From big society to good society

Posted on 08 Sep 2013 under Civil Society, Previous Publications

Civil society should not be a substitute for the state but an addition to it

writes Barry Knight, Director of the Webb Memorial Trust, in The New Statesman


Rarely in human history can an idea have suffered so much opprobrium as the Big Society. On the left, it is seen as a fig leaf for the cuts. On the right, it has been seen as a fluffy add-on.  The voluntary sector initially flirted with the idea because they saw money in it, but has since rejected it, feeling that it is a way of having to do more with less.  For the Archbishop of Canterbury, it is “waffle”.  Paul Twivy, the founder of the Big Society Network, has admitted that the big society concept is “divisive within the Cabinet” and “loathed by the public”.  Following four re-launches of the policy, it is clear that the Big Society is in trouble.  According to an NfpSynergy survey, only nine per cent of the public believes it will happen. …continue reading in The New Statesman