Posted by Irresponsibility
Another day, another Dave Cameron emission to file under: You Couldn’t Make This Shit Up.
His Observer column, ‘Have no doubt, the big society is on its way’, oozes a mix of chutzpah and blithering idiocy not seen since George W Bush declared: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” Here are a few of Cammy’s assertions about the Big Society.
“[The Big Society] doesn’t follow some grand plan or central design.”
Nevertheless, one of its precepts is “opening up our public services [and] putting trust in professionals” – though not, for some mysterious reason, the professionals currently working in public services. Luckily Tory budget cuts threaten more than 110,000 public sector employees. Yee-haw! Take an axe to that deadwood, sit back and wait for the professionals to arrive.
“No area can be immune from cuts, but… We are in the process of opening up billions of pounds’ worth of government contracts so charities and social enterprises can compete for the first time.”
Oh, you clever, clever man! Now instead of getting government funding and going about their business charities can divert vast quantities of time, energy and effort into competing for funding. Think of all the money, currently wasted on providing food, shelter and social services, which will be redirected into truly useful tasks like fund-raising and loan applications.
“Building a bigger, stronger, more active society involves something of a revolt against the top-down, statist approach… this week we are launching a transition fund to help charities prepare to bid for these contracts and a big society bank to provide some working capital.”
Stupendous: free us from intrusive state control by forcing social organisations to compete for money from a “big society bank”. Because that is in no way imposing government control on the ordinary process of borrowing and lending. As a bonus, the money will be leant to the big society bank by high street banks at commercial rates, meaning they make a fat profit. What a doubleplusgood idea.
“Even in a tough neighbourhood, the seeds of a stronger society [are] there…. People have the compassion, flexibility and local knowledge to help their neighbours and communities.”
Who needs jobs, Post Offices, libraries, schools, police or public services when you have compassion and local knowledge?
“If a charity or a faith group want to set up a great new school in the state sector, we’ll let them.”
Bring us your Scientologists, your Jehovah’s Witnesses, your Latter Day Saints, your apocalyptic Christians and fundamentalist Muslims yearning to spread the word. Oh, wait, not the Muslims. Everyone else is good though.
“If someone wants to help out with children, we will sweep away the criminal record checks and health and safety laws that stop them.”
Disqualifying criminals from working with children is just so negative.
**For more Big Society fun check out: Cutting funds for English as a Second Language classes