Monday, 28 February 2011
Big Society - my thoughts
Big society is not simply an emphasis away from big government which has become the hallmark and legacy of New Labour. Thanks to the New labour agenda and legislation, we now live in a society where youth clubs are closing down because volunteers refuse to be youth leaders fearing retribution from powerful state legislation should a malicious or false accusation be thrown at them from a youngster, many of whom are very familiar with their ‘rights’ but care little about anything or anyone else. A society where parents are told by the state what is best for their family, and how to bring up their children. A society in which the state has become the shelter to manipulative citizens that use the state not only to protect themselves, but provide themselves a lucrative living, free of work or responsibility.
We have now reached the frightening point, by incremental and subtle legislation and cultural attitude, that whenever there is a problem, the state is seen as the only agency able to give or provide a solution. Family, friends and neighbours are free of any obligation or responsibility.
The real cost is more than just an inappropriate additional obligation to the state, it has come at a severely detrimental cost to our society, who has now become accustom to looking constantly to the state every time there is an issue that needs to be addressed. This is for two appalling reasons, first, not getting involved for fear of breaking or breaching some article of social legislation, or worse still because the first agency that comes to mind when they need help is the state over family, friends or neighbours.
Another sad aspect of the big society debate, is the confusion, and those that seek to create confusion. This is not a measure of the idea but a measure of the need for an urgent change in direction, not by government, but by a society that is over legislated and controlled and where innovation, enterprise and philanthropy have been smothered by big government.