back to article Liverpudlians headbutt Cameron's 'big society'

Liverpool City Council has withdrawn from David Cameron's "big society" - the radical restructuring of the administrative paradigm which was meant to see real people running their own local services. The BBC explains that when he announced Liverpool would be a big society "vanguard" last year, the PM expressed the hope that " …


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  1. disgruntled yank

    dream no small dreams...

    Do you have to be a Texan to call it the Great Society?

  2. Francis Irving

    Some details

    A month or two ago I did an FOI request for the background to the original Liverpool Big Society Vanguard announcement. You can see some of the emails behind its original setup here:

    1. Anonymous Coward

      FOI request.

      *"What barriers DCLG is helping them bust, and what progress has

      been made in busting them"

      I hope an improved education is one of the goals.

  3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Didn't there used to be another name for this?

    >"the biggest, most dramatic redistribution of power from elites in Whitehall to the man and woman >on the street" can still "turn government completely on its head".

    Isn't that what we used to call a revolution?

    So Buckingham palace Monday morning 9:00am - bring your own pitchforks and flaming torches.

    1. Parsifal

      Surely Not

      I'm assume you meant to say The Houses of Parliament instead of Buckingham Palace, since that's the place that you'd need to go to. Unless you've an ulterior motive? :)

      1. Paul 172


        ....of course it depends at what level the revolution is occuring. To go to the houses of parliament is to accept the ultimate rule of the monarchy and revolt against which administration the monarchy uses to rule. To go the buck palace would be a revolt against the entire system, no?

  4. Adrian Jones

    Not suprising really...

    The man who's supposed to be spearheading the Big Society, Lord Wei, has announced that he is cutting the time he's working on it, because apparently working for nothing doesn't pay the bills.

    And it took him nearly half a year to work that one out!

    1. Mark 65

      Title Required

      Also not surprising given the man who's supposed to be spearheading it has a name that makes him sound like a champion lounge-room gamer.

    2. Elmer Phud

      Went 'wei wei wei wei all the way home'

      He may have been reminded that the pre-election posters had such gems as 'Cutting debts, not NHS budgets' with a shiny head beaming out.

      Best to keep yer head down as Dave's Big Society seems to be working but not in the way he planned it. We are all in this shit together except for those on top of the ladder dumping on us.

  5. LinkOfHyrule

    Just worked it out

    Big Society = Ghettos

  6. ToddRundgren

    Polly Toynbee = Pinnochio

    If it's in the Guardian it must be true then

  7. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    @Surely Not

    No you have to respect history.

    First we storm the winter palace and shoot the lot of 'em, then we burn down parliament and blame the socialists. Finally we just need enough streetlamps and some rope for number 10.

  8. MerseyMal
    Dead Vulture


    Well out of the 4 "vanguards" Liverpool was the most heavily hit by cuts. 8.9% compared to Eden's 6.42%, Sutton (London)'s 2.8% and Windsor & Maidenhead's 1.06%.

    Guess which 2 are the safe Tory and Lib Dem run councils?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother

    Expect the same from Birmingham soon

    First Liverpool, soon Birmingham. Even though Brum has been under the control of the ConDems for years, the things that have happened and are about to happen at the Council are such that there will be trouble in the streets later this year. Or at least a very interesting set of results in the Council elections in May.

    Still at least we're all in this together eh Dave.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      ...ah the city where I watched 4 men, 1 road sweeper (plus driver) and a open back van (plus driver) clear a single (hardly used) pavement of leaves. Yet they have a huge shortage of Social workers. Maybe they should have a bloody good clean out of the staff and employ people where they are actually needed.

      Oh and wolverhampton CC. Stop paying people triple time for not turning up because they are "sick" on a Sunday.

      Ahhh then the Unions say the members are being unfairly treated....well if you didn't allow (sorry, activly want) this shit to happen, then the real workers may actually keep their jobs.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I certainly won't be volunteering.

    There is no way on Earth I will aid this government in throwing hard working people onto benefits by doing their job for nothing.

    It also smacks way too much of privitisation by stealth to me.

  11. Andrew Smith 1

    That's the point!

    I thought the point of the big society was that the Govt. stopped spending money on services and volunteers would take over. Always seemed like it would fail about 1 week after implementation.

    It seems that Liverpool Council have missed the point.

    1. Les Matthew

      @Andrew Smith 1

      "It seems that Liverpool Council have missed the point."

      Do you remember "Care In The Community", and how well that worked?

      To me "Big Society" is the same with a different buzzword for a name.

    2. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Food costs money

      I'll volunteer for anything as long as it pays. Can't pay my mortgage with wishes and good intentions.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    "turn government completely on its head".

    Uh-huh baby. Shouldn't that be

    "turn whitehall completely on its head".

    But there again, maybe it was correct in the first place in light of developments?

  13. Loosewheel

    Same old shit......

    ....Different sandwich.

  14. Winkypop Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Big society?


    Who else thinks this sounds like double-speak, perhaps from a missing chapter from the book 1984?


    1. Jonathon Green

      Big Society

      ...and there I was expecting this to be another story on the obesity epidemic.

  15. Mme.Mynkoff

    A good idea, badly done

    Giving the funds directly to people is a great idea. Now that councils don't even bother to grit the pavement or collect the rubbish, they should be dismantled piece by piece. Allow citizens to enforce short-term (1 year) contracts with private suppliers. Enforce minimum QoS and give them the boot if they don't deliver.

    Typically though with the Cameroons, they don't have the balls to deliver.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    "Hard working"?

    Hard working local council penpushers?

    That's your mistake, right there.

  17. Debe


    So they take all the funding away from community projects and magically people will suddenly want to volunteer to run them for nothing? And this is giving power to the people is it? Do they think we’re all mega rich and work for the fun of it?

    Dave and his government have the same firm grasp on reality as a fairy riding a unicorn made from fairy dust and rainbow tears.

  18. Dave 125

    Maybe Cameron should have been a bit more obvious

    that when he said "volunteers" he meant "unpaid volunteers". Bit of a tautology I know, volunteers are by definition unpaid, but it doesn't take a genius to get from "big society implemented by volunteers" to "therefore we can stop paying you, can't we". Clearly Anderson is no genius, so what's he doing being a council leader?

    1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Not a tautology

      "volunteers are by definition unpaid"

      No, volunteers are by definition volunteers. *Unpaid* people are by defintiion unpaid. The opposite of voluntary isn't paid, it's compulsary. I've volunteers for every job I've ever done, but there's no way I could have afforded to do any of them if they'd been unpaid.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Not surprising

    I've had the misfortune to work in a company who has dealt with the council in Liverpool several times over the years and frankly the problem is with them. Other councils are better but there seems to be a defeatist and resistant mentality throughout their local government so that any big project there WILL fail.

    Cam picked the wrong vanguard there.

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