Published: 4th Mar 2011

I was going to start this article with a consideration of whether there is anything worth salvaging from the notion of the Big Society and express support for the principle of participation. Unfortunately Mr Cameron has now let the cat out of the bag following the publication of his article in the Daily Telegraph. Leaving aside my natural resentment at the idea that the private sector will automatically do better, the article failed to mention charities once and the prevailing message seemed to be that the Big Society was a tool in the drive to cut costs. There was an even more insidious message in the emphasis on professionals and freeing them from ‘bureaucratic’ controls. Insidious, not because of the need to get rid of unnecessary bureaucracy but because of a potential throwback to a world when priorities for communities were set without consultation or scrutiny. It is the world … (To read the full article, subscribe below)