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Robert Halfon MP offers three definitions of the Big Society

Robert Halfon is MP for Harlow.

As 'The Big Society' seems to be dominating our airwaves at the moment - with much discussion as to its meaning, I thought I would offer my own three pennies worth:

  • The Big Society says social capital - the glue that strengthens community - and binds communities together - is as important as economic capital.  You can't have one without the other.  Capitalism works best with strong communities.
  • The Big Society believes that people power is as effective - if not more effective - than state power.  This means devolving power down to individuals to make decisions.  Lower taxes give individuals more economic power, direct political devolution to individuals and communities means more social power.
  • The Big Society gives as much impetus to social entrepreneurs - those who use social action to transform their communities - as it gives to economic entrepreneurs.  Social Action is as essential as economic action and it needs to be incentivised.


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