BIg Society quiz show

4 Oct 2010 by Karl Hallam

Being on the PTA? Organising a running group? Asking some local youths to be a bit quieter? Are these examples of the BS in action? It could almost be a lame TV quiz show, of the sort that originates on Radio 4. Is it Big Society or is it BS? At the moment it seems that most people would answer this by saying "I'm sorry I haven't a clue".

It may be quite clever that BS can mean so many different things to different people. On the other hand it could lead to it meaning nothing. It could almost be a brand in some cases, a new way of describing something that already happens anyway. This could be positive, acting as a sort of validation of an effort to do something worthwhile. Maybe local authorities will have BS awards? The more cynical might suggest that councils would then be giving certificates and a pat on the back to those who they used to give a grant to before the cuts came.

Perhaps defining BS could be the ultimate example of localism? BS is when local people come together in a place and do things that make it a better place to live. This might have no formal organisational involvement at all, even though there are lots of people who think BS is absolutely about voluntary, community and faith organisations. The optimistic view, that we share, is that it is all up for grabs and that waiting for someone to tell you what it is is not the answer. 

your comments

Margaret Cushing
Posts: 1
Reply #1 on : Mon October 11, 2010, 22:27:49
Localism isn't big. It's personal and particular. Everyone involved wants to be heard and have their views accepted. They don't spontaneously agree. Exactly what makes democracy such a flawed concept. At best it's not as bad as the alternative. In the end government has to take responsibility for making the best deal it can - while not devaluing the objectors. But politics is doomed to be compromise with randomly occurring visionaries. We can't rely on them though. It is so much more fun to moan about THEM - whether it's the local Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator or the Prime Minister.

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