Philip Johnson has an article in tomorrow's Daily Telegraph about the Big Society entitled: "Show us the small print on the Big Society".
What that small print won't contain is (a) that this idea just pre-empts an 'initiative' from the European nion called the "EU Year of Volunteering"; and (b) where Johnson quotes Cameron stating: "You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the Big Society." I would add: I call it "The Big Con". From the Cabinet Office website comes this informative leaflet: "Building the Big Society", a policy idea being sold to the people as devolution of power, the chance for them to decide local matters - when in fact it is anything but.
Example 1: "Mr Cameron will announce community projects in four parts of the country will be given help in a bid to launch the Government’s agenda. Each will get an expert organiser and dedicated civil servants to ensure “people power” initiatives get off the ground and inspire a wider change."
What will, in effect, happen is that the 'expert organiser' and 'dedicated civil servant' will 'guide' the volunteers along the path already selected by central government - path which will involve 'communitarianism'. Some devolution of power! From the paper "Building the Big Society" we read: "We will train a new generation of community organisers....." and they too will be 'trained' to deliver the programme dictated by central government.
Example 2: The Localism Bill - Clause 52(4): "If the authority decides to take no steps to give effect to the result...." means that Local Authorities can disregard the result of any referendum that may be held. Some devolution of power!
Whichever way you look at it, Cameron is either the wolf in sheeps clothing (someone who plays a role contrary to their real character, with whom contact is dangerous)
or he is a Judas Goat* (.....a Judas goat will lead sheep to slaughter, while its own life is spared).
Is it not us that should be slaughtering them?
* With acks to Richard North from whom I nicked the pic!