Don't mention the Women's Institute

30th June 2006 at 01:00
The Diary is feeling very out of things. A Department for Education and Skills press release arrives talking about "cross-government action to support the third sector" and mentioning a "three sector summit" at which the Prime Minister gave the keynote address. What is going on? What is the sinister-sounding third sector?

"Voluntary and social enterprise," says a DfES press officer. "And the first and second sectors?" asks the Diary, panic rising: "Public and private sectors." There is even a minister for the third sector, Ed Miliband at the Cabinet Office.

Perhaps this is the kind of thing that appeals to a PM who has left the third way and is about to enter the third age. But why not call it the voluntary sector? Or would it be a painful reminder of the day he addressed the Women's Institute?

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