Published: 20th Feb 2012

The ability of voluntary and community sector organisations to represent and support marginalised groups has been seriously damaged. Equality must return to the top of the agenda, says Debra Allcock Tyler Did you know that the phrase ‘Big Society’ topped the Oxford University Press’s word of the year in 2010, beating ‘vuvuzela’ (remember those?) and ‘Boris bike’ (yikes!)? Yes, the brave new world promised us greater freedom to serve our communities, run our own public services, and shrink the state (great!). However, look a little more closely and the shine starts to rub off. Let’s take equalities as an example. Surely the Big Society champions equality for all? Everyone equal under the sun? No. The reality is that the new legislation is all geared towards concepts of ‘fairness’ rather than equality. Nowhere in the localism bill, or the local growth white paper are the words ‘equality’, ‘equalities’ or ‘diversity’ to … (To read the full article, subscribe below)