Society shocker

FEW political slogans are successful and even fewer have any degree of longevity – but David Cameron’s Big Society is in danger of going further and becoming a millstone around his neck.

The Prime Minister insists it is more than a phrase, but even if it is an ideology, the news that the latest victims of the economic crisis are the paid voluntary sector staff working for Yorkshire’s charities flies in the face of a vision where everyone in Britain can help make the country a better place to live.

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Today, it emerges that nearly half of all voluntary sector groups in the region are planning job cuts – just as demand increases for their services – and every week there are more stories of people who can no longer take a significant role in their community because of funding cuts.

They represent a seemingly endless conveyer belt of opportunities for Mr Cameron’s opponents, who never fail to ask whether this was the Big Society that he envisaged? The public’s dwindling faith in politicians is unlikely to be restored if this much-vaunted big idea turns out to be little more than a stylish marketing campaign on the Prime Minister’s part.