Is Cameron's Big Society in trouble?
Saving the Big Society will have to be high on the agenda of David Cameron's new message messenger Craig Oliver.
When the idea was unveiled it was greeted with indifference by many who couldn't tell what it meant. Ridicule followed. Now the danger is that anger will come next.
The reason is the tension between the message of empowering people and voluntary organisations and the reality of spending cuts.
Liverpool City Council has withdrawn as one of four pilot schemes for the Big Society. A letter from the council leader declares:
"[W]e can no longer support big society as a direct consequence of your funding decisions"
More tellingly the council Leader Joe Anderson claims that:
"Your government promised to work with us to remove some of the problems and blockages that were preventing us from successfully delivering our Big Society programme. I have to say, the government has failed to deliver a single change that we have requested, which has severely hampered many parts of our programme."
Now Councillor Anderson is a Labour politician and Liverpool is not the whole of the country but his warning may be a sign of things to come.