There are two words that seem to be used in every political statement at the moment, and they fill me with dread. They are 'society' and 'community'. They are used, especially by politicians and interfering busybodies, to justify a very dangerous trend, namely passing power down from government.
Don't get me wrong, I do believe that power should be as locally devolved as possible, a large part of the reason I see no point in European Union membershhip for example. But before any power is devolved they should look at what powers can be scrapped completely first. After all, dodgy forms of devolution produce disasters like the Scottish government.
The politically correct will attack you if you make generalisations, especially those such as all French people smell of garlic and all Chinamen wear flipflops, and rightly so, they obviously don't. But when they want to impose their wishes on us they justify their interfering ways by claiming that 'society' would be better for it or that 'communities' would benefit from it. Well I mustn't be part of either because this week I heard a harridan from the anti-motorist group Brake which, incidentally, enjoys the benefits of charitable status while hectoring you and me about how our cars kill children, and her views on improving 'communities' scared me. I do not believe that speed cameras make for 'more liveable communities'. If they did estate agents would pretty soon start putting speed camera locations on property details to attract buyers. No, she was talking bollocks frankly.
The whole problem with Cameron's 'Big Society' is that the state has far too much power and is far too intrusive. Cameron's plans sound to me like they will merely be delegating that power to other, more local people. The problem with that is that local goverment is crammed full of interfering busybodies just wanting to dabble and interfere in their 'communities', and believe me they are extremely dangerous, I saw them when I was a councillor for four years. Yes, there are many good people involved in local politics, but the mad, or plain insane, have an energy that drives them on to more and more activity when the sane are happy to leave people alone.
Like most people, I suspect, I just want to live my life without being constantly mithered by either civil servants or local commissars. Stick your 'Big Society'.