Monday, 14 February 2011

Big Confusion Over Cameron's Big Society

I'm confused: just what is "Big Society"?

To me, the concept should be that society itself takes back some of the functions that local and national government has "mission crept" into during the last few decades.

For instance, if you're part of a small community newly arrived in the UK and you want a community centre dedicated to your culture, you shouldn't demand that the local council supply you with one funded by the taxpayer. Instead you all club together and make one yourself. That's what my local Polish and Ukrainian community did back when I was a kid.

In other words, the message should be a crisp and clear "do it yourself", government shouldn't be funding this sort of thing.

But instead, in order to cushion the blow, we have the Big Society Bank and other concepts, which muddy the water enough so that these same communities and their supporting quangos are as equally confused as I am.

The lack of a clear message is allowing those averse to being weaned off the state teat to cry and bleat and stamp their feet. They will not leave the state funded sector quietly.

Its such a shame. Done right, taxpayers could reclaim some of the billions squandered on projects that shouldn't be government funded, but instead its doomed to failure.

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