The Big Society – Do you understand it?

Since July I’ve been talking on this blog about empowering the local community, giving them a voice and allowing them to make tenable decisions that affect the local community.

I call it The Purley 2.0 Project.

Since July, David Cameron has been talking about empowering the local community, giving them a voice and allowing them to make tenable decisions that affect the local community.

He calls it “The Big Society”. 

Apart from clearly showing that I am a credible candidate for PM next General Election, I think it’s especially important for us in Purley/ in Croydon/ in Britain to understand the implications of this new dawn in British policy and to appreciate how this embryonic philosophy will affect us in many different areas – for better or for worse.

All I’m asking for you to do right now is to understand The Big Society.

If you want to read the Big Society manifesto in full, click here. It’s not too long and it’s an easy read.

If you’re ADD and would prefer the Cliffs Notes of the Big Society. Read these three salient points of the Big Society below that I pilfered from The Big Society Network website.

  • Empowering individuals and communities: Decentralising and redistributing power not just from Whitehall to local government, but also directly to communities, neighbourhoods and individuals
  • Encouraging social responsibility: Encouraging organisations and individuals to get involved in social action, whether small neighbourly activities like hosting a Big Lunch to large collective actions like saving the local post office
  • Creating an enabling and accountable state: Transforming government action from top-down micromanagement and one-size-fits-all solutions to a flexible approach defined by transparency, payment by results, and support for social enterprise and cooperatives

How I foresee us going about making this happen however, will be another post for another day…


About jonathanrose

Raconteur. Intellectual. Showerman.
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8 Responses to The Big Society – Do you understand it?

  1. Scott Gould says:

    Steve’s video from Like Minds coming up soon….

    Good work here on this J.


    • jonathanrose says:

      I’m glad you saw this Scott!

      I’ve really had an epiphany regarding mobilising the local community and the potential afforded by the Big Society. Much to be said and written about in the future.
      Am very excited about all of this and look forward to talking it through with you very soon 🙂

  2. Joel Cross says:

    Some guy came and spoke about big society last night at our church. He said if anyone asks us what big society means, it’s all about RESPONSIBILITY. So, question answered.

    • jonathanrose says:

      State responsibility? Personal responsibility? Collective responsibility? There are lots of different types!! Let me know this guy who talked at your church was. Ive got a few theories about BS, social enterprise and Christian social action that I wish to explore further! Safe xx

  3. jonathanrose says:


    This looks a lot like a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative party, although it’s the bit which most conservatives seem to feel the least connected to, mostly because nobody really understands exactly what it is. Localism I understand, having a smaller state I understand, and if the Big Society is just a comfortable wrapper for it all then fair enough, but for me it’s just too big and too woolly a concept to really get behind and sell to people on the doorstep.

    • jonathanrose says:

      🙂 To clarify, I have no intention of getting into bed with the Conservatives any time soon. I do however agree with your “woolly concept” verdict, indeed I was intending to critique the Big Society for being too nebulous but deleted in the end for brevity’s sake. For me, if you follow where I intend to take the discussion – you’ll see that I will be championing the merits of (hyper)localism/community rather than the Big Society per se.

      • Dan Bond says:

        I was wondering, couldn’t see you loving the party of Tebbit and Thatcher! Localism is a radical concept, pushing power down and out, and it’s one which requires some very painful choices for governments, allowing people to make their own decisions even if those decisions aren’t what they would like. Giving councils more power is fine if it’s handing power to _your_ councils who will use it how you’d like, but harder if it’s to councils from the other party! Which I guess is why things like the academies programme appear to be designed to cut councils out of the equation entirely and hand power to individual parents…

  4. jonathanrose says:

    @Dan – Aha – you’re dead right on the council score. To be honest, I’m less interested in devolution/fiscal decisions within local govt. but more in how we can mobilise and inform *every day PEOPLE*. I believe that with council cutbacks rife and a… scale back of public services, private sector or community groups will have to fill the vacuum.
    A perfect example would be fewer police/CSOs in the area – yesterday I saw Street Pastors regulating all the rudeboys on the High Street. If church hadn’t stepped in that provision for security would have been unmet.
    Basically, I have little interest in local govt. but more in community action and self-realisation (courtesy of soical media, of course)

    N.B. I don’t want Britain to be broken up into Soviet village cells even though it sounds like it 😉

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