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.

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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?

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