The Big Society

27 Mar

A little departure from IPTV for the moment.

Having seen the demonstrations in London, having a family who is at the very centre of cuts and is feeling them daily, having my own business and trying to make a living as a small business, having all of this makes me think something is wrong, very wrong in our society today, morally bankrupt and possibly incapable of accepting this without a massive shift in thinking.

The big society is not such a bad idea, but the timing is pretty awful, so this now looks like a scheme to create public services on the cheap. The problem this government has is that we, the public, are distrustful and so we think the worst. In theory this sort of works but it has to be a BIG idea not just a few chosen words to the chosen few in the City of London.

I know people keep banging on about bonus culture, but that’s because they care. They care that people are struggling and the most well off continue on the tax payers gravy train. We keep going on about it, will someone finally realise that this won’t go away because you want it to, we keep going on about it because it drives a nail into the very heart the British sense of fair, this is not fair and cannot be justified. A minority of the country, in which we live, are still living in a post Thatcher era that welcomed greed and rewarded the ‘me’ culture,  everybody else has moved on, realised that our country was decimated by this, but still they continue with a ‘let them eat cake’ attitude. So why do marches and protest occur, go back and read the previous few lines.

So if we want a BIG society and if we REALLY want equality in opportunity then it has to be done in a manner that appeals to the unheard masses, to those who feel like they have no prospects, to the young adult who despite 100 letters still has no job, to the unemployed in the North East who feel all prospects are disappearing, to the likes of me who work really hard and receive little or no help. If you really want a big society then start doing and stop talking.

Lets start with dismantling big corporate outsourcing deals for local councils, schools, government etc. Lets make this much smaller units, answerable locally giving work to local business and people, who do actually care about the state of roads, schools and community. Do we really need a big multi-national repairing local roads, couldn’t local companies do this just as well, employing local people. Lets stop endorsing big companies who stifle innovation and remove any notion of competition, lets give local retailers incentives and big retailers diss-incentives for local stores, make buying retail property and land-banking it illegal, use it or lose it, a kind of Statutory of Road for retail. Re-invigorate our high streets with local shops selling local produce, not big faceless companies selling the same junk that no one knows what is in it. Lets reward those that do volunteer work with something that is not just a pat on the back.

All of this goes back to a book written in the seventies, whose time has come, Small is Beautiful, yes it is and it’s a way of mobilising people behind a renewed sense of worth, not just having a say or contributing but seeing the personal benefit for doing so, job creation, work satisfaction and long-term employment. All of this based around local, micro economics.

The City of London screwed up, should we forget, no absolutely not, not until they can finally wake up to what they have done to millions of families. Should labour be ashamed, yes they should, this was under your watch, you let greed take over and forgot your roots. We as a country should insist our government uses this to the advantage of the populus, ignore the premise that they will go if we keep chastising them, look at the mess they made! I say let them go! Use the profits of the big banks to fund your BIG society, lets see those ill-gotten gains used to improve the lives of the masses and used to improve the lives of our future children. Why shouldn’t the bank pay for updating the school I went to, that hasn’t changed for 30 years, this is our future, and our Government decides we can’t afford it, we simply can’t afford not to. Try this argument, don’t use massive multi-national contractors, the building trade is on its knees, use local companies, local brickies, plasterers, architects, scaffolders and decorators to do the work. Local companies with an interest in the job not just money.

There most certainly is another way but it will take politicians with foresight and the bollocks to challenge the status quo and MAKE it happen. There are few times when once in a generation opportunities arise, this is one of them, don’t squander it. If you do you will not just have marches and protests happening but an undercurrent of social dis-order for decades to come.

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