This morning I am a proud Conservative. The Government has announced a new white paper that will set-out an automatic right for charity, public and private bodies to argue that they can best deliver services to the public. This is the final part of the trilogy of Big Society’ specific legislation – alongside the Localism Bill and Giving Green Paper – that gives all of us more control over our lives. This change can be best described by the mental shift from “public services” to “public budgets”.
If the state is failing you then transparency will let you discover why. If a specific area has better services then you can find-out why. If you believe that you can better meet the objectives of our society then you will be able to offer your alternatives.
This is not about implementing laissez-faire, Darwinean ideology. As David Cameron has said time and again the state has a very important part in making Big Society happen. “Of course, the State will still have a crucial role to play: ensuring fair funding, ensuring fair competition, and ensuring that everyone – regardless of wealth – gets fair access.”
Big Society legislation is about allowing creativity and diversity to flourish by opening-up public services to bespoke providers. Under the State monopoly it could often feel like it was the provider who dictated what happened. In this new environment those who receive services will become King.