When David Cameron’s Big Society project was launched in Britain recently, it provoked a good deal of critical and derisory responses from both sides of British politics. In their opinion pieces in ‘The Guardian’, columnists Jonathan Freedland and Madeleine Bunting endorsed the generally sceptical assessment of the credibility of the Big Society rhetoric, given that the new government was at the same time enacting savage budget cuts which would take away the funds from those very civil society agencies expected to enable any big society initiatives. However, at the same time they cautioned against throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Freedland observed that the Big Society initiative was a good idea being promulgated by the wrong people at the wrong time. He argued that the core idea of revitalising forms of local and communitarian enterprise was worth pursuing and indeed something for which the left could and should claim patrimony.
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