Big Society – Simples!

The new catch phrase ‘Big Society’ is beginning to get on my nerves. Am I the only one that thinks it is just a return to the old One Nation Conservatism which itself is not far off the New Labour ideology? A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting a different result – so how did we get back here? It is as if the tide has come in and washed away all the lessons we learned from the global financial meltdown and we are full speed ahead to business as usual.

Dave Cameron and Nick Clegg would like us to believe that at the heart of this idea is social cohesion but the reality is the selling off of the public sector and a return to free market economics which has only ever increased social problems by increasing the gap between rich and poor. I value our informal economy based on volunteers but to expect them(us) to prop up public services because this government is making an ideological decision to cut public spending is a recipe for disaster – most volunteers I know are dedicated but generally over worked people. Lets take the Citizens Advice Bureau as an example, they perform a vital service  – a one stop shop for people with concerns about housing, employment, immigration, consumer and other problems and is available to everyone. The CAB staff is made up of mainly trained volunteers but where do they fit in the Big Society? Well it is facing an 11.6 per cent cut from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

If we ignored the morally empty ideological position of free market economics and just focused on the mathematics of their proposals the Con-Dem coalition is still on shaky ground – shrink the public sector whilst the private sector is stagnant and what do you get – Big Society or more likely a Double Dip Recession!

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