I first met Matt in Harrogate when he was leading the statutory agency responsible for ‘capacity building’ across civil society. The agency is now on the way out, with all the cuts, and Matt, with all his knowledge and experience, is off to build the capacity of ResPublica, the eclectic and coop-friendly thinktank.
We met again in Trafalgar Square and he told me that it was his work over six years to get one side of the square pedestrianised. I think that is something that is a lovely achievement – practical, people-centred, democratic.
We are in times of upheaval, at least in terms of the welfare state, but one compass for what we support or challenge must surely rest on what it means for social and economic participation.