Caroline Spelman

Big society and bad policies

Big muddle, but society foots the bill

Bad policy, droppedBad policy, dropped
The big society. It's hard to know where to start. For example, is it the Big Society? Is it capital letters to start the thing off; big letters for a big idea? It's fair to say that at the general election many people were desperate to get rid of Gordon Brown. Equally fair is to say there were not enough of them to give David Cameron an overall majority. This is important as the BSoc is now causing so much bother that it's right to wonder if, with more of a mandate, Cameron would have had the confidence to drop the thing. The Big Society was not a big noise on the run-up to the election, perhaps Cameron is holding onto it as a result of post-election dynamics. The Tory coalition with the Lib Dems has ruined more than it has created. The Lib Dems hang in shreds and the Tories are forced to act so carefully it looks more like dithering than care. With the Big Society policy the Tories can try to out-Lib the Lib Dems. Had the Tories got the mandate to act alone we can imagine it would be very different now, the Tory party would have 'moved on'.

Common sense tells us that Big Society is the opposite of Big State, but what else do we know? Well it does seem that size matters. For 'Small is Beautiful' was also once a very powerful creed.

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