I am nothing if not hugely partisan and won't even attempt not to bang on too much about the virtues of BURA (the British Urban Regeneration Association, which I have the honour to chair) in this 'ere blogging malarkey.
I don't care if I am accused of puff and spin and eliciting "well, she would say that wouldn't she" responses from EG types.
I am unrepentant and I can't help myself ! I am so very proud of our new(ish) Chief Executive (well, ok, it's a fair cop but we've only had him a year) - the formidably pointy headed Michael Ward - who, in a short period of eleven months has totally re-calibrated our organisation to meet the challenges of this economic meltdown.
And, like all those who are successfully steering their organisations through the choppy rapids, he is having to do it all on the hoof !
With a newly formed and remarkably robust concordat with the new Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), BURA will now embark on serious consultation with HCA and other stakeholders around what new products and services will be needed by our members to meet this Brave New World.
And that's good news for those of us who aren't feeling quite so brave, right now. I don't subscribe to the school of thought that we are witnessing the breakdown of capitalism as we know it. (I'm still not convinced there are many alternatives out there - would love to be proven wrong but hey !) But I do genuinely believe that a return to some form of collectivism will be how we will stay in the game.
Alright, call me a soppy and sentimental old Marxist if you like (somebody the other day described me as a "post-Marxist" - I'm not at all sure what this means but I have decided to take it as a compliment) but remember, BURA is now over 20 years old.
When first we started, the very concept of "partnership" was unheard of. There is now no equivocation about the need for a partnership approach in every endeavour around urban regeneration.
I have for some time been urging regeneration practitioners to take up the cudgels of training the rest of the world how to behave and work differently, for the good of all of us. Altogether now: "I'd like to teach the world to sing....."