'Big Society' is an English discussion

“'Big Society' isn't happening in Wales. This is an English discussion. (…) That doesn't mean that discussion around the importance of the third sector isn't happening here, it's been happening for many, many years. And how we can improve the contribution of the third sector work, the promotion of social enterprise and other important components, have yet to be mentioned here today. I think it's hugely important.” (Morgan Parry)

A debate worth having

“Morgan said, the big society is an English debate. It hasn't travelled to Scotland, Ireland, North Ireland or Wales. I believe we should have a big society debate in Wales. Why? Because we are the most state-centric part of United Kingdom, which creates a big problem for us in Wales. We've got a very weak private sector and I would argue we've also got a weak civil society, a weak third sector because that third sector is highly dependent on state sector grants. (…) The big society, I think, is a debate worth having.” (Kevin Morgan)

The social enterprise sector is not ready for this big challenge

„I wish we had a big society debate in Wales. It is completely unloved by the Labour Party because David Cameron has stolen their clothes. The Labour Party used to have these traditions of mutuals, of co-ops, of self help, of friendly societies, that got sidelined by the state-centric tribe that once took control of the Labour Party in the 1940's, which went for capture with the state on the top, working top down instead of working bottom up as it were. So why was Mrs. Thatcher trying to shrink the state? To promote the private sector! I think Cameron is doing something more ambitious than that, even though the outcome I think will be the same. Why? Because the social enterprise sector as they are in the moment is not ready for this big challenge. This is the localism bill which the conservative led government hopes to deliver, hopes to deliver the big society. Notice that all 6 of these policy segments, these could feature in a radical socialist party's manifesto. There is nothing inherently right wing I would argue about any of this policy agenda in principle.” (Kevin Morgan)

Cutting the deficit will kill Cameron's plan to promote the big society

“David Cameron has two big priorities. No 1 is to cut the deficit. No 2 to promote the big society. And the first priority will kill the second priority in my view. Why? Because the shrinking of the state and the outsourcing of public services will go to private sector outsourcer (…). These are the companies which have tooled up, which have the scale, the skills, to capture these outsourced state services. The third sector and social enterprise within it sadly at the moment I don't believe has the skills the scale of a business model to do it.” (Kevin Morgan)


© 2017 Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung (ZALF) e.V.
Online: http://pes-conference.civiland-zalf.org/following-the-discussion/big-society/index.php
Datum: 22.11.2017