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Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

  • About David Burbage

    David Burbage MBE was Leader of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead Council from 2007-2016. This blog : Promoted by Geoff Hill on behalf of David Burbage and all other Windsor and Maidenhead Conservative candidates, all of 2 Castle End Farm, Ruscombe, Berkshire RG10 9XQ
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Big Society progresses excellently

Posted by davidburbage on February 7, 2011

Read all about it in tomorrow’s Times.  [Ed: We didn’t make the cut 🙂 ]

The Shadow Chancellor doesn’t get it though, a bit like his predecessor.

He says

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, at an event in Nottingham, said government money was needed to make a voluntary civic society work, otherwise it was “just a lottery”.

“And if you’re lucky enough to have someone who will volunteer, fine, but if you’re not, hard luck, and that’s not a fair society,” he said.

The problem with his simplistic assessment is that many – three quarters according to Francis Maude – voluntary organisations receive nothing from the Government, but Ed Balls thinks that they should do and that the Govt should step in to fund the voluntary organisation / charity / whoever.

Big Government – typified by Balls – destroys Big Society by creating unnecessary dependency, not by creating sustainable communities that don’t need Govt handouts to operate successfully.


3 Responses to “Big Society progresses excellently”

  1. DanWhit said

    I’m confused by why you would post such a simplistic defence of the Big Society project. If you’re going to support the initiative, do a little more than having a cheap pop at Ed Balls and telling us to read the Times please, Councillor Burbage. After all, this is an idea in crisis, whether or not you’re able to recognize it as such. Even the Financial Times is giving it stick. As Danny Kruger wrote in its pages only 2 days ago:

    ‘The Big Society is in a little trouble. A chorus of charity bosses is chanting their disillusion. Reports last week suggested senior government figures are worried the “agenda” is not “delivering”…

    the Big Society is suffering from its defining contradiction: a central government initiative that casts central government as the enemy; a grassroots movement born in Whitehall. Recognising this, the coalition has embraced a neoliberal interpretation, in which the Big Society simply means free men and women taking power into their own hands, where the only job of the state is to get out of the way.’

    ‘This is coherent, but it is cowardly. It avoids the charge of authoritarianism but it invites the charge of indifference. It denies the fact that too little is being done to smooth the transition from a statist system to a liberalised one.’

    If you actually started to engage with a few of these criticisms, rather than simply pretending that everything is fine and dandy, maybe we’d all be able to take your arguments a little more seriously.

  2. Anonymous said

    Do you think Big Society is working in RBWM?

  3. Marc Green said

    The three quarters of voluntary organisations which do not receive public money are in fact charities. They cover all sorts of areas, many do not prvide services, many are inactive and effectively dormant. If you must use statistics then use them accurately.

    Many of the larger voluntary organisation involved in the public sector already provide key services. These organisations have fallen victim of the front loading of cuts pushed through by “Localist” minister Pickles.

    Joined up Government….more like chaos.

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