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November 24, 2010

An airing of old ideas

If at the end of the day, the big idea of Big Society all comes to nothing and becomes a mere footnote on the coalition’s first few years in power, it will at least be seen to have given some new oxygen to old ideas.  And just because ideas have been around for a while doesn’t mean they don’t have merit. It could be argued that the very fact they are so enduring, albeit below the radar, gives them extra weight. Here’s one from Cooperatives UK

For think piece click here

From the bottom up

The Big Society may not have been a big success as an election slogan, but it has tapped into a powerful tradition of mutualism, co-operatives and the social economy – a tradition which straddles different ideological standpoints.

Bottom-up and community-led activities which so often bubble along under the radar are receiving new public recognition. This is in part because we are on the threshold of political change and deep economic restraint; a time when we are both reflecting on the record of the last 13 years and searching for alternative approaches. While Labour can chalk up significant successes of social progress, it is clear that both centralised state activity and unfettered markets are flawed when it come to achieving deeply embedded social change.