It’s hard to be certain.
It appears to be a vaguely defined metaphor for some kind of hope in the darkness. An adaptable lie to give people an opportunity to justify the destruction of the public sector as a positive step for community growth. It also may be a great excuse to redistribute more power to the rich.
On the other hand, it’s very close to a bundle of anarchist ideals that should be totally opposed to Cammy and the Tories
It’s unsettlingly vague.
In essence, it is a few pools of money, for people to apply for to start running the services that they want that are being taken away by the public sector cuts (or, in principle, any service they want to provide).
In theory, the notion is that individual communities can run their own projects and take more control over the immediate world around them. It occasionally sounds like the kind of locally led communal projects that I’m normally totally behind.
But when there’s pools of money to be applied for, and time to be spared, you can bet it’s the rich that get them.
The current government, typically for the tories, is putting in place a series of legislation designed to separate the rich and poor as thoroughly as possible. Changing benefits rules to drive people out of expensive areas (which will in turn make them more expensive, which drives the people that are working out as well) is a particularly obvious aspect.
Distribution of wealth already tends to be fairly self reinforcing. It’s why poverty is so hard to fight. It’s a huge money drain. It can only be battled by methods that improve the sustainability of local community driven projects.
In essence this is what the ‘big society’ claims to be about, but in practice, it is about filling in forms and giving up time. This is not something that can be done easily in poverty stricken areas. The well off, however, will have the time and patience and organisation already in place to take advantage.
And that’s ignoring the fact that there simply isn’t enough money to run these things. And the selling off will lose us infrastructure that will be prohibitively expensive to rebuild.
It’s smokescreen, you see. Tell people it’ll all be okay because they’ll be given the opportunity to help each other out. Replace big government with the big society.
But for Tory ideology, there’s no such thing as society. That’s the big joke at the core of this. These are people that utterly don’t believe in the myth they are trying to make.
In the name of liberalism and localism, we’re watching public services envied across the world being dismantled. We are crippling this country permanently, in the name of big business, whilst crowing about the big society.
It’s such corrosive bullshit. It’s horrible to think of this early in the morning.
It’s okay though, the whole damn system is going to crumble soon.
Suddenly society won’t be big.
Illustration by Andy.