Monday, July 19, 2010

UK Prime Minister David Cameron's Grand Vision for the "Big Society"

I admit I was naive. I thought the UK Conservative Party actually meant it when it said it would reduce deficit by slashing the departmental budgets by as much as 25%. I thought maybe, just maybe, the UK's businesses would actually become more competitive when the government stopped wasting resources and capital and let private businesses and citizens decide what to do with their money.


Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is going the way of Progressive Left - Lindon Johnson ("Great Society") and Barack Obama (community organizing), with a new twist: he wants to achieve his "Big Society" vision by community organizing effort by non-profits directed by his government, but fund that effort by raiding dormant bank accounts in the UK held by private citizens. The raided funds goes to his Big Society Bank, and he will dispense money to foster community organizing throughout the country as he and his bureaucrats see fit.

UK's Telegraph reports:

David Cameron sets out Big Society plan (7/19/2010 Telegraph UK)

"David Cameron has issued an invitation for communities across the country to take over responsibility for services ranging from libraries to housing developments.

"In a speech setting out his vision for the “Big Society,” which he described as the mass transfer of power from the state to “people power,” the Prime Minister said that it was his “mission” to create a generation of volunteers.

"Four areas in diverse parts of the country have been chosen to form a “vanguard” in realising Mr Cameron's dream of “people power”. [...groan...]

"The four – the greater London borough of Sutton and Cheam, the leafy Berkshire council of Windsor and Maidenhead, rural Eden Valley in Penrith, Cumbria, and the metropolitan city of Liverpool - were chosen after they petitioned Downing Street to start their own projects.

"They will be the first to be invited to submit applications to the Big Society Bank.

"The four pioneer communities will be helped by dedicated civil servants who will give expert advice if they encounter legal problems or bureaucratic obstacles.

"Officials will also identify local residents with a particular aptitude for taking part in Big Society projects – they will then receive training to become community organisers, motivating their neighbours to take part in action schemes.

"They will also be able to draw on the Big Society Bank, which, Mr Cameron promised, would use “every penny of dormant bank and building society account money” to help finance social enterprises, charities and voluntary groups.

"Accounts left untouched for at least 15 years will be channelled to good causes. Over time, Mr Cameron said, the Bank would provide “hundreds of millions of pounds” to Big Society projects, with money starting to be distributed from April." [The article continues.]

The law that allows confiscation of dormant bank accounts already exists, though the banks have been reluctant to use it.

The article gives examples of "community organizing" efforts envisioned by the "Big Society" which is to be build upon the money confiscated (or stolen, if you prefer) bank accounts under the direction of the government bureaucrats:

- Help finance social enterprises [called "social entrepreneuring" in the US], charities, volunteer groups (Sound familiar?)

- Local residents to be picked by government officials to serve as "community organizers" to organize their neighbors (Sound familiar? The US already has a law passed April last year, and it's called "Serve America Act of 2009".)

- Public services to be run by "volunteers" (like this?)

- Power to buy out "local assets" (Sound familiar?)

- Bringing broadband Internet to local communities (Sound even more familiar?)

Peggy Noonan's plea to David Cameron to not follow Barack Obama clearly fell on the totally deaf ear of the Prime Minister. He is following every single step, and more.

Cameron's Big Society doesn't seem much different from the Third Way advocated by Labour (Tony Blair, Gordon Brown are the most recent examples).

When he meets Obama this week, he may even inspire the community-organizer-in-chief to start grabbing money from accounts held by private citizens.

Japan's prime minister, who was also aping Obama's every single policy, didn't last a year. That's the only hope I have for British businesses and citizens - that Cameron won't last a year if he copies Obama.


UK Retail Shopping said...

Hi Sir
It is a great vision that your Prime Minister had settled for the growth of every people of the world.

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