Going, going, gong

Adieu, then, Bill Davison, late director of social services,
Isle of Wight (News, 22-28 June). Early retirement? Differences
with politicians? Regrets by the council leader that he’s going?
Staff’s fears for the future?

What’s the truth? All that is certain is that the Tyneside Tiger
will be turning up at conferences, the latest in a line of
directors to announce he’s a consultant and thrusting his shiny new
business card into your hand.

But Bill Davison leaves with an unfortunate distinction. Only
three years ago he was president of the Association of Social
Services. Yet despite this where is his gong?

His name remains unadorned with the letters CBE, OBE or even,
perish the thought, the humble MBE. Former presidents collect these
baubles – Peter Smallridge is the latest – with the delight and
ease that ex-Cabinet ministers pick up directorships. But not

Yet he stepped in and took on the role a year before time when
the nominated heir, Tom Foster of Lancashire, left his job somewhat
prematurely. He adopted a less regal manner than some of his fellow
incumbents. He pioneered the ADSS’s international interests.

What do you have to do to get a gong? Or, rather, what do you
have to do not to? After all, no one has suggested that John Rea
Price, now of the National Children’s Bureau, cease his Command of
the British Empire after the goings-on in Islington revealed by the
recent (Ian) White (CBE) report.

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