Big Society or Big Joke

Odd rumours are flying around Liverpool.  Nobody knew much about the Big Society announcement until a matter of hours before.  No policy officers seem to know that Liverpool was to be a ‘vanguard community’.  And the behaviour of council leaders suggests they knew precious little about it either.

There is a suggestion that some young thing heard Phil Redmond talking about volunteering and from this small glimmer a city’s willing (even eager) participation developed in the mind of policy wonks!!  In reality, there is no substance to build upon, no enthusiastic groundswell.  So watch this space as the Big Society in Liverpool co-opts and re-brands existing activities top present the image of something new.  Or will the Labour leadership locally let it wither?  Or will this threat be an opportunity to get government support for some of the capital investment so recently cut.  The refurbishment of the central library seems to have been approved.  Might some magic be worked for schools and transport infrastructure?

Perhaps I am just being mischievous?


1 Response to “Big Society or Big Joke”

  1. 1 christina July 23, 2010 at 9:59 am

    The odd thing is that a lot of rhetoric around the Big Society is exactly the same as was spelled out by the Neighborhood Renewal Strategy all those many moons ago. I am sure there were those in New Labour who believed that, after an initial boost in investment and capacity building to tackle the joined up problems, the need for public services and the reliance of communities on them would diminish. Instead, the opposite seemed to happen, as much because so many in the professional and middle classes rely on the poverty of others for their income. If the big society was not created by huge investments of money, time and (albeit often misdirected) effort, perhaps Cameron seems to think it can be achieved with a lot of hot air and on a wing and a prayer?

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