Whatever the Big Society was meant to be it's not going to happen.
As the Guardian notes today:
David Cameron's vision of a community-driven renaissance of the inner cities suffered an embarrassment today after Liverpool, a key partner in one of his project's four "big society" showcase areas, said it was pulling out of the initiative because of government-imposed spending cuts.
Liverpool city council leader Joe Anderson said the need to make £141m of savings over the next two years had put the future of hundreds of voluntary groups in the city at risk.
The announcement follows a warning yesterday by the head of Liverpool's big society "vanguard", Phil Redmond that Cameron's initiative had ground to a halt in the city because decision-making had been "subsumed by the cuts".
The Labour-led city council was not a formal partner in the big society "vanguard" project launched by the prime minister on Merseyside last July, but says it was co-opted onto a "parallel vanguard" some months later and had put "significant resources" into a "substantial programme of activity".
In a letter to communities secretary Eric Pickles, councillor Anderson writes: "When we agreed to become a Vanguard, your government promised to work with us to remove some of the problems and blockages that were preventing us from successfully delivering our Big Society programme. I have to say, the government has failed to deliver a single change that we have requested, which has severely hampered many parts of our programme."
I post at length because this is important.
A Labour council tried to cooperate on this policy. It wanted to effect change.
And it has been stopped from delivering it by incompetence on the part of the ConDems.
It is going to be come a horribly familiar tale.