The Curmudgeon


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Revenge of the Resurrection of the Return of the Thingy, Part II

With all that's been going on, be it Europe withdrawing from Britain or Christmas lasting four months instead of just two and a half, or even Werritty's War bubbling nicely on the horizon, I am sure we've all found time to be glad of the manifold life-oriented improvements which have come about thanks to Daveybloke's Big Society thingy, even if many of us are a little hard put to give a name to any of them. I'm grateful, therefore, to the little bird in the cheap seats who tweeted this to my attention today, since it shows precisely where the problem lies. As one would expect, the fault is with the civil service, charities and the public, all of whom are even now, after five separate launches with ever-increasing clarification, too foolish and materialistic to rejoice adequately at their thingy-bestowed advantages.

The public administration select committee has produced a report on the thingy which is disturbing in a number of respects; but mainly because it demonstrates, not for the first time, that parliamentary select committees constitute a slightly more effective opposition than the Upper (formerly Lower) Miliband and his ever-descending Balls. It observes with pitiless clarity the blatherings of Francis Maude, the Minister of Ministerial Administrativity, and Nick Hurd, the Minister for Being the Son of a Former Minister, on whom the thingy has been dumped for lack of a proper minister to take it on. Hurd, says the report, claimed that the proles "fundamentally understand" the thingy. "On the evidence before us," states the report, missing the faith-based point as usual, "we must disagree".

The report also warns that "concerns about the role of private companies ... have not thus far been adequately addressed by ministers", and that "big contractors and the largest charities continue to dominate at the expense of small and local providers", for all the world as if Daveybloke's Big Society thingy had nothing at all to do with the private sector eating up the voluntary sector or with large private companies trampling all over local interests. With an intent that we can only hope is satirical, the committee concludes by recommending "the creation of a single big society minister", presumably in a small local laboratory and almost certainly by men in white coats.


  • At 1:03 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    "the creation of a single big society minister", presumably in a small local laboratory and almost certainly by men in white coats.

    lol, made my day.

  • At 1:24 am , Blogger Philip said...

    It's alive...

  • At 2:17 am , Blogger Mewshkin said...

    Strangely, made me think of Street Fighter, the (I think intentionally) funny Van Damme vehicle.
    My mum works for a charity in Lewisham that helps disabled people navigate bureaucracy, get the right help, and maybe stay alive. They're flat out with appeals against cut benefits, with appointments for new claims booked 3 months in advance and their funding for next year uncertain.
    I haven't thought to ask her what she thinks about the thingy. I think she knows what it is though.

  • At 5:07 pm , Blogger Philip said...

    If you google "big society", the first link is to this hilariously deadpan satire which includes such gems as "Spring was launched in the autumn" and "When I first joined the Big Society Network, our CEO, Steve Moore asked me if I would like to curate the first series of Big Society themed films. Being a film maker, I jumped at the chance."

  • At 5:33 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Mm. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Spring is Autumn doesn't quite cut it... they even fail at dystopian sloganeering.


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