big 'R' us
I’ve been waiting too for a grand gesture; agreement by MPs to waive their salaries for a year, footballers to give a serious proportion of their obscene and undeserved wages to charities instead of car dealerships, bankers to........no, let’s be reasonable.
The Big Point is that there already is a Big Society and has been for a very long time, long before this government invented it, and if politicians looked outside of their narrow world they would see it staring them in the face. (And that is apart from the privatisation of public services, which is not far beneath the camouflaged covering of the Big Society spin.) The government’s criminal justice system couldn’t function without committed and voluntary magistrates; their educational system couldn’t manage itself without the support of unpaid and devoted governors; their precarious national health service would be in an even worse state if those looked after day and night by dedicated, unrewarded and un-cared-about carers instead became a burden on the state’s resources and purse. And there are many more examples. Look around you, Big Dave, the Big Society is alive and kicking.
But what is the incentive for its members when they are afforded little in the way of acknowledgement, regard or respect ? The selfish, over-ambitious and power crazed don’t understand the committed, caring and selfless. The small minded can’t relate to the big hearted. Even when some semblance of appreciation can be given to those groups, for example awards of the unjust and politically motivated honours system, the powers choose instead to hand out the gongs to those who already have gained acknowledgement, recognition, rewards and copious amounts of money; civil servants, politicians, celebrities, and successful business folk, especially if they have climbed to high seniority in those rich, me-first, self-indulgent organisations called banks.
Marketing of the Big Society by government to us is futile. It appeals to those who would join it anyway and is a complete anathema to those who don’t even know, and don’t want to know, it exists.