19 July 2010

At least Mrs Thatcher did not dissemble ...

So Mr C is to announce the implementation of his Big Society idea, involving the establishment of four pilot projects. The Independent reports:

Each will get an expert organiser and dedicated civil servants to ensure "people power" initiatives get off the ground and inspire a wider change, the Prime Minister will say.

"We have to turn Government completely on its head," he will suggest - so that it helped foster "communities with oomph", public sector workers with freedom to innovate and "a new culture of voluntarism, philanthropy, social action.

All of the projects have "one thing in common", Mr Cameron will say: "A firm commitment from this Government to help them realise their dreams."

Do you suppose that Mr C realises the irony in what he proposes? How do you square local initiative and "a new culture of voluntarism, philanthropy, social action" with a firm Government commitment, Government-appointed organisers and dedicated civil servants? And all those dreams - who, do you suppose, will decide which of them is realistic and attainable? I rather doubt that it will be the communities (with or without oomph).

I have no doubt that the pilots will be successful - that is why central government is taking a central role. So, good for those communities. But there are simply not the resources to roll out the programme to the rest of the country.

It's a con.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What strikes me most is how patronising all this is to existing volunteers and voluntary groups. What can organisers and civil servants do to help us? What we need are more volunteers with the necessary skills and financial support from central and local government to bolster our ownfund raising efforts. Osborne and Alexander's savage cuts mean such money will never appear.