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How should you contribute to society?

08:17 UK time, Monday, 19 July 2010

David Cameron is to launch the government's 'big society' plan, a central theme in the Conservative general election manifesto. What do you think of his ideas?

In a speech in Liverpool, he's expected to promise to train more community organisers, allow charities to consult civil servants and use dormant bank accounts to fund projects.

Mr Cameron's aim is to transfer power from the state to individuals by allowing communities and voluntary groups to help run public services. He says this will ensure greater "people power" and wider change.

Would you join a voluntary group? Would this help you or your community take more control of your life? How can society be made better?

Comments

Page 1 of 14

  • Comment number 1.

    I think Cameron is about to be found out.He wants the public to do things that they are already paying for.I think he has based this BID IDEA on the rag Big Issue.How Clegg must be looking for a way out of being the Tory Lackie.

  • Comment number 2.

    How should you contribute to society?

    Stop whining about what a horrible place the UK is to live in and be ready to lend a hand to your fellow man when the opportunity arises.

    The UK tabloids want everyone to be a self-pitying victim , happy to moan about society, but not prepared to get off your backside to do anything about it.

    Don't let them brainwash you.

  • Comment number 3.

    Regarding David Cameron's BIG IDEAS.

    WELL FOR TORIES READ - PRIVATISATION BIG TIME - AND THEN ALL DAVID CAMERON'S PLANS BEGIN TO MAKE SENSE or not if you are in any way a realist.

  • Comment number 4.

    Cuts by the back door. I pay my council tax to fund local services, most people work long hours and don't have time to do vouluntary work for services they are paying for anyway.

    The big society is a con.

  • Comment number 5.

    If people in genral could be nice to eachother and show some considaration to someone else then alot would have been won.
    The nature of the society has become harder more hateful.
    How is this for a cree: Dare to care and dare to share.
    What is wrong with that.
    We all are human and we all live on this litle earth.
    We need to wake up and start to take care of the earth and us. Stop the wars and so on.

  • Comment number 6.

    No mention there of promoting the creation of more credit unions which provide proper banking services for the less well off, but maybe that would be treading on the toes of the banks who make a very fat living by exploiting the little people of our society.

  • Comment number 7.

    Is "big" the best adjective they teach at Eton?

  • Comment number 8.

    Big Society is all very well, but where should all the money come from to fund the volunteers - unpaid jobs don't pay the rent/mortgage or bring food on the table. Unpaid volunteers also take paid jobs away.

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    The only thing I can see as big from this government is BIG LIES,BIG FRAUD,BIG MISTAKES we elect them to carry fuctions out on our behalf not abdicate them to voluntary groups and the like.If they feel like they are unable to do so they should resign and we will elect someone who will.

  • Comment number 11.

    After the tidal wave of complaint about the Nanny State, I'd have thought many people would welcome this move

    Our culture seems to have evolved into one of Rights before Responsibilities, and here is a chance to change that

  • Comment number 12.

    Has Cameron not noticed that there are already thousands of volunteers, parents coaching grassroots football every weekend, running youth groups, cub and scout leaders, PTAs, charity shop workers, citizens advice.........I bet in 12 months time he claims it was all his idea when it is already happening all over the UK - we just never give these people any credit for the long hours they already put in for free.

  • Comment number 13.

    So have I got this right? We pay the same amount of taxes and we get less services from the government, and charity's do the work instead for free.I donate to charity and I also give my time freely at times but I object to paying moor for less!

  • Comment number 14.

    Like every other supposed "big idea" of the past 30 years or so, I am extremely sceptical about this Dave New World.

    How are they going to give more autonomy to individuals and "improve" (in the most ambiguous sense of the word) society and communities while at the same time making massive cuts in the deficit? Is this a tacit way of telling us that if we want our streets rid of litter and walls rid of graffiti we're going to have to do it ourselves because council budgets will no longer stretch that far? Austerity inevitably results in citizens finding themselves with less autonomy, not more.

    Like I've said often enough since the election, I await the responses of everyone who voted Tory in the belief the end of New Labour would spell the end of social engineering. You were naïve, very naïve. EVERY government engages in social engineering - they all want to impose their morality on the masses. The whole "Big Society v Big Government" theme of the Tory campaign was a false dichotomy and in the end, both translate to small individual, no matter how it is spun.

  • Comment number 15.

    I don't think anyone knows what this phrase "Big Society" actually means. Of course power to communities is a good idea, but without concrete funding and powers it will just be an empty phrase. I hope he doesn't want to pass on the responsibility of running a good government.

  • Comment number 16.

    Can 'call me dave' (CMD) tell us just what voluntry contributions he wants us to make instead of the government?

    What are the 'projects' he wants us to do?

    Bear in mind that his government have scalled back, but not abolished, labours laws on checking peoples background when they work with the public. Would you volunteer for a 'Big Society' project if you had to have your private life checked?

    If it's a voluntary project then there are no wages, what about other costs? Materials, tools, vehicles? What about training and insurance?

    Can someone have a quiet word with CMD and tell him we are not fooled by his talk about 'freedom' and 'individuals'. To most of us its just an act, a policy of moving responsibility from government to someone else.


  • Comment number 17.

    Cameron should start by fulfilling his election promises before he launches any new ideas...like the scrapping of the Contact Point database. Promised during the campaign. - and now.....still there.

    Sadly I think Cameron is about to be found out. If he doesn't deliver on his pre-election promises - he'll have a significant backlash from Tory voters come the next election.

  • Comment number 18.

    It must be lovely being able to volunteer for good causes if you can afford to... but come on,unless your married to someone seriously wealthly(hmmm Mr Cameron)then who on earth can afford to consider such niceties? For the remaining 99.99% of the population it's a non-starter, we're just too busy just attepting to keep our heads above water as it is!


  • Comment number 19.

    The most positive thing we can all do to make society a better place in which to live is not to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat at the next election.

  • Comment number 20.

    As a general principal I think he is right, my wife and I already help with various charities, it makes for a better society but one problem is regulations of various types, including health and safety, council bureaucracy and child protection, parts of which hinder a closer and more inclusive society and generaly put people off helping others

  • Comment number 21.

    Big Society is to make sure we are all in this together but not for the right reasons. Give the public more of a say in day to day affairs and when it all goes pear shaped this Government can walk away without any blame. ConDems is the perfect description for this bunch of clueless twits.

    I already pay for public services and like others donate to charities and help in my community if I can.

    They claim to beleive in strong government - so far all I can see is a pat on the head for them for thinking up things which already exist and screwing the less well off as much as they cam.

    Big Society will be a BIG FLOP.

  • Comment number 22.

    What we are looking at is the start of the nationwide

    Youth Employment Scheme for adults

    Your Job being done by a volunteer, it is a short step to all unemployed people having to volunteer to put someone else out of work, a country run on the cheap.

    Maggie would be proud






  • Comment number 23.

    I went to Brooklyn a couple of months ago there was a couple of schemes where the community got together. One scheme the community got together and used a piece of waste land, turned it into a grassy area and an artist area. The community decided they wanted to do it, they didn't expect government to sort it out and now it's a lovely piece of ground. Why in this country do we always expect someone else (someone else being the government) to pay and do everything for us? I think this idea of Cameron's is a great idea, the only problem is the attitude of such ideas in this country.

  • Comment number 24.

    I already do through my taxes. I expect the government to use those taxes, in part, to ensure social cohesion and fairness through the redistribution of wealth and resources to those who need help.

    Enough of this "Big Society" idea, it's not rational given the complexity of the modern developed state. It's a throwback to Victorian values which this government see as an idyllic time of philanthropy and self help - forgetting that the beginnings of state intervention began in that era when it became obvious that the "system" was not what was needed to help make a successful market driven economy.

    Besides local governments have already begun cutting the funding to the very groups and organisations that Cameron says he will need to move his "Big Society" idea forward. It's reported Ian Duncan Smith is already running into difficulties getting the funds his department need to get the unemployed back into work. Why? Because these type of schemes need a great deal of money spent "upfront" to get them started and the savings may be many years down the line. Not something the electorate or their elected representitives are prepared to countenance in our era of short termism.



  • Comment number 25.

    Time, Mr Cameron, Time. It's a biggie, isn't it? What with all the wossnames of the modern world and that, and what with me now apparently having to stay on at work until at least six months after I actually die of old age, Time is definately a factor here.

    Thing of it is, I have to work (and my missus has to work) so hard and long in order to fund all the pope's visits and making sure no thievin' immigrants get in and all that other rubbish you like, and the only time I get to myself I would really rather prefer to spend on myself and my family. You know, the people I like. As opposed to people I don't know.

    And the end result of all that hard work is your wages, me old chum.

    So, my advice is this: stop passing the responsibility onto us, and keep it for yourself - after all, a few people all said that you can have it earlier this year. It was May. I know that for an actual fact 'cos I saw it on the telly. Stop pretending it's the blitz at that we should all just jolly well roll our sleeves up an muck in, there's a good chap. I mean - yes, say hullo to the neighbours and don't actually spit at anyone, but - I've got to teach geography or something at a hand-made school now, have I?

    All this by way of saying - is it too much to ask the Government to actually do the governing?

    Uh-oh - I've had an idea.... maybe it IS too much to ask! That's what been going on all this time! Because I don't come home from work and immediately set up a school or build a housing estate, that why we're in this Godawful mess!

    So actually Dave's right again. It's all our fault. Sorry. I will immediately start living my life to a thirty-hour day and dig a sewer. Where's my spade? Hullo, Neighbour!

  • Comment number 26.

    I fully believe in the Big Society. Labour have left us without a second thought as to how things are being run, but yet people moan when the local councils do something. I say, give them the incentive, give them the chance, and you'd be surprised to see the results.
    And so what if it is just to help cover up the cuts. They're coming, and the Conservatives are the only party who have asked the public where the want the axe to fall. People should actually see the wisdom in this great power distribution. I know its a change from being told what to do, but still, stop complaining, at least the Tories are getting the job done.

  • Comment number 27.

    I'm not pro-Cameron but he is right in what he said on the news this morning that everyone is going to have to do more for less if we are to repair the damage done by our credit led, waste rich lifestyles of the Labour years! And really we are ALL responsible for our society, for coping with inevitable cutbacks, for taking more responsibility for ourselves, our health, our waste, our kids, our environment, our elderly, the energy we use and not expect others to do it for us. Whatever any leader would say would probably not please a society that seems reluctant to economise, not necessarily budgetwise, but with the wasteful way we lead our lives.
    http://rossmountney.wordpress.com

  • Comment number 28.

    I must remember not to go on HYS first thing Monday morning, it is so depressing ! I work full time for pittance get taxed to the hilt, pay top wack tax and what do I get in return for all of my efforts. I am so sick of this sick sick country.

  • Comment number 29.

    "Big Society" is nothing new it's how Victorian Britain was run and I think history has recorded how well the ordinary man did in those times. The point is we have a fairer system now. WHy is that the Tories got into power claiming they know what to do and since then have continually asked us to do the job for them, first by coming up with ideas and now by actually doing the work too. I'm guessing any volunteers on benefits will have them cut by not being available for work.

  • Comment number 30.

    So now we have the "Big Society". We'll need to be on the lookout for a giant naughty step to deal with our overcrowded prisons. How about the Isle of Sheppey?

  • Comment number 31.

    I don't think David Cameron knows what he is doing. He's just removed the chance for 20 new schools in Liverpool, and now he's trotting up to Liverpool with this half-baked idea of asking volunteers to take over public services. If he doesn't get lynched or run out of town by angry parents in Liverpool I will be very surprised.

    The other sham is the NHS ideas. Get rid of 150 PCTs and replace them with 600 commissioning bodies?! - they would end up being the same thing under a different name, and 600 of them instead of 150.

    I've had enough of this stupidity. Can we have Labour back now please?

  • Comment number 32.

    This is a con.
    A move towards fascism?
    Watch out there is a monster lose in society, YOU.
    Wanted.
    People with no experience to take over doing professional jobs in state.
    Must be politically naive and willing to follow orders from your superiors.
    Apply in person to @ Cameron’s clown corporation limited, Whitehall.
    All mistakes will be covered up and you are guaranteed success for at least 5 years.
    Special considerations will be given to people with no understanding of the rise of fascism in British society 1930’s style.
    A great opportunity for RIGHT Minded morons with Right ethnical background.
    Politicians really fear being laughed at.

  • Comment number 33.

    An amorphous concept, maybe.

    Possibly what he really wants to say is, "you'd better get used to doing things yourself, because there's no money left as the last lot spent it all (step forward Liam Byrne)".

    He'll have to tackle the 'elf & safety' crowd for it to become reality, though. No point baking a cake for the village charity or offering to paint your 86 year old neighbour's windows if a local authority gauleiter hauls you up for too many calories or the wrong kind of ladder.

  • Comment number 34.

    Those in work and with families and hobbies will have little time to spare.

    I presume a start can be made with the unemployed to give some time in return for their benefits, especially if they are not actively looking for work.

  • Comment number 35.

    In my experience "empowerment" is a technique ineffective management use to shift responsibility downwards when they've run out of ideas. If it doesn't work it will be our fault, not Cameron's.

  • Comment number 36.

    19. At 09:28am on 19 Jul 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:

    The most positive thing we can all do to make society a better place in which to live is not to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat at the next election.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Great idea after all Labour made such a great job of managing the economy by massively increasing our national debt and selling off our gold reserves at rock bottom price. Given another few years of Labour government I am sure they will be able to return the country to the hands of the IMF just as they did in the past. That should make for a better society for all of us.

  • Comment number 37.

    Is this some joke from the tories.

    Does cameron think we are so thick that we cannot remember margret "there is no such thing as society" thatcher.

    It was the tories who destroyed communities and society as a whole. Now they are saying that we should rebuild it.

  • Comment number 38.

    There are two problems with this idea. First, given the Tory determination to impose swingeing cuts on services, people will think this is a very unsubtle way of getting things done on the cheap - or free. They are most probably right. Then, to get enough volunteers to make a difference, you need large numbers of capable people wealthy enough to give their time for nothing. I would suggest that the Tory's policies on taxes, cuts, and jobs will tend to reduce the numbers of such people dramatically. In short, like Major's fatuous attempts to repair the society destroyed by Thatcher, this fanciful scheme will never get off the ground. Society prospers when people feel good about things, not when every penny they earn is regarded as potential tax income and the only way out of this straight-jacket of incompetence and cynicism is to emigrate, or to lose your job and become part of a burgeoning black economy. Why does Britain seem destined to be governed by idiots?

  • Comment number 39.

    When I was a teenager I was taught by my Vicar - the late Rev Canon WH Vanstone - that we should care for our neighbours and do what we can as 'volunteers' to help our local communities. This I have done in many places and in many different ways.
    During the Election Campaign I was surprised at the very negative response to the idea of the BIG SOCIETY both by the public, reporters and journalists. The idea that we would come home from work and then do more work for nothing was laughed at. We wouldn't have time; we couldn't afford to etc. etc.
    I can assure anybody considering helping at their local Youth Club; lunch club for the elderly, Town Council, Church, British Legion etc.; that they as a volunteer will get much more out of being a volunteer than they put in as a volunteer.
    Please, please can we go back to being a caring society who thinks of others rather than the first response being 'What's in it for me?'

  • Comment number 40.

    People have been moaning about the New Labour nanny state for years, and now Cameron has offered to return power to the people, all I see far and wide is people moaning about how they are now to be expected to do things that they think they are paying the government to do.
    This is just unbelievable. People will just complain whatever happens. You could hand them the moon on a stick and it just wouldn't be good enough.

    Don't worry Dave, I'll be here right behind you. Lets do it.

  • Comment number 41.

    He has a point ........Our society has, under New Labour become a 'spoon fed, wipe my back****, give me more benefits' mess.
    "What do you contribute to society?' is a good question.

  • Comment number 42.

    I can't believe the comments on here. The reaction to this is a mass attack on Cameron from all angles, when this is the sort of policy that Have Your Say users have been screaming for, for years. If you're not happy with this proposal, how about we just hand back over to New Labour, install another 10 million CCTV cameras, make some more databases registering all your details and transmit your orders for the day right into your brain each morning. Would that make you happy? Is that what you really want??

  • Comment number 43.

    13. At 09:18am on 19 Jul 2010, Eean wrote:
    ".....We pay the same amount of taxes and we get less services from the government...."

    You sure will.
    It has something to do with this:
    UK state income 2010-11 (projected): c.£550bn
    UK state spending 2010-11 (projected): c.700bn
    Deficit (for one year only): c.£150bn.
    (The figures may not be exact but they are ballpark).
    Yes agreed the banks did not help, but the UK has been borrowing to fund it's lifestyle for the best part of a decade now. Our creditors are growing tired of it and are demanding payback.

  • Comment number 44.

    "Mr Cameron do you know? That Christain groups {unpaid Voluteers} in Wales save your Government over £100 millon every year They do more than 80,000 hours per week . What more do you think they can do?

  • Comment number 45.

    What is wrong with everyone? I mean, not so long ago everyone was whining about the fact we need more people power, more of a chance for the individual to have his/her say, less central power etc...
    Now Cameron begins to put such a plan into place everyone is still whining! There is the fact that this coincides with spending cuts and its easy to say its just another way to save money but is does not in any way indicate this. I think just bad timing on Camerons part, if he had of suggested this when no cuts were being rolled out then he just might be applauded for his plans. I think this just highlights to me the whinging nations we have become. Maybe look at this from another angle...we get what we so wanted for many years i.e. our say, more power for us to be in control (as we should be) and lets say its is indeed to save money, well wouldnt this be better than further more drastic cuts on our already dwindling public services? Lets be positive here!

  • Comment number 46.

    So they plan to save money by getting volunteers to run public services for nothing. How well trained will these people be? What professional standards will they work to? How will they be held accountable? How can we be sure they won't be easily influenced, or biased?

    In short the plans are garbage.

  • Comment number 47.

    I wonder what Margaret Thatcher thinks of Dave and Nicks Big Society when she said there was no such thing as Society.

    Dave claims to be a big Thatcher fan.

    This would be better billed as comedy cuts without the laughs.

  • Comment number 48.

    Anybody who voted for David Cameron surely must have see this coming!
    Defecate or not I find it extremely difficult to stomach the people these cuts will affect are the poor and venerable.
    Cuts to primary services such as Health, Schools, Police or armed forces is completely unacceptable no matter what.
    Local government told to cut up to 25% of budgets, will this be reflected in my Council Tax bill being reduced as a result hmmmm NO!
    The list of cuts are so deep that everyone needs to realise the government have used the smoke screen of some of Labour's mistakes to their advantage! To move away services out of central governments hands may be on the face of it have it's good points, there are many pitfalls.
    Recession number 2 on its way all thanks to our wonderful new collation.

  • Comment number 49.

    The first time I heard this 'Big Society' guff several months ago I rightly suspected that it would be used as an excuse to slash the public services that ordinary people rely on, including the real safety nets. Sadly I was dead right. Who is actually going to run these services while the rest of us work till we drop? It won't be older people - still working at 70+, or the working majority - no time. Don't those working at the 'sharp end' need some sort of training, qualifications,support etc? I kind of thought that my taxes were meant to pay for public services. God help us!

  • Comment number 50.

    People could join in in our Big Society, by not hiding behind black facemasks, when they walk our streets, and trusting other to look them in the face.
    Allowing people to discuss, different religious views without fear of proecution, because other may be upset by your views.

    By allowing Society to develope and not sticking to old out dated dogna, on women priest, and burqas so we can move together as A Big Society.

    It would also help if people just put their rubbish in the waste bin after a meal on the streets and not just leave it for others to clear up after them.

  • Comment number 51.

    What he means is services done by voluteers with no pay.This usally means a sessation of those services because not enough voluteers come forward.Time and time again we have seen this in the community services.Which means youth clubs/ elderly day care ect:all get folded because they have been left to be run by voluteers with little or no support financualy from council and government.People nowadays are less public spirited. So most voluteers are either in the older age group or are people with illness themselves, or are people who believe in a the good christian values.So No Mr Camerons Idea might sound great but in reallity its a load of crap.

  • Comment number 52.

    This country is split into two halves you have the wealthy that wont lift a finger to help anyone but will take any thing that is offered but condemn the poor for doing the same thing. Then you have the poor who will help anyone at the drop of a hat because we are all in this together. So as im classed as one of these benefit scrounging low lifes. Im going to wait until one of these tax dodgeing self centered wealthy scroungers that are bleeding this country dry decide to send in their Rolls Royce from Kent into the East End and give the deprived kids there a day out in Margate free of charge Without putting it down as a Tax Deductable expense.Come on CamerClegg have a word see what you can do. I wont hold my breath though.

  • Comment number 53.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 54.

    This is an old chestnut. Mrs. Thatcher [groan] decided we should all have more choice and influence. This lead to massive changes in the Health and Education Services. I can only speak for the health service, but this directly contributed to many of the problems we now have, like MRSA, caused by the privatisation of the domestic services. Due to the changes in nurse education we now see newly qualified nurses that cannot run i/v drips through, and as for their social skills, these are non existant.
    We currently have SURE START which has a lot of professional input including nurses, midwives, physiotherapists, dietitians, social workers etc. Some of their work includes training local volunteers who join them in the work they are doing to improve the local health of the community, then ultimately take over that roll. And it works.
    Mr Cameron it seems, has his head in the sand, or do you think he now wants all this excellent work done for nothing? Oh, TORY, of course he dose. Him and his ilk will never need to be helped in this way and they care not for those that do.
    As for Nick Clegg and co, how can they hold their heads up. Who would ever have thought they would be so malicious and spiteful.

  • Comment number 55.

    "42. At 09:50am on 19 Jul 2010, PMGlenThomas wrote:

    I can't believe the comments on here. The reaction to this is a mass attack on Cameron from all angles, when this is the sort of policy that Have Your Say users have been screaming for, for years. If you're not happy with this proposal, how about we just hand back over to New Labour, install another 10 million CCTV cameras, make some more databases registering all your details and transmit your orders for the day right into your brain each morning. Would that make you happy? Is that what you really want??"

    I repeat: false dichotomy.

  • Comment number 56.

    Well I think either way you look at this it's a spending cut. I'm no political genius and that's that. But I do work for a charity, and I have already been told that my contract will not be renewed so in six months I will be out of a job.

    As has been stated, people have busy lives in this day and age, and very few of them have time ot volunteer. Equally there are a lot of people out there who only get out of bed for money. The idea of supplying their time and effort for no monetary reward will not wash.

    I have to admit I am a little bit scared that some essential services for people will be cut out all together, if they are moved over to the voluntary sector.

  • Comment number 57.

    1. What do you think of his ideas? - see #9, I agree.

    2. Would you join a voluntary group? I did - and then I had a child and am pregnant with #2. Tell me where I should find the time between raising my first child, being 8-months pregnant, working and finding time to see that man who lives in my house, I think he's called a husband. I gave up the charity work to make ends meet at home.

    3. Would this help you or your community take more control of your life? Sorry this is a very poorly-worded question. How does charity work help you take control of your life?

    4. How can society be made better? - More funding of public services that we need (education, health, safety, CHILDREN'S SERVICES) and fewer politicians telling us to do more for less, or worse, nothing. All well and good if you're a millionaire, but the rest of us have to work - A LOT - for our livelihoods.

    David Cameron makes me want to throw something at my TV when I see him.

  • Comment number 58.

    Charities subsidise Care work across The u.k. Men Cap and many others provide services to old sick, and speacial needs groups, in the Voluntary sector if any of them do get payed ? much less than the normal rate for the job, many work over 40+ hours a week + sat and sun for no pay? Just cheap or free labour. The council wont pay for any care in many places'in the u.k. no funds.56 of 150 council in the u.k cannot provide any normal or very little amount of care to they council tax payers.

  • Comment number 59.

    No 40: "Don't worry Dave, I'll be here right behind you. Lets do it."
    Don't be so sycophantic! Right behind what? Do what?
    Until he tells us more how can you say you support the idea? Unless of course you are a CONDEM who agrees with all the cuts, manifesto U-turns, VAT increases, freezing the pay of our soldiers, school cancellations, etc, etc.
    It is ironic the speech is from Liverpool which has had plans for 20 new schools killed. Let’s hope the good people of Liverpool let Cameron know exactly what they think of that and his “Big Society”.

  • Comment number 60.

    19. At 09:28am on 19 Jul 2010, RadialSymmetry wrote:
    The most positive thing we can all do to make society a better place in which to live is not to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat at the next election.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unless they declare nuclear war against Russia and introduce mandatory death sentences for people who park on double yellow lines. I fail to see how the Lib-Con Coalition could remotely be any worse than the 13 years of hell we endured under the totalitarian fascism of the Labour movement....

    Just a thought....

  • Comment number 61.

    Didn't Pol Pot try something similar?

    We have a Neighbour Watch co-ordinator, which seems to be an excuse for being "busy" about your neighbours. This will attract the very same type of person, who wish to get their "community" to do as they wish, rather than what we wish.

    This isn't handing power back to the "citizen", this is control of the community by stealth.

    It will appeal only to those who dreamed of being a milk monitor at school...

    However, I will buy into it, when I see the likes of Cameron and Osbourne leaving their gated communities and picking litter from the streets and running youth clubs - without the media there.

  • Comment number 62.

    Big Society, thats a laugh, volunteer groups to take up the slack when the cuts, which are coming, go deeper than the British Public expected.
    So we all become volunteer Police, Nurses, Local Carers, even Local Govt Officals, I don't think so.
    Wake up Prime Minister, this is an idealogical thing and it will not work.
    Are you going to force the unemployed to do this work, I am unemployed at present, because of my age (61) I will probaly not work again, even though I try to send to 3 applications out a day. If you think I am going to volunteer, even if you threaten, to stop my dole money, that I will take up this type of work, then you are sadly mistaken.
    Prime Minister get your own house in order first, cut MP's salaries by 35%, flat rate for personnal expenses of £500 per week. MP's to dispose of all outside interests, (not blind trusts)they can give the money to volunteer groups.

  • Comment number 63.

    @36 The thing is RhinoRevolt, how would calling in the IMF be any worse at this point, traditionally the IMF order you to slash public spending, which George Osborne has done, freeze or cut public sector pay, which George Osborne has done, privatise your utilities and deregulate your banking system, which he would almost certainly have done if good old Maggie hadn't already done it and outsource as much of your public sector as you can which is about to be put on fast track by Francis Maude's tearing up of the public sectors terms and conditions.

    So tell me, how would calling in the IMF in make matters materially worse at this point? Calling in the IMF does tend to ruin an economy for decades, but given that Georgie has pretty much followed the IMF doctrine to the letter, we probably have that to look forward to anyway.

    How to contribute to society? Organising a revolution might be a start.

  • Comment number 64.

    For my sins I run a free business advice session every other week along with 2 other local business owners at the citizens advice centre.

    Up untill now, the room we used was provided for free for the 2-4 hours we us it each session. In September our CAB have been instructed to charge us nearly 2000 a yesr for the room so we can give up our time to run this service.

    To be fair we were told in December about the upcoming charge, but even after the change of goverment we can not get the CAB to back down, as one of the other directors is retiring and moving to france it looks like i will have to find 1000 a year to offer free advice to other businesses.

  • Comment number 65.

    Camermoron really thinks people are dense, his 'big society' is just a 'big con'. Do you think us normal folk have got time to sign up and do community support/aid? We are working our backsides off to fend off vast amounts of indirect and direct taxes and then going to have to plan for these sweeping cuts his goverment is implementing.

    Just because your weathly and married a rich bird doesnt mean we all are. You really dont have a clue about the working world, you really dont have a clue about the concerns that people have. As long as you and your rich mates get richer then everything is going to plan and damn the rest of us.

    I hope people strike and knock you off your little ivory perch.

  • Comment number 66.

    Working in the public sector as my wife and I currently do, we would like nothing more than to provide those services without getting paid. Just as long as we don't have to pay for anything in life that we want. Come on Mr Cameron (no I am not going to call you "Dave"), I know you have had the most priviledged of lives but surely you understand what people need jobs and income for, maybe Mr Cable can explain it for you!

  • Comment number 67.

    Would you really like some of the deranged commentators on this site to actually have control of services in society?

    Give me a civil servant any day!

  • Comment number 68.

    2. At 09:03am on 19 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:

    How should you contribute to society?

    Stop whining about what a horrible place the UK is to live in and be ready to lend a hand to your fellow man when the opportunity arises.

    The UK tabloids want everyone to be a self-pitying victim , happy to moan about society, but not prepared to get off your backside to do anything about it.

    Don't let them brainwash you.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Exactly. The tabloids are constantly running the UK down. The UK people are resilient adaptable and capable and if they get stuck in and all pull together they can achieve anything. Making society better begins with a single individual and the way they interact with others around them each day.

  • Comment number 69.

    Cameron's idea is absolutely sound - he is trying to encourage people to take responsibily for their own lives rather than rely on the nannying, surveilance-led, Humand Rights gravy-train nonsense which bankrupted the country ecomomically and socially under Labour. The people who moan about it think the government should provide them with everything in their lives.

  • Comment number 70.

    23. At 09:31am on 19 Jul 2010, AmyFarrer wrote:

    I went to Brooklyn a couple of months ago there was a couple of schemes where the community got together. One scheme the community got together and used a piece of waste land, turned it into a grassy area and an artist area. The community decided they wanted to do it, they didn't expect government to sort it out and now it's a lovely piece of ground. Why in this country do we always expect someone else (someone else being the government) to pay and do everything for us? I think this idea of Cameron's is a great idea, the only problem is the attitude of such ideas in this country.

    ----------------------------------------------

    A lot of people complained that labour made the nanny state. They wanted to do everything and tried to convince us its too dangerous or difficult for us. The condems are returning the right to act to the people and suddenly nobody wants this power back because they will need to get off their backsides.

    It sounds lively what they did in Brooklyn but the difference is the people. People in Brooklyn love their country and realise they should be improving the area they live. In this country the people like to complain and they wont do something for nothing. Even if it is in their best interest.

    I think the first campaign the condems need to do is to promote a love for the country. Show people our achievements and developments and make people proud of their areas. Relax the nanny laws so people feel they can act without a legal bill and risk assessments.

    The government may lead the country but it is not for them to do everything. We are all responsible for where we live

  • Comment number 71.

    32. At 09:36am on 19 Jul 2010, true grit wrote:
    ///This is a con.
    A move towards fascism?
    Watch out there is a monster lose in society, YOU.
    Wanted.
    People with no experience to take over doing professional jobs in state.
    Must be politically naive and willing to follow orders from your superiors.
    Apply in person to @ Cameron’s clown corporation limited, Whitehall.
    All mistakes will be covered up and you are guaranteed success for at least 5 years.
    Special considerations will be given to people with no understanding of the rise of fascism in British society 1930’s style.
    A great opportunity for RIGHT Minded morons with Right ethnical background.
    Politicians really fear being laughed at.///

    I do agree - you are correct! But fascism in UK society has been a fact for several years now - did you notice the drip drip of poison filling the minds of the naive and deluded? drip drip - the right or left - its the 'Third Way' you know!

    Fluffy Corporate fascism without the racism or genocide - Yet!!!

    I wonder what the final solution will be this time round?

    The wealthy elites always resort to a final solution eventually - because they cannot see the irrational nature of their social distortions.

    Oh dear, oh dear - will the people recognise the destroyer of humanity when they steal and abuse the language and conceptions of the rational? I doubt it!

  • Comment number 72.

    Actually, I sort of see where Cameron is going with this, and in principle it's not a bad idea. That everyone can, and should, contribute to, and become involved in, their communities is a suggestion that, if it were carried out properly, could lead to a stronger, more cohesive society.

    BUT. For this to work three important economic and cultural changes have to happen.

    Firstly, we have to become a far less workaholic culture. If people are to contribute to their communities they have to have the time and the energy to contribute. Too many of our young to middle-aged people work very long hours and spend even more hours travelling to and from work.

    Secondly, ordinary people have to have sufficient disposable wealth to make contributions to local ideas and projects where they think they are important. This means that the very well-off in our society have to be a bit less well-off so that ordinary people can earn more.

    Thirdly - and linked with the previous point - we have to lose the attitude we have in our culture that success is produced only by a small elite of gifted and talented people (who need to be rewarded appropriately) while everyone else is just a prole. The gifts and talents of a much wider section of our society has to be recognised and rewarded - even if it's only through gestures of appreciation and respect.

    Trouble is, I don't think it at all likely that Cameron has any intention of fostering these changes.

  • Comment number 73.

    People could join in the Big Society, by not hiding their faces behind black facemasks, and allowing people to look them in the face.
    By allowing people to talk openly about their religous views without fear of prosection.
    By not sticking to old outdated religous dogna, on women priest, and burqas, and living in a modern world not yesterdays world.

    Also by clearing up their own litter after they have eaten a meal on the street, instead of just leaving it for the street cleaner to do. It would be better to take a pride in your city, (or town), streets and how they look, rather than just leave a mess.

  • Comment number 74.

    So Lets get this right, Cameron wants US to do more for less, is this because he is now no longer able to claim expenses????
    Also this means he will be doing less for the same!!!!! Think about it people, we already have jobs to do, what job is he doing?? running the Country why should we now have to help him??? Is this because he has no Idea on running the country and doesn't know what to do to sort it out???
    Lets have another Election that's what we should be doing!!!!
    AND NOW!!!!!

  • Comment number 75.

    2. At 09:03am on 19 Jul 2010, Togodubnus wrote:

    How should you contribute to society?

    Stop whining about what a horrible place the UK is to live in and be ready to lend a hand to your fellow man when the opportunity arises.
    ...........................
    Yawn!
    That sounds, just like this coalition, extremely conditional. Just to make it clear, while you selfish self-centred “citizens” were spending like there is no tomorrow, the rest of us were picking up the pieces, broken families, victims of crime, addictions, environmental concerns, inequalities and the rest. Volunteering and helping others is about humility not being bullied into by Cameron and his posse of bandits. Cameron’s idea of the big society is a smokescreen, an idea that we all pull together, apart from the capitalist fat cats who keep exploiting us for their profits and put zero back. Its no coincidence that capitalists are excused from this charade.
    If Cameron and his bandits were really into transferring power from the state to individuals he would be campaigning for the abolition of capitalism and for workers to own the means of production, he would be advocating democracy and the abandonment of parliament and government.
    All this is about is running the country for nothing, no wages, no taxes and no future. This lot need sacking. Viva la revolution! Oh! Cameron has stopped using the “R” word now hasn’t he!
    Big society, more like big shambles, big con and big fairy tale.

  • Comment number 76.

    Some big idea I can't wait for the next one.

  • Comment number 77.

    The objective is good, we will have to wait on the implementation. The power HAS to be moved back to the people and away from the State. In doing so will remove power from the idle left and minority focus groups and empower TRUE people power. The left will NOT like this and will make up fear and sob stories, so in my eyes this is a good thing. The state HAS to be made small and people more responsible for THEIR actions. Lets see if the idle left will get of their backsides and do something real NOT moan dogma and idle words. Enter the REAL world comrades, not CBebbies for the over 18's (socialism)

  • Comment number 78.

    My council tax bill has gone up over 100% in the last 10 years even though my take-home pay has risen by only about 35%. My understanding was that the additional above inflation rises were needed because the councils were going to provide all these services !!! ( I actually live as a one person family so I get precious little back as it is !!) Now the councils want to divest themselves of these undertakings and make people do the social work for them. Does this mean our council tax bills will be cut by 50% to compensate? Somehow I don't think so.

    Perhaps this should only apply to public sector employees who after all have shorter working hours (35 hour week in many case), more holidays, great job security, great terms, condition and benefits (why not when cost is only a minor issue) and pensions which represent an additional hidden salary subsidy of up to 70% of the headline salary received.

    The hard working people of this country are getting ripped off again. I suppose at least this government has been honest enough to finally admit that the vast amounts of money it collects are not for the benefit of the many but simply to finance the government machine. This government machine is inefficent and too costly to maintain. Time it was replaced with one that serves the public and not the other way around. Then it would not need to be supported by voluntary work.

  • Comment number 79.

    39. At 09:45am on 19 Jul 2010, Muriel wrote:
    "During the Election Campaign I was surprised at the very negative response to the idea of the BIG SOCIETY both by the public, reporters and journalists. The idea that we would come home from work and then do more work for nothing was laughed at. We wouldn't have time; we couldn't afford to etc. etc."

    From the point of view of someone who works for a charity my problem with the Big Society idea is that funding is being cut. Volunteering isn't always free - volunteers need to be managed which may mean a paid post, expenses may need to be paid etc.

    And for myself, I work full time with over an hours journey each way. My fiance gets home an hour after me so by the time we've eaten it's 8pm or later if one of has had to stay in work late. Saturdays I do the housework and washing while my fiance works, Sunday is the one day we have together. I have nothing against volunteering, but I'd need something very close to me and that I could do in very little time

  • Comment number 80.

    63. At 10:08am on 19 Jul 2010, Chad Secksington wrote:


    //How to contribute to society? Organising a revolution might be a start.//

    I have been advocating this kind of positive action for a few years -

    Revolution is the only solution!

  • Comment number 81.

    I have no idea why people are suprised by the return to this theme. It is quite clear that Cameron has already been acting on the principle by outsourcing the UK's foreign policy to the USA; sending Hague to grovel for not interfering in the judicial process, failing to make it clear that no minister or ex-minister will be summoned by the Senate, and allowing a London quoted company (BP) to be the subject of an asset grab based on anything but the law. I assume he will be outsourcing defence to the French, finance to the Italians and innovation and culture to the Germans.

  • Comment number 82.

    67. At 10:11am on 19 Jul 2010, steve wrote:
    //Would you really like some of the deranged commentators on this site to actually have control of services in society?

    Give me a civil servant any day!//

    But most of the contributors to HYS ARE civil servants!

    Now that is scary!

  • Comment number 83.

    42. At 09:50am on 19 Jul 2010, PMGlenThomas wrote:
    "....install another 10 million CCTV cameras, make some more databases registering all your details and transmit your orders for the day right into your brain each morning..."

    Have a read on this HYS. It's difficult to let go of Nanny's hand when you have clung onto it for so long.

  • Comment number 84.

    "15. At 09:20am on 19 Jul 2010, captainarmchairhero wrote:

    I don't think anyone knows what this phrase "Big Society" actually means."

    What it will turn out to be is 'you are on your own'. Like the 'Care in the Community' message in the '80s turned out to mean couldn't care less in the community'.
    One coalition minister has already said 'it means government doing less with less'.
    It's all about cutting services to fund tax cuts and allowing the private sector to profit from what were public services.
    'Free Schools's pushing education into the private sector, NHS budget in the hands of GPs, which will end with private facilities management companies determining access to medical care.
    Ending OAPs free bus passes, almost certain, taxing banks and bankers never happen.
    The Tory Party has not changed, it has moved even further to the right since '97 and now the Orange Book Lib-Dems are in coalition with them, they are even more wedded to free-market solutions.

  • Comment number 85.

    People who are already doing charity work or helping their community in many diverse ways will continue to do so. Those who are currently happy to let others do it for them ain't going to change.

  • Comment number 86.

    This whole proposal is either a sinister con trick, or a misguided, foolish and impractical disaster waiting to happen. Since on the whole I like to think well of people I hope it's the latter. This would not be surprising, as neither Cameron nor his chums have ever held down a real job or have any experience of managing anything. They simply don't know any better, and have very little understanding of the real world.



  • Comment number 87.

    If this was genuinely about encouraging participation and creating stronger communities, it would be fine, but it's not - it's about cutting services and getting someone to do the same jobs for free. Oh, and of course we'll still be paying the same taxes, for less in return.

  • Comment number 88.

    Muriel is so right! Let's go back to a caring society rather than one that is only into something for the payback. One that does something from their hearts rather than for their paychecks. It's like when we're snowed in, everyone comes out and helps dig you out - everyone, that is, who has previously ignored you! What will bring this sense of community back - perhaps that's what Cameron should call it instead because that's what he is aiming for; a Big Community!

  • Comment number 89.

    I work in the voluntary sector and am deeply worried about Mr. Cameron's 'Big Society' idea.
    I am worried about where the money will come from to pay the workers - the voluntary sector isn't 100% voluntary and there are wages to pay. We're already paid fairly badly in comparison to many and job security is almost non-existant as we're on contracts lasting from 6 months to a couple of years.
    I'm also puzzled as to where more volunteers are going to come from to do these new services. Does Mr. Cameron imagine that our villages, towns and cities are full of retired people, twiddling their thumbs? Most people who want to volunteer, already do!
    The 'Big Society' idea cannot work unless significant amounts of money are found, the way that the public and private sectors work with/treat the voluntary sector is revised/regulated and employees are given statutory time to go and volunteer (and we're not talking about an hour or two a year but 5hrs/week).
    I fear Mr. Cameron is living a dream - he needs to take stock of the reality we live here on the ground and see what the voluntary sector already does in our communities before suggesting the sector take on more.

  • Comment number 90.

    78. At 10:18am on 19 Jul 2010, MrKay wrote:

    My council tax bill has gone up over 100% in the last 10 years even though my take-home pay has risen by only about 35%.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Exactly. Under a Labour government. Now that the coalition are in government wait and see how much your council tax goes up under them in the next five years. My bet will be nothing like as much.

  • Comment number 91.

    A further example of Tory belief that the 'don't haves' should be grateful for whatever the 'haves' do for them! Such a policy will enable those who are able to 'work for free' (either 'well to do' types offsetting 'social guilt' or religious zealots spreading their propaganda) to lord over the 'less privileged'. This opens the way for church to gain even further power - this does not empower the individual at all, just further empowers those with privilege to gain more. What society needs is the opportunity for all to play a meaningful part in our mutual well being. I worry greatly as to where we are headed if society led by an elitist, arrogant, selfish minority - power to the individual, do not believe the hype!

  • Comment number 92.

    This morning on BBC breakfast your female presenter really made her self and the BBC look foolish

    People you all need to wake up of course the government is not going to let a leaking ceiling drip water in to a class room, get real!

    Cuts need to be made, ultimately everyone is going to want the cut to be made to affect some one else

    and yes the cuts impact me, but it needs to happen, we're not going to get out of the deficit with out cuts, or is the majority of people in this country too stupid to understand that

    i fear the later is true

  • Comment number 93.

    'I've had enough of this stupidity. Can we have Labour back now please?'

    It doesn't work like that, Labour have bankrupted both economically and socially us like they did in 1979. Now the Tories get the country back on to its feet. Only then can you have Labour back so they can bankrupt us again and blame the Tories.

  • Comment number 94.

    Each of the project areas will be given an expert organiser and dedicated civil servants to ensure "people power" initiatives get off the ground and inspire a wider change.

    I suppose if the "expert" organiser does not agree with the aim/provision of the project then it will not receive backing and go ahead.

    It seems to me that many of this governments policys demand that to get any financial support, they have to conform to Tory/Lib Dems policy demands, such as you get NO new school buildings, UNLESS you set up a free school.

  • Comment number 95.

    I am here, I know not why, why I laugh or why I cry? In a street, I see a light, is it wrong, is it right? A poor soul, or a strange face, a friend who lost, last in race. A kind face, soft hand and touch, a small token, I wanted so much.
    Now I see, the dark is fun, a place to be when you can't run. A torn note, discarded tears, here in darkness there are no fears. A man cries, crazed is he, obsessed with his 'big society'. All decked out, lit so large, he doesn't see my camouflage. Is this jerk, so naive, he cannot see what I believe?
    Walk the walk, sell the sale, soon people see your rat's tail. Windsor way, even Eton, people like us cannot be beaten. I pity you, silver spoon, blind to silver light from an honest Moon. Garbage in, Garbage out, who with sense hears what you shout?

    I am here, I am me, I already have a 'big society'.



  • Comment number 96.

    I don't really understand what is meant by the term 'big society'. I suspect it is supposed to be a vague generalization so that no one can understand if it is working or not. Yet more newspeak from the middle managers that run this country. Sounds good but lacking any substance.
    As has already been stated by others on this post, many people already give up their time to do good deeds. What holds the people of this country back is the swarm of little Hitlers that hold posts throughout Government and the civil service at all levels. From Community Councillors right up to central Government.

  • Comment number 97.

    Big Society? Smoke and Mirrors.

    What people want are jobs and security. Nothing will disguise the fact that the Tories are currently pulling the rug out from under the feet of thousands of individuals and small businesses.

    The Tory right must have been rubbing their hands at the formation of the coalition. They got two TV friendly puppets for the price of one.

  • Comment number 98.

    Jon Snow's interview with Zac Goldsmith on C4 Friday pm and Michael Gove's interview on the 'Today' programme this morning illustrate the high handed way in which the ex-Eton millionaires intend to make most of the tax - payers pay for them to hand over all services to their banker friends....meanwhile if you want someone to help look after your ill or ageing parent, or prevent the disgrace of seeing multitudes dispossessed and sleeping rough, as in the Thatcher era, give up your day job and volunteer...while you are at it, if you teach buy your own photocopier cheap while the estate agents are selling them off, because there won't be any books or internet access in our childrens' schools by the end of 2014.

  • Comment number 99.

    I look forward to seeing you in Liverpool David, your a very very brave man.

  • Comment number 100.

    Had the coalition actually researched how local services already run, they'd find 'big society' projects have been operating for almost 10 years. The New Deal for Communities (NDC) was about precisely this kind of cooperation - what new ideas are they proposing?

    Either they don't know what it is they're suggesting, or it's a smokescreen for slashing the state and the communities they speak about.

 

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