'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Friday, 2 March 2012

The End of the Big Society?

The news that Steve Hilton is taking a leave of absence of at least 12 months  from No.10 will obviously mean changes of policy, of emphasis and of tactics in Downing Street Operations. The Telegraph has a good review of many of the themes that Hilton championed, few of which will be missed by the Lib Dems.

Two appear to have been missed.

Firstly, Hilton was the great champion of Behavioural Economics in Downing Street, as exemplified in the book and later the blog  'Nudge' (which is very much worth a visit from time to time). Here's a report from the Cabinet Office on how the government is using Behavioural Economics to reduce fraud. Will anyone still pursue this going forward?

And secondly, of course, Hilton was the father and champion for 'The Big Society'. Cameron is, by all accounts, still a huge fan of the idea, but it has never been properly explained nor defined. And with Hilton gone - that may well be the last we hear of it.


  1. And good riddance (to the 'Big Society' motto). There's only so much we can do for free... especially when the public servants we volunteer for are well-paid. Or in the case of welfare for work, our private sector bosses.

  2. To be honest I always thought that the notion of everyone doing their bit locally was a good one. Trouble was a) you shouldn't try and own that idea as the Tories did b) they never really defined what the meant by the Big Society anyway and c) it did appear to be getting uncomfortably close to replacing paid jobs with free ones.

    A theme that's now returned in another guise of course...

  3. As one who has put rather more of my waking hours than most into unpaid volunteer work over the past four decades, the Big Society should have been music to my ears. It wasn't, because it came from the Tories. They are greedy and self-serving, so if they start promoting an idea, thats a good time to move on.

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. kindly remove the name you political snob

  5. Sorry I didn't realise you are a bunch of political snobs

  6. Lib Dems should be hung for treason. It'll be another 100 years before you lot will see power maybe.In the meantime charge members of the LibLabCon for treasonable acts.

    The Condom Coalition.