Opinion: Big society or big community?

We seem to be stuck in a warp of niceties at the moment. In the bad old days the Tory party was the nasty party. Thatcher flexed her muscles and in a previous downturn we all had to get on our bikes. Yet today we seem to get a different flavour of conservatism. It’s all big society, low interest rates and a penny off fuel duty. What is going on?

I’ll let you into a secret. The Lib Dems may have a little something to do with this. We seem to be the dose of sanity that government was starved of. Whereas the Tories believe in Big Society – actually we have a better stance – let me call it Big Community. Power and decision-making given to the lowest possible levels. Common sense dictates that this provides a bigger voice for residents and greater inclusion. OK, we don’t have the neo-conservatives tendencies of a few on the far-right, but we are in a coalition. Some argue that we are all in this together and a plague on all your houses – Tories and Lib Dems. Yet as with all things, we cannot always get our own way. So it seems a little spoonful of Big Community will help the Big Society medicine go down.

Emma Bagley blogs on Emma Bagley’s blog.

Read more by or more about , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • Oh for goodness sake Norman Tebbit never told people to get on their bikes no matter how much Tories, Liberals and Socialists alike may want him to have said it. Ironically enough he’s been voicing support for raising the personal tax allowance to £10,000 which I’m pleased you’re not claiming as a Lib Dem achievement.

    As for low interest rates you can apparently thank Ed Balls for that, as supposedly it was his support that got the Bank of England’s Independence.

  • Matthew Huntbach 19th Apr '11 - 1:11am

    Yet today we seem to get a different flavour of conservatism. It’s all big society, low interest rates and a penny off fuel duty. What is going on?

    Oh, this is absolute rot. The Conservatives of today are nastier and more right-wing than ever. All they care about is big money for millionaires and the rest of us can go to hell. The old-style Conservatves had a residual feel for this nation and its people, the new style Conservatives have none – they are in the pay of those who would sell out opur country to big buisness and move abroad to their tax havens, because to them Britain is just a place to screw dry, and when they’ve screwed us to nothing, they’ll move on. Just because they’ve discovered some vague hypocritical wording they can use to cover this does not change who they are. Why, Emma Bagley, do you pass on as if you believe it their lying propaganda?

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?


Recent Comments

  • Joe Bourke
    Yanukovych served two custodial sentences for robbery and assault in his youth. He was backed by Putin in the 2004 Presidential elections. However, the electio...
  • Steve Trevethan
    Those who believe that the Ukrainian focussed events of 2014 were totally without foreign involvement, might find the attached article of interest. https://geo...
  • Joe Bourke
    Ukraine voted overwhelmingly for independence in 1991 and under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum their sovereignty was guaranteed by Russia, the USA and the UK in e...
  • Russell
    @Steve It wasn't a coup. There were widespread protests against Yanukovych given his corruption, and going against parliament by signing a deal with putin rath...
  • Phillip Bennion
    We were able to pay tribute to Robert at the beginning of ALDE Council this morning. Representing the Liberal Democrats I was able to outline Robert’s contrib...