February 8th, 2011

Big Society v Big Government

In the Indy this morning the left-wing columnist Steve Richards identifies the key truth about the ideological under-pinning of the heavily under attack Big Society programme which seems to have escaped most of his allies on the left. When Cameron said “There is such a thing as society, but it is not the same as the state” it wasn’t a rejection of Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, it was a restatement of what she said:

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.”

That he set the chattering classes into paroxysms of delight over a Tory leader’s supposed rejection of Thatcherism shows that on the whole, with a few exceptions like Jon Cruddas, most of the left don’t understand right-of-centre thinking because they hold a mental caricature of centre-right and right-wing ideology in their minds, attributing malice to their opponents. The Big Society is about displacing Big Government as the key actor in society, so when the left-wing quangocracy, unions and their media allies complain that charities are losing their taxpayer subsidy and this undercuts the Big Society agenda, they misunderstand completely. A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend. Since Edmund Burke conservatives have wanted Little Platoons to take the lead in civil society. If David Miliband’s Movement for Change had actually set about being the change rather than just (as his brother Ed wants) campaigning for Bigger Government, it too would have been one of Burke’s “Little Platoons”. Radical whigs and liberals have always wanted to disperse power away from first the monarch and in modern times from the state. The Big Society agenda is not about the state delivering through para-statal bodies, it is about society delivering for itself. Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for society…

Expect the Prime Minister to very soon deliver a speech reaffirming his Big Society agenda, when you are right, you cannot be too radical. The speech will have a touch of a mea culpa, though it will not be a retreat, it will be a call-to-arms at the start of the Big Society revolution unlike Blair’s late recognition in 2005 that “Every time I’ve ever introduced a reform in government, I wish in retrospect I had gone further.” Expect more squeals from those still advocating Big Government solutions…


  1. 1
    Anonymous says:

    Big Society not Big Government.

    • 12
      Anonymous says:

      Big Society not Big Government..

    • 15

      Big Society is more elusive as a concept than Mrs Thatcher’s shopping basket or her reference to the Good Samaritan. The problem is with the word ‘big’, which the public are beginning to identify with bad after three terms of Labour bigging everything up. There is a danger of confusion here. Of course, big hearted is good but it has not been identified with Big Society … yet. There surely must be a better label.

      The ‘heir to Blair’ thing started the instant that Blair’s star began to wane. Learn the lessons here and don’t follow the spin of before, thus repeating the same mistakes.

      • 30
        Sir William Waad says:

        In the Indy you find the Big-Headed Society in full cry.

      • 33
        Titford Hat says:

        If anyone refers to a Good Samaritan nobody under fifty will know WTF they are talking about, education has been dumbed down so much.

      • 65
        jgm2 says:

        It’s fucking bollocks alright. It’s trying to dress up slashing all these fake bed-wetting charities and such-like as a conscious decision instead of a financial necessity.

        We don’t (or shouldn’t) need to be told to look after our relatives and kids. There’s no fucking jobs and we’ve got no money to put them in day-care centres or care-homes so we’ll have to bloody well look after them at home. That will be dictated by the fact that they’re all being closed down.

        Trying to spin it as a ‘Big Society’ is just bollocks. We have no choice. There’s no money left.

        • 131
          misterned says:

          There is no money left indeed, and that is what may actually guarantee that this “big society” thing might work.

          Had there been a large surplus, instead of a deficit, many MPs might have gone wobbly on this by now and thought it politically easier to just let the state handle everything.

          The Big Society (I hope) is just the right doing what Blair did insofar as the right is dressing up right-wing small-state philosophy in left wing language.

          It is saying that if the state is to step back and get out of people’s wallets and off their backs, then the rest of society should step up and take over the state’s role so that the state can then step back.

    • 16
      Dick the Prick says:

      Have you got mental health issues?

    • 29
      When is a charity not a charity? says:

      Quite right Guido I’ve been pondering about charities whinging that the tax payer is no longer going to fund them. In fact I had no Idea that charities were funded by the state to such an extent. They have become it seems to me agents of the state.

      The charities must become independent charities again. Labour have done so much more damage than I had realised.

      I give to the charities that I want to give to and I do not expect my taxes to fund charities that I do not wish to support

      • 67
        Anonymous says:

        I didn’t know they were state funded to such a great extent.

      • 95
        Apple Cart says:

        I agree also

      • 99
        Give the BBC a bloody red nose says:

        You’ll find we have in fact very few bona fida charities, once you strip out all the pressure groups, the lobbyists, the government sock puppets and the money-making scammers.

        • 108
          ST says:

          It makes giving to a charity rather difficult is you are right wing. I am not prepared to give money to a pressure group which uses the money to lobby for the state to extort money from me to fix the problem I’d already given them money to fix.

          • uk Fred says:

            Some very simple solutions present themselves here. what government departments and local government functions get in the way of making a free and fair society where the workers benefit and the shirkers get left on their butts in front of the telly until the electricity gets cut off. Well there’s the EU, 51% of the local government department in Whitehall, the MOD procurement wallahs, (or should that be wallies), some in HMRevenue & Customs (while simplifying the tax system and getting rid of tax credits), most social services departments, education departments in local government (because the kids who leave state schools are generally functionally innumerate and illiterate) most of the planners, two out of every three officers on more than £50,000, put a ceiling on local government salaries of £100,000, and stop all allowances paid to councillors. After clearing that lot out (think Agent Orange, not pruning), we could then simplify the benefits system. And to save further trouble we could simply change the BBC to a subscription service and leave them to generate their own funds to fight the government. it might concentrate the minds of the governors.

            The clear out should give IDS time to do what he has to on that score, then the surplus taxes that we have collected should have been used to cut the debt substantially.

            This reduction in interest and current spending could then be used to cut tax rates substantially so as to encourage enterprise and immigration of the good people who have left us, sickened by the excesses of B-Liar, B-Ruin, and B-Alls(up), increase economic activity and the total tax take.

            By the end of the parliament, we should have a productive, low tax economy, incentives to get on and not just to aspire, and it should be more profitable to work.

            But of course, this requires a government with balls, not a re-run of Heath which is what we seem to have.

          • misterned says:

            Agreed, if they were not spending money bribing MPs and buying coverage in the media and spending a fortune on CEO salaries and bonuses, then they might actually have enough money to help the people that the charity was set up to help in the first place.

            I remember back in 1993, seeing a TV programme about how charities raise money and one part had about the housing charity “Shelter”. According to this programme, Shelter had a certain amount of money that it had collected over the previous year, added to existing (at the time) bank balance, they had (n) amount of pounds in the kitty, from which they were trying to decide what sort of publicity they could buy.

            I worked out at that time, that for that amount of money, they could have bought enough flats and small houses to re-home every single homeless person in the country. All of them.

            I guess helping the homeless was not very high on their strategic agenda.

      • 117
        pissed off voter says:

        On the subject of charities, I’m surprised no mention has been made of the salaries and perks that can be found in these organisations. Charities, indeed!

        Personally, though I am still moved enough to donate in cases of national disaster or the rare occasion when I can help directly, I do so somewhat reluctantly – a reluctance based in my belief that very little of what I donate will reach the intended destination, given that what does not go to expansive salaries and fancy cars is further diluted by the corrupt regimes through which it passes.

        • 167
          Anonymous says:

          I only donate to the RNLI.

        • 172
          Give the BBC a bloody red nose says:

          The ‘charitees’ have become another vital and lucrative link in the network of cronyism that is the world of our self-appointed great and good.

          From qangos to bogus charities to local councils, round and round they go on the merry-go round, out of one profitable position to straight into another without so much as a sniff of a job centre in between like lesser mortals.

        • 193
          tell it like it really is says:

          Agreed – for a good readable look at what goes on in one of the bottomless pits our money has been p**sed down, try “King Welfare I hear you knocking” Martin Weinbren. I came across it by chance.

  2. 2

    “A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend. ”

    For some reason a vision of Sally Bercow springs to mind.

  3. 3
    Paul Marks says:

    A lot of good points here Guido.

    • 137
      Anonymous says:

      All of them thought up by No. 10′s finest. You do seem to have become something of a mouthpiece, Guido. Or perhaps, I should say, ringpiece…

  4. 4
    anton says:

    I’m coming round to the idea of Big Society. Any psychologist will tell you that for any idea to become entrenched, it must be stated in positive terms to take root in the mind. The nebulous idea of, “no more big government” would never have got of the ground.

    • 112
      ST says:

      I’ve always been a fan of the idea, mainly because like Guido has pointed out it’s merely a restatement of what Thatcher ACTUALLY said in the “no such thing a society” quote.

      Guido is also right in stating that the left struggle to understand the centre right and libertatrian right, believing as they do that the left has a monopoly on virtuious intent.

  5. 6
    SocialGhism says:

    But… but, up north the state is the society cos we all work in it and live in it and then strike against it to get more from it. The Suvvenors can pay for it tho!


    • 38
      Flower of Scotalnd - Keep sending the cheques says:

      Aye, and don’t forget us. We’re already a Big Society. We’re all members of Society. Even or banks are owned by the state now. Everybody ‘works’ for the state.

      We hate you.

      Keep sending the cheques.

  6. 7
    Eg says:

    I went on holiday to Egypt – it’s a disgrace that the government is charging me £300 to fly me home.

    • 41
      Betting Syndicate says:

      Anyone who can afford a luxury winter holiday in Sharm El Sheikh, can afford £300 to fly home. It’s not even one days spending money. Stop whining about not getting other peoples money.

    • 101
      solopolis says:

      Welcome to Africa. A wonderful place full of dictators, military juntas and corruption.

      Sometimes it kicks off and a head of state gets assassinated. If you’re too thick to read up on recent and current African politics go to Bournemouth or Florida instead.

    • 111
      Hosni I says:

      Take a fucking hike then, or join one of the many rust buckets sailing off to Europe from Libya – with luck you can reach Lampedusa before dying of thirst or sunstroke.

  7. 8
    purpleline says:

    by jove i believe he has got it!

    • 26
      Hugh Janus says:

      Currently these are just words – you know, those things politicians say but rarely act upon. I shall be the first to congratulate DC if they are converted into meaningful action.

    • 35
      Lefty Camoron loves Big Government says:

      But there’s a glaring contradiction.

      “Expect more squeals from those still advocating Big Government solutions…”

      Wouldn’t Camoron’s recently-announced increase in foreign aid to £11billion of our money every year be “advocating big government solutions”?

      • 44
        jgm2 says:

        I have a cunning plan. Since, thanks to Labour’s exciting vote-buying spree, so many foreigners are now living in the UK we simply use that 11bn quid on the foreigners we have here already. Instead of the other 11bn we spend on them every year.

        So it’s ‘foreign aid’ because it’s being paid to foreigners.

        Hey presto. Manifesto pledge honoured and 11bn quid saved.

        • 70
          jgm2 says:

          Probably best. If we don’t keep sending them money they might start killing us here at home. And they might start murdering nuns and stuff. And we wouldn’t want that.

          Actually I assume that most of our ‘foreign aid’, like every other countries foreign aid, is given on the understanding that the money gets spent buying British equipment. So, there you go p*k*is*t*n, there’s a billion quid for you to spend on British tanks or British planes or British hydro-electric dams. It’s basically a subsidy to our manufacturing industry. Plus gangs of terribly concerned bed-wetters dr*v*ng around in white Landcruisers snaffling the ambassador’s Ferrero Rocher. The ‘Aid’ industry isn’t confined to the fake charities of the UK.

          That’s how every other countries ‘foreign aid’ budget gets spent.

      • 49
        I Remember You Hoo says:

        There’s more than one glaring contradiction in Cameron’s wunder idea, not just foreign aid bullshit. He seems to imagine that society is one huge money box, which he can empty on pet projects, at will.

  8. 9
    Thatcher! Thatcher! Thatcher! Not a man around to match her! says:

    These pussy big societyites would have never sunk the belgrano.

  9. 10
    I hate New Labour says:

    Cameron’s great at these bold statements and promises. Classic Blair tactics.

    But is he so good on delivery? It would seem not.

    How about less talk and more action before we start congratulating him?

    • 32
      Hugh Janus says:

      +1 (You beat me to it.)

    • 109
      solopolis says:

      As with Blair it’s all about getting the message out to the media and then reneging on the promises.

      Cameron, Clegg, Milliband: Same shit, different dickhead.

    • 116
      smoggie says:

      It doesn’t require action from the prime minister. Precisely the opposite: it needs the politicians to back off – to stop interfering and charging us for the privilege – and let the rest of us get on with it by ourselves.

    • 189
      Rip van Winkle says:

      Difference is Blair thought ‘investment’ solved everything. That is of course taxpayer ‘investment’.

      In fact, there was so muh f***ing ‘investment’, the country is now skint.

      As a result, Cameron hasn’t got any ‘investment’ money – just taxpayers’s time and effort.

  10. 14
    Anonymous says:

    Once the BigSociety is enacted, everyone will want to volunteer at their local Library but I don’t think we’ll be seeing people queue up to wipe the arses of the disabled or elderly. I also don’t think we’ll be seeing many voluntary rubbish collectors or street cleaners.

    But who cares? We’re Tories! To hell with the sick, the disabled and the poor. It’s not the state’s job to help these people and if the “sick and disabled” peoples’ families or friends can’t help, then tough. They don’t make a profit anyway.

    • 18
      jgm2 says:

      To hell with the sick, the disabled and the poor.

      That’s Manchester County Council you’re channeling there.

      • 125
        Quasiquango says:

        Sanctimony ! Sanctimony!!! Who will give me SANCTIMONY!?

      • 157
        misterned says:

        Correct jgm. I have noticed a symbiotic relationship between big left-wing councils and the BBC, whereby these big councils, having their insane budgets cut back to 2005 levels, are scrapping services that will be the most emotive in order to feed the BBC stories with which to bash the tories with.

        Labour ran out of money. Now the BBC and labour councils are refusing to admit or examine why overall cuts are essential, and labour are cutting things that needn’t be cut.

        I’ll bet that they are not laying off many diversity co-ordinators or carbon surveillance officers.

    • 31
      Anonymous says:

      You forgot to include eating babies mate, which of course is one of the main occupations of the Tories.

    • 43
      I Rest My Case (see above) says:

      “………most of the left don’t understand right-of-centre thinking because they hold a mental caricature of centre-right and right-wing ideology in their minds, attributing malice to their opponents.”

      • 123
        smoggie says:

        Spot on. The guy doesn’t want to understand but is content to let the state to wipe his arse for him, at someone else’s expense. And of course, only the Labour Party will deliver that by taxing the thieving Tory bankers.

        But for every arse wiper, every libraraian (and not forgetting the nurses and teachers) there’s a fucking legion of overpaid leftie bureacrats much needed to administer the system.

        I wish I lived in his simple little world.

      • 174
        Marshmyst says:

        They are just mental.

  11. 19
    Greg says:

    If he can really replace the welfare and handout dependency which we have now with real power devolved to the people, he would have achieved something remarkable against the forces of the statist left such as the Labour Party, the BBC and The Guardian. These people have had an unhealthy idealogical grip on the nation for too long, which has lead to it’s current delapidated state.

  12. 20
    bbitgu says:

    I get it , Hit me last night while i was listening to Fox News

    O/T Glenn Beck was bang on last night about the Muslim Brotherhood.

    • 51
      bbitgu says:

      Nah but linked to Marxists and comunists and unions .

    • 56
      I Remember You Hoo says:

      No, they are seriously unpleasant religious fanatics, who while renouncing terrorism themselves, actively support proxy terrorist organisations.

    • 146
      Rat's arse says:

      Saw it too Billy. Wont be long now before we have another Iran style government, this time in Egypt. Where next I wonder?

      • 194
        tell it like it really is says:

        Rats Arse – do you remember about four years ago a retiring senior police officer said that within a short time a lot of current European holiday destinations would become off limits because of uncontrolled immigration and fanatical islamic colonisation, looks to me like those chickens are flying into the roost already.

  13. 21
    Four-eyed English Genius says:

    I don’t want Big Government OR Big Society. I just want to get on with my life!

    • 77
      Cut the crap says:

      Yep- thought we wouldn’t have to put up with any more of this meaningless bullshit when Labour were kicked out.
      Fuck the labels and grandiose ideas, just cut public spending and start balancing the books.
      Stop getting bogged down in irrelevance and focus on what matters to the majority of the population.

      • 84
        Anonymous says:

        Quite right – send all the foreigners home.

        • 113
          Anonymous says:

          Where will you be going? Saxony or Normandy?

        • 187
          misterned says:

          I would be staying here as I am not foreign.

          People who are foreign are those who are not born here nor have ANY family roots here.

          If you and neither of your parents were born here, then you are foreign.

          OR you could take your argument further and state that since almost all humans are descended from Africa, then we are all Black and all entitled to the benefits of positive discrimination, or all people, regardless of background lose their benefits. no more asylum protection, no more special handouts for anyone that comes here as we are all Africans aint we?

    • 185
      misterned says:

      I would prefer a big society.

      Whilst I am big enough and ugly enough to look after my own family, there are many people, for a variety of reasons, who cannot take care of themselves.

      Many have been infantalised by the state encroaching into more and more of our lives and have happily rolled over and let the state do more and more for them. phrase, “well I have paid my taxes so I am entitled” is well known. Instead they should have taken care of their own and questioned why they are being over-taxed just for the government to stick their noses in where they are not needed.

      The problem now is that there is a large amount of people who are now utterly dependent on the state. If there was no longer any big-state, or big society, then loads of these people would be screwed.

      We need the big society to wean people off the state and we then need to help these people become self-reliant again so that in the future we might not need a big society either. A big society is supposed to be a stepping stone to a small state and a self reliant population.

  14. 23
    Marshmyst says:

    I am so naive I always thought that charities where funded by donations not my tax money. I wonder how much tax payers money goes to charity every year.

  15. 24
    bbitgu says:

    As i see it , big society means doing things we used to do , Helping out nieghbours , Helping someone across the road it also means those who want to do more ( Run youth clubs etc ) can it should not be the sole preserve of the state and the vested intrests ( Gov sponserd charities)

    • 57
      they eat babies too don't they? says:

      Let’s see if he backs the idea up with real changes Billy, only then can we be sure it’s not all guff. I won’t be holding my breath, but will be pleasantly surprised if he can achieve radical change by stealth almost, and under the noses of the statist left.

  16. 27
    Sir William Waad says:

    There used to be a thing called Society but it has been replaced by a bunch of noisy, vulgarly-dressed arrivistes and plutocrats. The number of people with whom one would happily share a confidence, or trust to behave in a gentlemanly or ladylike way, or to whom one would happily lend money has been reduced almost to nil.

  17. 28
    Anonymoose says:

    And what about those who can’t help themselves? Do you really want to live in a country where the govt doesn’t step into help those people, and leaves it up to their ‘neighbours’?

    We don’t all live in ramsay street y’know

    • 45
      they eat babies too don't they? says:

      Yeah, they’re gonna take all the whellchairs away from legless people and render pensioners over 75 down into soap and glue.

      What a tosser.

      • 97
        Miss Aligned says:

        Ms Tee

        I hope they take away all those bloody motorised wheelchairs, thee people driving them are lunatics.

    • 50
      Anarchist says:

      “And what about those who can’t help themselves?”

      Nature wants them to die.

      You’re not going to diss nature, are you?

      • 60
        Anonymoose says:

        @babies…some charities do provide wheelchairs with the help of public money. There might even be a social enterprise that recycles pensioners, it sounds very sustainable.

        @anarchist wouldn’t dream of it – go social darwinism!

    • 130
      Quasiquango says:

      Of course, no lonely pensioners died – starved or froze to death – on their own during Labour’s rule did they? The state was always there to lend a helping hand. No kids were beaten to death by their mum’s chav boyfriends either.

      Life was a utopian paradise under Labour.

    • 151
      Marmite says:

      You may be well meaning about “those poor people who can’t help themselves”, but you know what, after thirteen years of Labour helping themselves, I COULDN’T GIVE A FLYING F@CK ANYMORE.

  18. 34
    Penfold says:

    Totally understandable really….
    The Marxist-Leninist/Trotskyite left believe in statism and public ownership of all assets;
    (On that surmise I’ll have Polly’s Tuscan villa please.)
    The progressives believe in the same as above but would like to hide the actuality behind words so as not to frighten their supporters.
    Conservatives and free thinkers believe in the state having little impact on the individual and to be there only as a provider of central services and to act as a last fall back.

    As the Marxist-Leninist/Troskyite-Maoist thinkers would have it, as they are smug and sanctimonious, only their model will work and is the right choice, even if it is imposed forcibly, Notwithstanding the demise and history of communist states and the changes that have been wrought upon the Chinese state by modernisers, to ensure that the proletariat can have some aspiration, though all carefully controlled to ensure the primacy of party.

    As ever the left will never see/understand the wider/broader picture as they resolutely deny reality and options.

    These people require re-education so as to ensure that their social re-engineering in the UK ends once and for all.

    Perhaps we can squeeze them all on Rockall or something similarly remote and leave them to it!!

    • 138
      Engineer says:

      Spot on – but we’d somewhere larger than Rockall to accomodate all the Statists. Cuba might do, but one suspects that most Cubans have had quite enough of it already. How about Antarctica? Then we could evaluate how their collectivism helped them all out in the face of adversity.

  19. 36
    gildedtumbril says:

    Everyone has it wrong. It is a typo. Camoron meant BOG society.It is now, sadly, too late to correct it.

  20. 39
    Abdelbaset al-slightMigraine says:

    Anyone fancy a stroll down to the souk?

  21. 47
    bbitgu says:

    O/T Daves speech on multi-cult got covered on fox news last night , 2 slots in 1 hour , Nothing on the bloke in lybia tho……

    • 58
      Tessa Tickles says:

      And that’s the last we’ll hear of Dave’s speech until.. oooh.. about 2014, when he’ll repeat it.

      Perhaps adding, “I really mean it this time.”

      • 71
        bbitgu says:

        Dunno , We can only judge him by actions , Am willing to give him a chance , if it ends up being just words then to the gallows he will go.

  22. 53
    eddyh says:

    “A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend”. Abrilliant summary of the situation.

  23. 54
    Steve Miliband says:

    My definition of Big Society; If it moves, Privatise it

  24. 55
    johnny come lately says:

    The problem is that the vast majority of people do not give a tinkers cuss about anyone but themselves.

    As soon as the step into their homes and close the front door they are in their own little world and couldn’t give a damn.

    My beloved helped run a scout group. The times they asked parents to help in their jumble sales and coffee mornings (to raise money) and only the same one or two turned up. It was a waste of time asking.

    Similarily I have experience helping in a homeless charity. We wanted to use a church facility to provide a hot meal once a week, The answer came back NO.

    People, to be fair, are sick and tired of getting the daily begging bowl, through the post, from the big charities asking for money, no doubt to keep their expensive Chief Executives and staff in their posh offices going. Not content with their grabbing the majority of the lottery funding they make it extremely difficult for the small, local charities to develop.

    Cameron has to start this in schools, right from kindergarten through to and including Universities. Education of the young of the need for a charitable approach in life.

    As it is too many people, today, just could not give a damn.

    • 76
      sockpuppet #4 says:


      I was pondering on how Dave would make everyone really really nice.
      So he’s going to re-educate everyone?

      • 160
        uk Fred says:

        He needs to start by re-educating the people who run the education system in Family Systems Theory, or why tough love works. In my world, it would put some backbone into the teacher training theorists, or else they would have to find somewhere else on somebody else’s payroll to be bleeding heart do-gooder leftie no-users.

    • 190
      Rip van Winkle says:

      We’ve got 30 years of dumb downed educashion to thank for it. Someone should shoot that usless cow Shirley Williams!

      Socialists love those who rely on them – or should I say the mugs who pay tax. It means the socialists have their vote and their loyalty for their whole lives.

      The whole shebang has been planned for decades. De-educate the masses, unskill them, bring in immigrants galore to take on the jobs the UK populace is no longer tooled to do (and a whole lot of unskilled ones, too) and there you have it. A whole populace dependant and thankful to a socilaist government for everything they’ve got – or haven’t got as the case may be.

      Oh, meanwhile, the ‘elite’ send their kids to schools that still provide a decent education so that the reins of power can be handed down the family.

  25. 59
    pp says:

    Big society was not a conservative idea, let alone camerons idea…

    It is the UK doing what it is commanded to by the EU to support the ‘EU Year of Volunteering’.

    The EU announced the year of volunteering – one month later cameron announces ‘big society’ as his ‘passion.

    EU told us to do it, so we must…

    None understands it because it was never designed to address a problem – it is an ‘airy fairy EU vanity project’ of a solution looking for a problem… it hasn’t found a suitable on yet…

    • 80
      Anonymous says:

      Perhaps the banks could volunteer to pay back the money they owe us?

      • 118
        jgm2 says:

        As soon as everybody pays off their mortgage I’m sure they will.

        Bailing out the banks is just keeping everybodys house pr*ces artificially high. However this is how most people like their house pr*ces. If the banks had been allowed to go to the wall then people’s house pr*ces would have crashed and the government didn’t want that to happen because the voters would be very cross.

        The government (using your money) has just bailed out the banks to keep property pr*ces artificially high. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE VOTERS WANT. They want to spend 25 years paying for their fucking house. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to declare bank*rupcy and buy the same house for 1/4 the price and they all go ‘No! – No, I’ll tell you what we’d rather do – we’d rather bail out the banks and keep paying that monstrous mortgage..’

        Ahahahaha. What a society of idiots.

        The banks have been bailed out – but not because ‘society’ wanted to bail out the banks. Fuck no. It’s because society wants to keep paying their massive mortgage in the hope that some other sap will, in the fullness of time, borrow even more money to buy their house.

        All those arseholes wandering around spitting about bailing out the banks are secretly fucking delighted that their house is still ‘worth’ almost 90% what they paid for it instead of 10-15%. Which is all it’s really worth.

        Idiots. An idiot nation.

      • 120
        jgm2 says:

        As soon as everybody pays off their mortgage I’m sure they will.

        Bailing out the banks is just keeping everybodys house pr*ces artificially high. However this is how most people like their house pr*ces. If the banks had been allowed to go to the wall then people’s house pr*ces would have crashed and the government didn’t want that to happen because the voters would be very cross.

        The government (using your money) has just bailed out the banks to keep property pr*ces artificially high. BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT THE VOTERS WANT. They want to spend 25 years paying for their fucking house. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to declare bank*rupcy and buy the same house for 1/4 the pr*ce and they all go ‘No! – No, I’ll tell you what we’d rather do – we’d rather bail out the banks and keep paying that monstrous mortgage..’

        Ahahahaha. What a society of idiots.

        The banks have been bailed out – but not because ‘society’ wanted to bail out the banks. Fuck no. It’s because society wants to keep paying their massive mortgage in the hope that some other sap will, in the fullness of time, borrow even more money to buy their house.

        All those arseholes wandering around spitting about bailing out the banks are secretly fucking delighted that their house is still ‘worth’ almost 90% what they paid for it instead of 10-15%. Which is all it’s really worth.

        Idiots. An idiot nation.

  26. 61
    Tom Baldwin says:

    No confidence in the conservative led coalition


    • 73
      El-Cheapo Websites R Us says:

      I don’t know what they paid Datacation for that site, but they was robbed!

  27. 63
    tory boys never grow up says:

    I’m afraid you are correct Guido Tory philosopy has hardly advanced since the days of Thatcher or Victorian days for that matter. The same arguments about the well off stepping in on voluntary basis rather than relying on the State were being used in those days, the Victorians even talked about eleemosynary systems (and Dickens pointed out their deficiencies) – and the current discussions about workfare have more than an overtone of the debates about the Poor Laws and workhouses.

    • 75
      Eugenics will make the Labour Party popular says:

      I think we should gas the poor.

    • 86
      1 trillion on tick, head up arses says:

      Yes, let’s just stick to what we know eh, it hasn’t done us any harm so far has it?

      • 100
        Ned Balls, pen poised over a blank cheque says:

        How much more will you need?

        • 121
          Anonymous says:

          “tory boys never grow up” is obviously part of the twitter generation.
          Anything longer than a few words is obviously a struggle.

    • 181
      gildedtumbril says:

      Workhouses. Now there’s a word to conjure with. Most folk are blissfully unaware that Britain is still in the workhouse era. But these days it is an outpatient workhouse society. Virtually all the imposing workhouses have been demolished for shame. The basic concept and the means test live on.

    • 182
      annnnoyperson says:

      Yeah, 73, good job that the Fabians and Labourites have moved on, isn’t it? All that nasty, Nazi eugenics shite they used to spout! Or maybe that’s what they really still believe in?

  28. 69
    bbitgu says:

    Lets face it Gordon is already doing his bit for the Big society , He did say he was doing charity work right?

  29. 74





    • 93
      sockpuppet #4 says:

      The bastards. And they gave you a broken keyboard.

    • 106
      jgm2 says:

      Quit. Forms will go unfiled. Letters will get returned. Fuck all of any consequence will happen. The world won’t fall apart.

      Less is more. Let the fuckers do it themselves.

      Just quit.

    • 126
      Gonk says:

      I was going to say, don’t quit, just don’t
      send any forms back. But judging by official crap
      I get, you’d get fined, imprisoned, hit, threatened
      with bankruptcy. And your dog murdered.
      You’ll have to quit.
      Miss the old typewriter don’t you.

    • 132
      solopolis says:

      Treat the paperwork like junkmail. Shred it and compost it.

      If its something of importance, they’ll be in touch.

      • 136
        jgm2 says:

        That. Or quit.

        There’s enough of the fuckers paid to sit in those offices – they can fill out the paperwork themselves in future.

  30. 79
    Anonymous says:

    “attributing malice to their opponents”

    …and your right-wing nutter friends have no malice against the English working class! Absolutely not! Nothing could be further from the truth.

    It’s the way you tell ‘em. Very funny. Ha ha ha

    • 81
      british jobs for british immigrants says:

      Yeah, that is funny.

    • 83
      Anonymous says:

      How naive of you to assume that members of the working class are exclusively left wing.

      • 92
        jgm2 says:

        The working class are extremely right wing. It’s the non-working class and the associated bed-wetting parasites of the middle-class that are left-wing. And even a lot of the non-working class are, scratch the surface, very right wing hence the huge amount of Labour votes leaking across to the B&P.

        • 127
          Anonymous says:

          Privately educated spoilt rich kids usually go through a long phase of being left wing. They can afford to be because mummy and daddy usually continue funding their lifestyles long after the rest of us have had to make our own way in the world.

    • 90
      jgm2 says:

      And the babies. Don’t forget how much right-wingers like eating babies.

    • 122
      ST says:

      Yes, yes you care about the working class whilst also supporting open door immigration very benevolant of you.

  31. 82
    Disco Biscuit says:

    “Radical whigs and liberals have always wanted to disperse power away from first the monarch and in modern times from the state”?

    The monarch IS the state – just ask Louis IX

  32. 85
    annnnoyperson says:

    Musolini believed in Big Government, too.

    Ed Miliband a follower of Muolini. Who’d a thunk it?

  33. 87
    annnnoyperson says:

    Oops. Here’s the missing s…

  34. 88
    Gonk says:

    They don’t understand right of centre thinking because
    they learnt a different language at five years of age.
    It’s known as ‘Pikeylabourtwathatejodhpurs’
    At about this age when they asked for a jubbly at the local
    sweet shop and got a tip top,irrational hatred started.
    It’s mostly down to envy and stupidity.

  35. 91
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Nope. sorry. I still don’t get it.
    Where do you get all these talented and hard working people who are willing to give up hours and hours per week doing things that don’t actually gain from themselves directly.

    As for thatcher, what I take that famous soundbite to mean was something like “isnt all the sociology clap trap that some people spout, just a right load of bollocks”.

    • 96
      jgm2 says:

      Where do you get all these talented and hard working people who are willing to give up hours and hours per week doing things that don’t actually gain from themselves directly.

      The Labour voters. They’re constantly telling us how big-hearted they all are and how they’re such caring people. Next you’ll be telling me the nurses and doctors and such-like only do their caring, big-hearted work because they get paid and not because they’re caring, big-hearted people.

      Pah, if they were only doing it for the money why, they’d be no better than fucking bankers.

      The socialists will do it all for free. They want us all to work for free, for the common good. Well, here’s your chance, knock yourselves out bedwetters.

      • 105
        Chuckles says:

        I think you may have misread about Labour voters – big arsed not big hearted

      • 107
        sockpuppet #4 says:

        Right. so this is the same parallel universe Dave lives in too.

        • 150
          jgm2 says:

          Ahh – fuck it. Kids will get looked after by their parents. Old folk will get looked after by their young kids just like they always were. We don’t need a huge state bureaucracy to manage that shit. And when young girls see that they won’t be able to dump their kid on the state they might keep their knees together or use some contraception for a change so we might actually stop making the problem worse.

          It is, as Guido says, just a rehash of Thatch’s ‘no such thing as society’ and she was right. Every inconvenient kid or adult thrown onto the ‘state’ is money out of a stranger’s pocket. Fuck off. Enough. Look after your own kids. Look after your own parents.

          France went down the route of socialising care for the elderly to the point where adult kids just dump their relatives in mass state gulags. With the result that several thousand of them died one weekend during a heat-wave. But all we ever hear about is how fucking caring and socialist the French are. Yeah, so caring they all dumped their parents and fucked off to the beach. Yet this is the model the bedwetters aspire to in the UK.

          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            That actually pretty much answers the initial question again, as “no-one”.

            I believe the media stereotype of 2003′s heatwave death was single elderly people living in the crap flats of paris.

      • 110
        Marshmyst says:

        Love it, they should be queued for miles how caring they are.

      • 119
        Miss Aligned says:

        no, they want you to work for free, they’ll sit back & organise

        • 129
          Spot the hypocrite. says:

          What paltry sum was it that Laurie Penny offered to pay someone to do her research?

  36. 98
    Tim says:

    Important to note that cutting taxes would give ordinary people more money that they could give to charity, and this isn’t going to happen.

    Also, that having charities funded *only* by donation when people are feeling the pinch could mean that they are subject to the whims and interests of the rich, so (as a caricature) opera and ballet charities do uncharacteristically well whilst charities for poor communities, especially those who are not based in London and the South East, do worse.

  37. 104
    Miss Aligned says:

    like Iraq was to Tony ?

  38. 114
    bbitgu says:

    Guido , What does the tag ” B* ” mean ?

  39. 124
    Marshmyst says:

    Where is our great investigative media exposing all the charities that we the tax payer are paying for without our knowledge we are treated like the mushrooms they think we are fed a load of shite in other words the big scam.

    • 144
      Sir William Waad says:

      There are many excuses for not giving to charity:

      “They spend it all on admin”

      “These whingers should learn to help themselves”

      “Nobody gave me anything”

      - * and now * -

      “They also get money from the Government”

      I prefer to say “Go away. I am a tightfisted, selfish bastard and I prefer to spend my money on port.”

  40. 135
    solopolis says:

    With fiat money to cover the “losses” of yet more fiat money. I wouldn’t worry about it. It never existed in the first place.

  41. 140
    Predictable Labour diversion operation swings into action says:

    Look! Over there!!!

  42. 141
    Kered Ybretsae says:

    Chrissake it’s a CharityLeak.

  43. 147
    The Watcher says:

    ANY politician advocating the shrinking of the state is a liar. It WON’T HAPPEN…it would be a diminution of THEIR power. And as for calling for more mutual support within society, if they continue (as they will) to tax, tax, tax the middle class who, by and large, have always been the resource for charity towards others, there simply won’t be a possibility of a resurrection of the types of private charity so effective in Victorian times precisely because the middle classes were allowed to work and to profit from their work, so that they actually had surplus funds with which to finance and support charity work. Of course, the other vital factor in that was that most of them still believed, however vaguely, in Christian principles and behaviour, and that it was their Christian duty to be charitable towards the less fortunate, those who had fallen on hard times. That mindset, grounded in centuries of Christian belief and teaching which had very much colored the country’s social outlook, has now disappeared. Coupled with the fact that there is so little private surplus cash available now for expending on charity, even if Cameron sincerely meant what he says, it just isn’t going to happen.

  44. 149
    Idiot IDS says:

    Wetting myself, the once self styled anti establishment Guido….Now taking instruction from Tory Central HQ.

    Today’s remit: Please Help The Big Society Programme. YAWN

    BS was a dead duck, is a dead duck and will never fly. Tory HQ are currently desperately trying to flog this dead sheep. Tory councils are renaming long established school walking buses as Big Society Buses, long established Canal cleaning programmes as big society canal regeneration. I could go on. Rebranding small local programmes that have run for 20 years as Big society is both fraudulent and disingenuous.

    My council have closed the local library, my council tax is still the same. The library are looking for volunteers to run it. Can I have the home addresses of Guido, Engineers, jgm2 and all the other non volunteering apologists on this blog, so I can forward your details and times you are available to volunteer…..narrrrr didn’t think so…. Apologists.

    • 152
      PD77 says:

      Ask El Gordo he said he wanted to give his time to charity!

    • 156
      jgm2 says:

      The caring, big-hearted socialists will be mobbing these places to volunteer. Them being all caring and big-hearted and all. Why, I bet Gordon Brown will be dedicating his life to some voluntary organisation as I type – him being so keen on charity and all.

      Pip pip.

      • 165
        Woeful Warsi says:

        errrrrrr jgm2

        Dont you mean

        “””The caring, big-hearted Tories will be mobbing these places to volunteer. Them being all caring and big-hearted and all”””

        Amazing – a Tory policy, and some how its failing is due to socialists not volunteering.

        What’s your problem. Come on. Your man, Your team, Your government. get out and volunteer……LOL

        • 170
          jgm2 says:

          Failing? How can it fail? They’re going to shut all these centres and the parents and adult kids (of the elderly) will take up the slack like they should have been doing in the first place.

          What’s to go wrong?

          And if it looks like wobbling we have several million caring socialists who spend all their time telling us how caring they all are to step in.

          Can’t possibly fail.

    • 158
      Engineer says:

      Non volunteer, eh?

      Do you know what I do most Sundays? Yes, that’s right, I volunteer.

      Now fuck right off.

  45. 154
    Idiot IDS says:



    I wont hold my breath !!!!!

  46. 155
    Engineer says:

    One of the unintended consequences of Government stepping in with public money to solve personal problems is that, in time, more and more problems become “government’s job”. The old lady next door is struggling to keep her lawn cut, so “Why doesn’t the Social get her a gardener? It’s not my problem.”

    And here we are – the “It’s not my problem” society, backed up by a whole raft of Regulations that will have someone thrown in gaol if a child gets their fingers caught in the community centre door. “Run a mothers and toddlers group once a week? Ooo, no, far too much paperwork for the insurance, see.”

    It’s got ridiculous. We need to take back our self-reliance and common sense. We need to send the government jobs-worths and injury compensation lawyers packing. It’s not government’s job. It’s everybody’s job. Just get on with it.

    • 169
      jgm2 says:

      Thing is engineer, us hateful libertarians and right-wingers have been ‘getting on with it’ all our lives. Looking after our own kids, looking in on our aged parents, making sure they have enough food and installing a phone so they can call and all that stuff. We help the blind across busy roads. We stand up on the bus for old folk. We look after our neighbour’s kids when they’re delayed at work or take them to the football or whatever to give them a break.

      We pick up litter, we mow the verges, we maintain our Grade II listed homes at our own expense so that the nations architectural heritage is preserved. We volunteer at scouts or cricket practice or whatever. Do we take a penny for our good works? No. Why? Because that’s what fucking grown-ups should be doing. Instead of sitting around whining about ‘the state doesn’t do this for me’ or ‘the state doesn’t do that for me’.

      Fuck off. Are you fucking halt? Lame? Crippled? No! There’s fuck all wrong with you. Get up off your arse and do it yourself. If you want to put a positive spin on it consider yourself ‘empowered’.

      Big Society? Bollocks. How about ‘Acting your Age’ – how about it Cameron – just tell folk to act their fucking age instead of becoming a nation of whiny fucking kids.

    • 175
      Woeful Warsi says:

      Seems that Engineer is a Daily Mail reader, more hilarious he actually believes what they write.

      No one has ever been jailed for failing to prevent a trapped finger in a door. And there are 1000′s of mother and toddler groups running as we speak….so your point is what exactly….Oh yes, you are being a BS apologist.

      • 183
        Liam Byrne says:

        A word of advice. Go and do something for other people, instead of sniping and spouting bile.

        No, as it happens, I don’t read the Daily Fail. I can, however, tell you some horror stories of the unintended consequences of proscriptive legislation.

    • 178
      Woeful Warsi says:

      Seems that Engineer is a Dail Mail reader, pretty obvious really.

      No one has ever been jailed for failing to prevent a trapped finger. And as we speak there are 10,000′s of mother and toddler groups running……

      • 186
        Alex says:

        Yes that’s right – anyone who says anything you don’t like must read the Daily Mail – they also eat babies and rape virgins on alternate friday nights.


  47. 162
    Rat's arse says:

    Heard the Labour party are going to abstain re: prisoners getting the vote! That just about says it all.

    • 163
      PD77 says:

      Yeah but it’s their European Human Rights though innit, now who do we have to thank for signing that in to law then?

    • 166

      They should vote to allow prisoners to abstain.

      • 177
        PD77 says:

        That would set a precedent and then it would allow us plebs to also abstain, they should make prisoners vote. they are after all a captive audience and can’t fake being out when the local candidates come to canvas ;)

  48. 188
    Moley says:

    ” A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend.”

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Either the Government income should be taken away from charities, or their charitable status should go.

    How can a proper charity attract donations and volunteers if Government is the paymaster?

  49. 192
    Garage Mechanic says:

    itlooks more and more to me like britain is going back into the dark ages. Only the rich and elites will be entitled to enjoy life whilst the remaining 95% of the population will be poor and have to live on scraps

  50. 195
    Peter Thomas says:

    I usually enjoy your stuff, Guido but don’t comment because I’m not good with words and can’t usually explain what I mean. But this is all rubbish just like the “Big Society” and all the other flavour of the month ideas that this and all previous Governments have come up with – until they are quietly droppped having cost the taxpayer millions. And Dave hasn’t explained fully what his “Big Society” is yet and how it will work.

    Now, as someone said above, many of us have been local community and socially aware since we were kids because we were brought up to help ourselves, our families and to help others, particularly those less fortunate than we. We don’t need another Government scheme to tell us what’s what; we need a Government that stays out of our lives as much as possible and uses our taxes wisely. And anyway, none of those buggars in Politics have ever done owt for nowt, as I and many others like me have solely for altruistic reasons.

    We know there are those who are homegrown who take advantage of the Welfare State, and lots who come to this country to take advantage too. Why else come here? But there are those who need help and support from the State – otherwise why do we have a Welfare State? In my view, Dave’s ”Big Society” isn’t a long thought out philosophical idea but a cover for his plan to abdicate State reponsibility for the genuinely needy and vulnerable in our Society from whom he will remove funding.

    We’ve had years of Labour mismanagement of the Nation’s resources and what replaces it? Why, Dave and his Lib Dem oppos who are no better – and who only just scraped into Government. What does that say about the quality of politicians of all parties? Does Dave take the main chance, get the people behind him and turn the Country round? No he pisses about with half-baked concepts like the “Big Society.” I’m afraid only a revolution is now going to turn our Nation round.

  51. 197
    bird with small brain says:

    Not half baked, merely a relatively abstract concept meaningless to those who are, in Piagetian terms, ‘concrete’ thinkers. For this reason, as a PR attempt to woe Labour voters, the Big Society idea is never going to work. People who get it probably vote Conservative anyway!

  52. 198
    Anonymous says:

    the too-big-to-fail society

  53. 199
    Muscular Mac says:

    I just wonder if tax is a fairer system than charity.

    The BS seems to be saying that charity is a fairer system than tax.

    Tax is (supposed to be) compulsory whereas charity is voluntary.

    Those who can afford to pay lots of money voluntarily into causes can influence how the money is spent.

    Where as those who pay tax, like myself, find it more difficult to influence how the money is spent.

    I would refer you to the Board Meeting where those individual shareholders who hold only one share are easily outvoted by the megarich shareholders who hold very many shares.

    Versus the ideal democracy whereas one person has one vote.

    Giving to charity (when and if you feel like it) is seen as an Alternative to Tax by those power- and greed-mongers who aim to hold the state to ransom. Rich people in other words, who the subservient servants of the people such as the government like to suck up to. This is a recipe for corruption. I refer you to the USSR versus the chaos created under the Yeltsin regime.

    I expect no balanced and objective view from yourself in any case.

    Yours etc.

  54. 200

    Big SobCRYditty. Thats NLP that is. Way oer your heads init? Dont worry about it.

  55. 201
    Anonymous says:

    What a load of bollcks – as usual a broad brush that ignores reality in order to support your ideology.

    Are you telling me that the Law Centres and Citizens Advice Bureaux services across the country don’t count as charities because they get funding from local and central government to do the dirty work that no-one else wants to do? And that the CABx service – with its 25,000 volunteers – isn’t already what the BS hopes to be?

    This idea that charities cost nothing to run just shows how far removed from reality you are – good services cost money, whoever is delivering them – and most charities provide good value for money, dedication and a commitment to people not profit.

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Guido-hot-button (1) Guido-hot-button (1)

Cathy Jamieson MP, Labour’s Shadow Treasury minister, commenting on Treasury analysis of the economic impact of tax changes…

“If the Treasury is looking at the economic impact of tax changes, then surely it should examine the impact of the rise in VAT and cuts to tax credits? George Osborne’s £12 billion VAT rise knocked confidence, helped to choke off the recovery and has cost families £1,350 over the last three years.”

orkneylad says:

What’s he been doing FFS, mining bitcoins?

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