An essay on the ‘big society’

John SeddonJohn Seddon reflects on how a systems thinking method has improved public services but is now under threat from cuts, commissioning and ‘big society’ as the government fails to move beyond central control and large-scale initiatives.

David Cameron described the ‘big society’ as a ‘culture change’, where people are free and powerful enough to help … Continue reading

Riots and reality

Thumbnail image of flamesFollowing the riots in the UK this week, many people in the voluntary and community sector are asking where we go from here. If you feel the need of thoughtful questions, messages of solidarity and some analysis of how we are thinking and talking about the riots, see the discussion ‘Wasn’t it inevitable’ on the … Continue reading

Cats among pigeons at CSC

A few hackles seem to have been raised following an open meeting on 7 December 2010 to discuss the Big Society Show, convened by the Community Sector Coalition (CSC).

People at the meeting had the temerity to be openly critical of the government’s motives and intentions, and even discussed the need to resist them! About … Continue reading

If it works, starve it

The Salford Star …with attitude and love xxx

By Stephen Kingston

In some `less enlightened’ countries they don’t mess about with meddling journalists – they just shoot them or blow up their offices. Here in England they censor and execute you economically. It has the same affect. Hence the winter issue of Salford Star didn’t … Continue reading

The Third Sector as deliverers of services – overhyped, an idea whose time is done

As seasoned travellers on the highways and byways of community sector life, all of us are used to exercising a healthy scepticism in relation to rhetoric, which can often sound great, and delivery, which disappears down the memory hole.

Anyone remember the 2001 Neighbourhood Renewal Action Plan words about the Local Strategic Partnerships being a Continue reading