Big Society is on its way. We’ve all been wondering what it is and now, as the cuts slash their way through public services, I’m beginning to get it.
As jobs in libraries, social services, social care start to disappear, there are calls for more ‘volunteers’ to step in and plug the gap that will be created. This is what Big Society is all about; doing something for nothing.
And who are these volunteers going to be? And who has the time to do this volunteering?
Of course, the jobs that are lost must be dead easy because anyone can volunteer to do them. The government are even suggesting providing a bit of funding to keep you going; not much though because there’s a recession and what with the deficit.
That’s quite insulting though, isn’t it? Suggesting that some jobs can be done by volunteers and for a small cost?
Well, excuse me as I'm insulting in return but couldn’t politics work in this way? After all, anyone can become a politician, can’t they?
Within a few months, this government have ensured students will start work with massive debts around their necks and that some public servants are perceived as worthless.
Why shouldn’t the politicians experience this too? Rather than pay them, can’t they be volunteers? Then, they too, can be a part of Big Society.
They could be given loans whilst in office that they pay back after their political careers when they cash in with directorships, jobs as consultants and advisers. Then, of course, there are always the memoirs that they pump out without fail. These are often the big pension pay-out that old politicians seem to bank on.
Saying that, you look at Alastair Campbell and John Prescott and realise that perhaps those books haven’t sold as well as they hoped for.
One (Campbell) appears to be willing to appear on any TV show he can including ‘A Question Of Sport’ (was professional bullying ever a sport?) whilst the other (Prescott) is selling us car insurance. What a fine legacy for a pair of great statesmen!
So, with politicians having to survive on loans, they won’t be able to afford those second houses will they? But, all is not lost. They could be provided with halls of residence close to Westminster. Well, when I say close, I mean a bus ride at the very least.
But who will run these halls? Volunteers of course! But who has the time to volunteer for this kind of work; the House of Lords and retired politicians?
Well, why not? After all, "we’re all in this together".
So, there you have it; a Big Society led by the very same people trying to convince us to buy into it, well, volunteer for it.