Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’
Well, yesterday I and a few v20 heard from the man himself why he is recommitting to his Big Society idea. After the furore of last week speculators half expected, half hoped that the Prime Minister would jack it all in and admit it was a big mistake. Far from it. What we witnessed was a strong defence of his big idea and an even stronger defence against the argument that it is all just a cover for cuts.
It is absolutely true that David Cameron was committed to his big society ideal long before he became Prime Minister. It is equally true that he involved voluntary sector organisations in the formation of his youth flagship National Citizens Service and it is also true that he tried and tested this prior to implementation. He made it clear that power is best held in the hands of citizens. So, how come he is being vilified for doing what he said he would do?
The answer lies in what has really changed here since it’s not the man himself. It is of course the context. It is a fact that we need to reduce the deficit so that in the long term we may all prosper. That means, pain for many and I don’t agree that the voluntary sector should be immune from this. As always, the devil is in the doing.
Currently, nationally funded Programmes that encourage volunteering, and on which small frontline organisations depend, are coming to an end next month. Local Authorities have to cut spending by 28% in 4 years so that reduces funding from that source. There is wholesale change in the education sector, massive change in the health service, rising inflation, increased taxation, rising unemployment, rising numbers of young people not in education, employment or training, rising costs in Higher Education and fewer incentives and opportunities to keep the young in gainful occupation. I could go on.
The context has most definitely changed since David Cameron first articulated his ideals on Big Society. He now leads the Coalition Government with its many calls for matters to be attended to resulting in multiple strands of ‘change’ and they’re all coming together to affect perception, outlook, goodwill and reality. What I see forming is a perfect storm and I truly hope I’m wrong.
If you’re aged 16-25, have your say about Big Society on Big Society’s Big Mouth.