Worm, Inch - Futures Delivery Taskforce
BIGSOC: We've been asked to decode Cameron's ideas for a "big society". What's he planning? How will it affect education? Perhaps, says Sandra, he's trying to appeal to a more obese demographic. "Maybe he'll do one of his heartfelt speeches and urge us all to Hug A Fatty," she suggests. I tell her I think that's very unlikely, and she does her sulky face. Sandra looks a bit mournful anyway at the moment. She's got her Usual New Year Blues. The aftermath of her Usual Three Week Holiday Body Mass Index Catastrophe. Which as far as I can gather was caused by some sort of Mince Pie Immune Deficiency. Sadly for Sandra, "big society" definitely doesn't mean "hefty Middle England".
WINDBAG: Meanwhile The Gove has been on Messianic form. Looking intense and purposeful, growling about how a new world's coming, like John the Baptist in a #163;3,000 suit. Poor Ballsy, in contrast, appears in a Sunday supplement relaxing awkwardly at home in a Norwich City strip. The Tories are dressed for success, just like in the 80s. Our lot might as well stay in their pyjamas. Sandra and I start our investigation of Cameron's ideas by ploughing through a press kit on the Conservative Party website called "How To Make A Big Society Work Rest And Play, sponsored by Cadbury".
SOCIALISM: Big Society Summary: we should squeeze greater value from people by encouraging everyone to encourage one another to help one another and so on and so on in some kind of perpetual bloody Mexican Wave of unpaid selflessness. Loads of guff about grassroots development and social entrepreneurialism and nudging and winking and Facebook profiles self-righteously expanded to include Community Activism Status. Sandra says she'd put "single, local, open-minded and very active". Her understanding of social issues, I have to say, is slight.
JUNKY: "Big society? Pah! The Department needs to counterpunch!" barks Departmental Head of Intelligence Stephen, hitting his palm for effect. "We need our own ideas to inspire volunteers in the education sector, yeah?". He contemplates his fist. "Give those bastards a proper counterpunch. In the JUNK. A junk punch, yeah?" Neither of us knows what he means. Departmental Head of Intelligence Stephen is Scottish; some things are best left unexplained.
CLASSIFIED: After much thought and Googling, we devise the World Class Society. This will define anyone who volunteers for unpaid work (from altruistic lollipop ladies to pro bono emeritus professors) as WORLD CLASS, thus improving their "lifecycle chances" and general worth. We could recruit some of the thousands of qualified teachers not working in the profession, as The Gove suggests, but for UNPAID ANCILLARY WORK. That way their integrity stays intact and we save a fortune. Inchworm.