Friday, 11 February 2011
'Power to the People' ... or 'Abuse of Power by a few People'?
Over the last few days we have started to see beyond the veneer of "the big society". Cameron is pushing this as the way forward ... but in reality is slashing budgets everywhere which is forcing voluntary organisations to shut-down too e.g. even the Citizen's Advice Bureau (promoted by the Government as being the type of voluntary organisations able to play a key role in the future) is, despite being inundated with requests (e.g. to help with spiraling debts), having to close drop-in centres due to the withdrawal of support.
Is this the 'big society' or a 'big con' ... a smoke-screen attempting (but failing) to paper over all the cracks created by the cuts, i.e. if we shut something, why don't you get up and run it ... voluntarily ! ... i.e. for free, but perhaps by compulsion once changes to the benefits system are put in place given the increasing number of unemployed! It is certainly an excellent way for the Government to deflect blame i.e. don't blame us ... blame your council, blame yourself or blame everyone else for not doing it for you for free!
The final nail in the coffin for the 'big society' scam has been seen again today, as Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, was accused of an 'abuse of power' by a high court judge when he scrapped the Building Schools for the Future programme without proper consultation ... which follows on from the Government trying to force through radical NHS reforms (that deflect blame for future NHS efficiency savings onto doctors ... and reward them for cutting your care) through without any consultation or support from the electorate (no-one voted for it, as it was in neither of the Coalition's election manifestos), as well as the sell-off of our forests (though they appear to be rethinking this one, unlike the NHS ones)!
Are these really the actions of a Government committed to giving 'Power to the People' ... or are they an 'Abuse of Power by a few People' ... the high court judge has today made his view known.