The Big Society was the flagship policy idea of the 2010 UK Conservative Party general election manifesto. It now forms part of the legislative programme of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement. The stated aim is to create a climate that empowers local people and communities, building a "big society" that will take power away from politicians and give it to people.While some have responded to the policy favourably, its aims have been queried and disputed by other commentators.
The idea was launched in the 2010 Conservative manifesto and described by The Times as "an impressive attempt to reframe the role of government and unleash entrepreneurial spirit". Nat Wei, one of the founders of the Teach First charity, was appointed by David Cameron to advise the government on the Big Society programme. The plans include setting up a Big Society Bank and introducing anational citizen service. The stated priorities are:
- Give communities more powers (localism and devolution)
- Encourage people to take an active role in their communities (volunteerism)
- Transfer power from central to local government
- Support co-ops, mutuals, charities and social enterprises
- Publish government data (open/transparent government)
It is supported by a Big Society Network, which says it "exists to generate, develop and showcase new ideas to help people to come together in their neighbourhoods to do good things."
Is David Cameron continuing Jesus's work?
David Cameron has suggested Jesus invented the 'big society'. Do Conservative policies tally with His teachings? Share your views in our open thread