Monday, 18 October 2010

Why we need a Big Society but probably won't get one

Imagine this: you're a 70 year old or so pensioner, struggling home with too many shopping bags. You plonk yourself down at the bus stop, catch your breath, and look forward to putting your feet up with a cuppa, sooner rather than later. Suddenly you are barged into by two children, kicking each other with as much force as they can muster, oblivious to their surroundings or that they nearly knocked you to the ground.

You cry out. Try to push them away. Then realise they are with their mother. You look pleadingly over to her and, as she throws a crisp packet to the floor, taking a drag from a cigarette in her other hand, shrugs her shoulders saying, 'they don't f-ing listen to me - what am I meant to do?'

If ever there was an example why the Big Society is needed, these few seconds were it. Unfortunately, this depressing scene also demonstrates how far we are from making the ideals of the Big Society a reality.

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