Tag Archives: jesse norman

The Big Society: the answer’s in the book

One of the curios of some library campaigners extolling the virtues of books whilst also mocking the Big Society for supposedly being incomprehensible or non-existent is that there is a short, clear and well-written book which lays out just what it is. Conservative MP Jesse Norman’s book, The Big Society, is certainly not uncontroversial, but it makes a sufficiently strong and clear case to have received favourable comments from across the political spectrum on its publication last autumn, including from Labour MP Jon Cruddas.

At times the book seems to have two, almost contradictory, purposes – to persuade traditional Conservatives …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

Chris White writes: Big Society’s meatless bones

‘Little by little, and like a virus, the Big Society idea has lodged itself insidiously in my mind; so that now, everywhere I go, I start to see small things that actually could be done closer to the ground, by and for the people who know about them and need them’.

So wrote Matthew Parris in the Spectator last August, a passage approvingly quoted by Jesse Norman, the Big Society philosopher-in-chief in his book of the same name.

Parris’s summary tells us that the concept has gained a grip – and not only on the Right. Some Liberal Democrats are also …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Julian Huppert: Why I’m supporting calls for a PFI Rebate

Ask most people about the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) and they will associate it with just one individual: Gordon Brown.

In fact, the PFI was introduced by the Conservatives as long ago as 1992, when Norman Lamont announced it in his Autumn Statement. On the surface, it was a simple idea, aimed at increasing the involvement of the private sector in the provision of public services. Rather than simply building public facilities, the PFI enables the design, financing and operation of public services to be carried out by the private sector.

There were obvious benefits to be gained from such partnerships – …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments
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