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Sticking up for the little guys...

Saturday, 9 April 2011

7. Dick and the Beanstalk

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

The little guy was very friendly and seemed like someone I could relate to, plus like me he enjoyed his tea weak with no sugar, so we already had something in common.  I decided that I would leap straight in and ask him about the Big Society.

He spluttered into his teacup
"Ah," he said "The Big Society, a lot of people have been asking me about that."  He took a sip of tea before continuing.  "The Big Society was invented by our esteemed leader in answer to all the previous failings in society."
"Wow," I said "That's a biggy, so he's going to invest lots of money into society to make it better."
He spluttered into his teacup, then composing himself again he said "Er, no. Not exactly."
I was confused.  "I was always taught that to get something out of something else you had to invest in it."  I waited for his answer.

He studied his cup long and hard as if the answer would come floating to the top.
"It's not about money."  He shuffled uncomfortably
"How can you invest then if it's not about money?"
"It's about people investing more of their time and energy into things that the government previously invested their time, money and energy into."
His logic defied me. "How can they do that if they are at work?"
"They'll volunteer, won't they?  They'll take care of the sick and the elderly." There was frustration in his voice and I started to dislike him a little.
"You're not telling me anything about the Big Society, you're just saying people are going to volunteer all over the place after they've been at work all day.  They are going to be too knackered."
He frowned.  "The Big Society is not just about volunteering, it was dreamed up by a man of great vision a giant in society."
"I'm unemployed, how's he going to help me?" I decided to get down to brass tacks.
"You can move somewhere else to find work, the Big Society will make people more socially mobile."
"Like Dick Whittington?"  My retort seemd to throw him.
"Yes, if you like, like Dick Whittington."
"So I can walk to London with my mangy cat and seek my fortune?"
He stood up.  "If you are going to be sarcastic I'm leaving."
"Good," I said "and you can tell your giant I don't want paying in beans either, some of us need to earn a living!  We can't spend all day delivering picnic baskets to other people's grandma's."
He left without finishing his tea.

"Bravo! Bravo!"
A loud shout came from the corner of the kitchen.  It was the Eggheads
"Bravo! Bravo! Well done Dick!"  
I thanked them for their support but they could see I still hadn't solved the puzzle of the Big Society.
"Where do I go from here?" I said, shaking my head.
They muttered between themselves.  "Dick, in order to answer your question we need more eggs."
"I'm sorry Eggheads I don't understand"
"We have only been operating on a third of our thinking capacity.  Four of us have no Eggs."
They were right, only two of them had any eggs.  "Leave it to me," I said "I will go out and find some."
With their extra thinking power the Eggheads would surely answer the riddle of the Big Society.
"And Dick," they said "make sure they are free range."

This is Dick Everyman signing out...

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