Monthly Archives: December 2010

The Long Awaited Big Society (Green Paper)

Francis Maude

The Big Society now wants your money from your cash point now being proposed by the coalition all those in favour say Yay Or Nay. Lets see it looks like the to the right has it in the form of Green paper, drafted by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, is designed to encourautge philanthropy.

I am convince it is a Big con to make money just look around in today’s economic climate public sector funding is being halved three times the rate under this coalition than a Labour Gov would have proposed.

The way how I read into it at the moment is people don’t mind knowing what needs to be cut but when you look at the wider implications for the nation the Tories will let their partner in crime to happy to take the fall for it. Nice one Cleggy your the man.
Cash machines should automatically give customers an option of donating to charity, the coalition proposes tomorrow in a green paper designed to define the elusive “big society” in Britain.

The proposal is one of a series of ideas put forward by the Cabinet Office to shift what the coalition sees as the stubborn British refusal to be philanthropic with time or money. Prompts to give to charitable causes might also be developed whenever someone fills in a tax return or applies for a driving licence or passport.

Other ideas aired in the innovative green paper include a thank-you letter from ministers for giving large sums, a national day to celebrate donors, and a televised weekly thank-you to national lottery winners who have donated.

The green paper also considers whether the government should try to set as a social norm that everyone should give 1% of their income to charity, or a fixed proportion of their time. Overall, the green paper, drafted by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude, argues that the internet and apps are now “providing an unparalleled opportunity to access information on how to make a difference”.

Other ideas include developing an app so that retailers automatically send very small donations to charity every time a customer uses a particular search engine to look at the retailer’s website.

At present 8% of the UK population contribute 47% of total donations, and with income tax now rising to 50% for those earning more than £150,000 a year, the government faces an uphill task in creating a new culture of giving. Charities also complain that their national funding is being cut by the government.

Following objections from the Treasury, the green paper is noncommittal about fresh tax breaks for giving, but says many of the existing incentives are poorly understood by UK corporations. Payroll giving is perceived as too time consuming by many small businesses, while big corporate donors tend to give to a narrow range of causes likely to be uncontroversial with shareholders.

The green paper, drawing on the analytical work of the so-called nudge unit in No 10, takes a strong view that social action is not something the coalition can or should compel people to take.

The paper says that “it has to be built from the bottom up on the back of free decisions by individuals to give to causes around them”. Maude said last night: “We are arguing for new social attitudes that celebrate giving.

“Talking about what we are doing for good causes is often seen as vulgar, but sharing experiences can often inspire others.”

The coalition claims there is evidence, for instance, that people will give time if approached properly. The London 2012 Olympics organisers have attracted 240,000 applications to be stewards.

The green paper also suggests it is vital that giving is more visible: “The more people see that their peers are giving, and how much they give, the more likely they are to give, or give more, themselves.”

The green paper quotes David Halpern, one of the advisers to the nudge unit, who argues: “Our behaviour is generally far more influenced by what we see other people doing than what we think we should be doing.”

He also draws on the pioneering work of the sociologist Richard Titmuss to argue that there is a gift relationship, claiming: “Evolution has endowed us with a social brain that predisposes us to reciprocate acts of kindness, not just blindly to follow anyone and everyone, regardless of how they treat anyone.”

As a result there has been a growth in peer-to-peer lending and financing platforms such as Zopa that allow people to give money to individuals or projects that post requests for funding online.

The paper argues that social media such as Facebook “offer enormous potential to normalise giving with developments such as Twibbons that allow people to share their support for a cause in the online environment.”

“Transparency should make it possible to tell whether charities are good value through sites such as New Philanthropy Capital’s ratings and comparison websites.”


Clegg In Fear Of Voters Voting The Libdems Out of Office

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How many of us in the Labour Party remember the good old days when we continued to fight among ourselves while we were in opposition and in government. While on the other the Tories had there fair share they were … Continue reading


Departments spent £1bn on consultants

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              Now the truth is coming out when a Labour MP Margaret Hodge says ” Why should the Department for Transport, for instance, be so dependent on consultants”?” Central government departments spent more than … Continue reading


Silly Vince Cable Cought Out By Media

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First it was Vince Cable now we have learnt from the media that there is more to come in regards to Libdem MPs who are not happy with the coalition. Ed Miliband was right to publicly to call on the … Continue reading

Who Can You Trust Leading Senior Tories Cant Be Trusted

How long with the Coalition will last do I hear people are saying the anwer to that is that they will last for the full five years. Labour is in the perfect position to drive home the message of the fault of the coaltion by driving a wedge between the Tory Right and the Cameronians. the other fault lines between the Libdem Leadership and membership has been driven wide open.

Well. well, who would have throught that David Heath, the deputy Leader of the House, said the Chancellor had the “capacity to get up one’s nose” and did not appreciate what it was like to lose £1,000 a year – the value of the cut in child benefit for higher earners.

It is further alleged by Paul Burstow, the care minister, told reporters from The Daily Telegraph: “I don’t want you to trust David Cameron.” And Andrew Stunell, the local government minister, said he did not know where the Prime Minister stood on the “sincerity monitor”.

Norman Baker, the transport minister, even privately compared the Conservatives within government to the South African apartheid regime, claiming that it was his job to campaign from the “inside”.

The disclosures come on the third day of this newspaper’s investigation into the true feelings of senior Liberal Democrats towards the Coalition.

The deep personal animosity and distrust at the highest level of government between ministerial colleagues can be disclosed today. Their remarks were made during covertly recorded conversations with two undercover reporters posing as concerned Liberal Democrat voters.

In his comments, Mr Heath suggested that the Chancellor, a multi-millionaire, was out of touch with the common voter. “George Osborne has a capacity to get up one’s nose, doesn’t he?” he said.

“I mean, what I think is, some of them just have no experience of how ordinary people live, and that’s what worries me. But maybe again, you know, that’s part of our job, to remind them.”

Mr Baker said some of his Conservative colleagues were “beyond the pale” and also says he does not like the Chancellor.

“I mean, there are Tories who are quite good and there are Tories who are, you know, beyond the pale, and, you know, you have to just deal with the cards you’ve got,” he said.

“I don’t like George Osborne very much … I mean, there are Tories who are all right — Ken Clarke’s all right — there are the ones you can do business with. But what you end up doing in the Coalition … is we play them off against each other.”

Mr Baker also made the bizarre claim that the position of Liberal Democrat ministers was akin to that of Helen Suzman, a South African MP who almost single-handedly sought to change government policy from within the regime in the 1970s and 1980s. Mrs Suzman, who died in 2009, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize and received numerous death threats.

He said: “I always think in South African terms, should you be Nelson Mandela, outside the system, campaigning for it to be changed, or should you be Helen Suzman, who’s my … one of my political heroes actually.”

“Helen Suzman was in the apartheid regime when everybody was male and white and horrible actually … she got stuck in there in the South African parliament in the apartheid days as the only person there to oppose it … she stood up and championed that from inside.”

He added: “You do get your hands dirty by dealing with things you don’t want to do, and sometimes you get results which aren’t quite what you want. But the issue we have to make, the calculation in coalition, is we have to make as a coalition is do we get stuff that we do want which outweighs some of the stuff we don’t want, and that’s the reality of it.”

The comments are likely to infuriate Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne, who are sensitive over claims about their privileged background, which Labour has also tried to exploit.

They were echoed during a separate meeting with Mr Stunell, a junior local government minister, who was one of the key Liberal Democrat figures in the Coalition Agreement talks.

Mr Stunell told the undercover reporters: “I don’t know where I put him [the Prime Minister] on the sincerity monitor. He’s, umm, he’s certainly a very skilled operator. He’s worked his way through the Tory system and he’s, is he sincere? I do not know how to answer that question.”

Mr Burstow added: “I don’t want you to trust David Cameron … in the sense that you believe he’s suddenly become a cuddly Liberal. Well, he hasn’t. He’s still a Conservative and he has values that I don’t share.”

When asked whether Mr Osborne was out of touch, he replied: “Yes, I know, I know, I know. There are going to be some Conservative politicians in particular who are detached from reality. I mean, Lord Young’s comments, a lot of people are unhappy with …”. This was a reference to his comments last month that Britons had “never had it so good” during the recession, which led to his resignation as Mr Cameron’s enterprise adviser.

Mr Heath and Mr Baker also publicly admit that they oppose the rise in tuition fees, despite voting in favour of the policy in the recent crucial Commons vote. “I’m still wholly against,” Mr Heath said. “I’ll say it perfectly openly, I’m wholly against tuition fees.”

Mr Baker added: “Well, it is a big shock and it’s a big shock to me and I almost resigned over the matter, on that particular one because it was just pretty horrific.”

In today’s recordings, Mr Stunell expresses his hopes that the situation will improve before the next election.

“We knew from the very start of what we were doing that this financial stuff was going to be really tricky. Difficult. I mean, horrendous … and that clearly the first two or three years were going to be absolutely dire … so it’s not all about cutting, there is going to be some good stuff.”