In all the fuss about the 'big society' - whatever it means - the absurdity of the 'professional' voluntary sector has got lost.
This morning we had the sight of Dame Elisabeth Hoodless, outgoing director of the council for voluntary service, complaining to BBC breakfast, that spending cuts made the big society impossible. One of her reasons was that they needed government money so that they could get their volunteers' criminal records checked.
That simple juxtaposition shows just how the state under Labour got too mighty and overweaning and ought to show to forward looking leaders in the voluntary sector that reductions in public spending are an opportunity not a threat. Sadly for people like Dame Elisabeth, many have clearly become so addicted to public cash that the threat of its withdrawal makes them act like some shambolic smack addict who cannot see past their next fix.