing of all the links to the Voluntary sector. I have known you for a long time and you were always involved in one or another charity, or Community Interest Company. What ever wheeze successive Governments came up with to try and transfer more functions of government to the voluntary sector, you were always there trying to milk as much funding as possible from the government to better the organisations you supported. John, to me you are the best example of being a localist I have ever known and you will be sadly missed. Well done though good and faithful servant of the people.
That will do for me.