Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Chairman Bill's Big Society

A bit like the term ‘intelligence’, everyone knows roughly what is meant by Big Society, but can’t describe it accurately enough to communicate the concept to someone else.

Now David Cameron’s Big Society idea is finally being explained to the public in semi-coherent terms, rather than as an ideological mish-mash of muscular, post Christian, Home Counties, Tory rhetoric.

According to the lady at No.12, who heard it on the radio, it is now (after several iterations by the Tory Gedankenpolizei) the concept of rolling back the responsibility of the state and getting local volunteers to run stuff instead.

If this is indeed Cameron’s vision of The Big Society, then my suggestions are as follows:

  1. Mrs Baines from No. 42 to become the Defence Secretary. She is a bastion of the local church and will show those bloody Afghans what’s what. At her disposal she has the massed ranks of the local WI, who will win the hearts and minds of the Iraqis with homemade scones and jam – if they know what’s good for them.
  2. Mr Jones at Mon Repos will take over the function of Foreign Secretary and formulate our foreign policy. Mr Jones has a background in the scouting movement and knows how to get people to work together. He’s also good at knots.
  3. The economy will be taken over by Mr Williams, who has an O Level in maths and used to be something big in the National Coal Board before he retired in 1985.
  4. Mrs Peeves will run the UK’s police service due to the fact she knows everything that happens in the village. She has some quaint ideas on the use of corporal punishment, which have interested Col. Tuffington-Smythe over the years.
  5. For running the national education system I would pull someone from the local drug rehabilitation centre or Alcoholics Anonymous – let’s face it, they can’t do any worse than this, or the previous lot.
  6. Mr Smith at The Lawns is very keen to run the NHS. He has some ideas about running it as an off-shore trust in the Caymans, repackaging its assets as Toxic Triple A derivatives, selling the derivatives to the banks and putting all the proceeds into currency speculation using a front company based in Switzerland.
  7. I will become Prime Minister. It will be tough for a while, what with having to live on expenses alone, but the book deals, speaking fees and non-exec directorships that will accrue following my term will make it all worthwhile.
  8. I will choose Mrs Baines’ dog, Rover, as my Deputy PM. Rover just likes to please everyone (but sometimes gets into trouble for it), does what he’s told and wags his tail a lot – excellent credentials for replacing Nick Clegg.

Of course we’d need lots of money to set it all up and a good revenue stream to finance it year-on-year, but as PM I’d simply increase the taxes. Mind you, they’d have to go up by more than what could be saved, as we’d have to pay out rather a lot in redundancy payments and the dole to those who were doing all this previously (who would be sacked by email, obviously).

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