If you think there really is a big idea behind the Big Society, then you agree with the unlikely pairing of Jon Cruddas (Lab, Dagenham) and Jesse Norman (Con, Hereford). The latter’s new book, The Big Society: The Anatomy of the New Politics, attempts the seemingly impossible task of providing a grand philosophical narrative to underscore David Cameron’s often amorphous rhetoric.

via The Big Society is a threat to Labour | The Spectator. See also my Surely the Big Society is about more than volunteering?

I believe we are entering a period of “both/and” in society: we are both individuals and in society…


  1. The “Big society” idea is nothing new at all, its the Gauleiter system revised. Its really a way for Politicians to say to industry, “we will provide you with a cut-price labour force, that is driven by desperation”. This system of re-setting peoples economic expectations was used in Germany in the 1930’s, industry knew that if they bank-rolled the National Socialists they would receive cheap ( and free) labour from the “volunteers”,and from the dispossessed. To make it work, there needs to be a total decline in local government service provision coupled with growth in industries that can provide work for people to do, for little or no remuneration,a one-size fits-all state welfare payment is the way that people were rewarded when Germany tried this economic experiment before, the homeless went to work in camps, ostensibly while waiting for new homes being built.Many people only realised what was happening when the work they did for the community became compulsory regardless of whether they had full-time employment or not. Services to the community were reliant on free labour supplied on an obligatory basis, industry boomed, and Germany could suddenly afford to go to war again, which was what the regime, not the people, wanted. Industry and the Military benefited but the population became trapped in a form of slavery, the coercion was ideological at first and rapidly became based on the tactics of state terrorisation of its own population, through the actions of the state secret police.