If you scan through the recent news headlines, you could easily become depressed. Wars and civil disturbances are raging in many parts of the world, with other huge areas battling unrelenting freak weather conditions, while at home in the UK massive pay rises and bonuses for many of our big bosses are seeing the rich-poor divide continue to widen, and despite its screening efforts, our health service reports cases of breast cancer are increasing alarmingly. And as if that wasn’t enough bad news, we now hear that in the bastion of all things cultural, Liverpool, any hopes of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ have hit the dirt with a resounding bang.
From those that volunteered, four local authorities were chosen to take part in Big Society pilot schemes, with the aim of giving community groups and volunteers more control over the local budgets and services. Picked were: Liverpool, the Eden Valley in Cumbria, Windsor and Maidenhead in Berkshire, and Sutton and Cheam in south-west London. A Big Society Bank, with assets of £400 million drawn on dormant bank and building society accounts, was set up to help them achieve David’s dream society – however all does not appear to be going well.
The way I see it, one man’s dream is many other men’s nightmare! For decades now councils have striven to take over and control everything they could possibly get their hands on, in an ever-expanding authoritarian society. It is what has seen our councils grow at an alarming rate, and cost us an absolute fortune. The vast ‘army’ of controllers we now possess will not give up their powers (and jobs) easily. They will fight tooth and nail to defend their powerful positions, telling us they are vital, and we can expect a lot of muck-spreading.
In an age when headlines seem to mean everything, I have a fear that David Cameron may not achieve his Big Society. People are already shrinking away from the idea in huge numbers. Bombarded daily in the press by job-loss fearing…