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Friday, 8 April 2011

6. Dick gets tuned in

Hi, I'm Richard Everyman but people call me Dick.

My search for answers on the TV was not exactly fruitless but I am still ignorant about the Big Society.  At the moment it seems like I'm searching for something really intangible.  It's as if someone has loaded bucketfuls of hot air into a wheel barrow and dumped them on my doorstep.  But it can't be invisible.  I actually saw the leaflet when I was on that scrap heap and it spelled out a vision for the future.  It talked about 'celebrating' diversity and 'embracing' culture like there was going to be a really big party or something with bunting, cup cakes and silly hats.  Up to now though I've not heard any singing, or seen any dancing.  All I've seen is the same stuff I saw before my incarceration.

"You're just a fraudster aren't you?"
This morning I found an old radio.  The Eggheads said I had to find out things for myself and so I switched it on.  There was a kind of loud and angry talking thing set to an incessant beat which made my ears ache.  When it had finished the presenter said it was by a wrapper.  It obviously wasn't a sweet wrapper because he was shouting about hoes or some other kind of garden tools he'd got in his backyard.  I decided that it wasn't for me and tuned in to another station.

There was no music.  Instead a man was being interviewed by another man called Jeremy about something the first man had done in a house that wasn't his proper address.  He called it his second home and then said he needed it to be close to his job.  Then it turned out that he was an MP and Jeremy got very angry and said "You're just a fraudster aren't you?" To which the other man said "Certainly not!" and "Please get your facts straight, I was entitled to it." Then Jeremy said that he was clearly an opportunist.  The first man was struggling to answer the questions which were being spat at him like bullets from a spitfire until he could answer no more.  At the end of the interview Jeremy politely thanked him for coming to the studio and I imagined he left with his tail stuck firmly between his legs.

It was then that I heard a familiar theme tune.  It was the Archers!  I could not believe my ears.  Like a cockroach after a nuclear war it had survived all of this time.  The Bull was still there and so were the Grundy's but it now had a woman with a broad Geordie accent and an Irish chef who were having an argument about organic food. Not a country yokel in sight!

...it was not young Billy Boulton
I switched the radio off and decided that my quest for the Big Society was not to be found here either.  I didn't hear any 'celebrating' and there was definitely no 'embracing' going on, everything was very angry.  The answers had to lie somewhere else and it was then that I heard a knock at the front door.  I looked through the window and was relieved to see that it was not young Billy Boulton instead a small figure wearing a yellow hat stood on the step.  I went to investigate.

"Hello," he said "I'm campaigning on behalf of the Liberal Democrats.  Have you got five minutes?"

At last I thought, now I can get some honest answers about the Big Society.  So I invited him in...

This is Dick Everyman signing out...

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