Just moments ago I received an email from the chief exec at BVSC, Brian Carr, in which he said, “No one wants to be the horse’s backside.” At first I thought this referred to a telephone conversation we had had just a few minutes earlier. In which, I hasten to add, I thought I had been talking perfect sense.
I was relieved to find it a reference instead to this fascinating speech by Greg Clarke, minister for decentralisation.
This speech probably says more about the political principles underpinning the big society idea and how we should expect to see it implemented than anything else I have so far read.
The coalition government is rewriting the public sector rule book at a furious rate. And what I find most interesting, is that anything that stands in the way of this — such as the legacy of Thatcherite command-and-control economic and social engineering — is also being retrospectively rewritten. A new ideology is being hammered out in front of our eyes. Whether this new ideology is being forged on the anvil of truth, or thrown together hurriedly from whatever old scrap comes to hand is for you to decide. But yet again, it is a quite brilliant speech — clear, focused and thought-provoking.