Talk about one man with a pet project. When David Cameron became the leader of the coalition government back in May 2010 he spoke about his big flagship idea of the “Big Society”. The vision is to give more “power to the people” … you mean just a way to disguise spending cuts.
He’s saying people should have more power, but the idea doesn’t seem to have a great deal of concrete plans in place. There is mention about volunteers working in communities such as running a small community supermarket to all save some money, or people running a community school. But isn’t the issue that the number of volunteers are dwindling because the organisations at the heart of communities are being cut. It’s the councils that are making the cuts but maybe they should look at the big fat cat bosses salaries first. And how many times do the Con-Libs talk about the huge debt they have inherited, but every country in the world is still reeling from the banking crisis a few years ago and are handling the situation more steadily.
The cuts are just coming into force and every day we hear about the stories of services and jobs going, such as libraries and community services. Just today I was contacted by the ex-Mayor of Ripon who is the chairman of the Ripon Council for Voluntary Services. He is gathering support to raise £16,000 to ensure that Ripon keeps their Family Support Worker for another year who does so much for people in need. Does David Cameron think that the family support worker should perhaps volunteer in that role instead?
I just can’t see how the Big Society will work. There was talk today about setting up a Big Society bank for people to invest their savings in, so I presume there is then money to grant out to good causes. There is no mention of the costs to set up the infrastructure for a Big Society bank or to set up the administration behind the scheme to deal with applications for funding or support. I also can’t imagine what the cost will be that will be spent on advertising to raise awareness of the Big Society and how people can work with it. How would the government be able to measure the success of the Big Society?
I kind of don’t think that David Cameron has really any grip on reality at grass roots level and doesn’t see that the lack of morale the country will end up having from all of the cuts will not encourage them to improve their society.