It may be unfair to tar Philip Blond with David Cameron’s policy proposals, but this grab bag of measures intended to “give society a helping hand” gets at a criticism I tried to articulate after hearing Blond’s talk. I wasn’t sure how Blond’s arguments would translate into practice, and the initial results look like an incoherent mishmash:
A “Neighbourhood army” of 5,000 full-time, professional community organisers who will be trained with the skills they need to identify local community leaders, bring communities together, help people start their own neighbourhood groups, and give communities the help they need to take control and tackle their problems. This plan is directly based on the successful community organising movement established by Saul Alinsky in the United States and has successfully trained generations of community organisers, including President Obama . . .Transforming the civil service into a “civic service” by making regular community service a key element in civil servant staff appraisals . . .Launching an annual national “Big Society Day” to celebrate the work of neighbourhood groups and encourage more people to take part in social action projects.