Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Power To The People

When a government talks about decentralising or others chant “Power to the people” or we assume that by devolving administration or powers of decision to localities that there will be the people who want to and will take on this work.

Over the last three decades in the UK we have seen the atrophy of the major political parties and the others might have numbers of subscribers there can still be a dearth of those who want to be active.

One way or another with all the complexities of our personal lives these days together with all the techie gear to entertain us and grab our attention for the young it is hard to get interested or started and for the older there really are other, better or worse, things to do.

Essentially, these leaves us with either those wanting to push themselves forward or who see something for themselves there and those with long standing family connections or with a belief in one thing or another.

As you look around the UK now compared to the past there is a dearth of voluntary work being done together with those societies etc. still functioning they do so with many fewer members and a preponderance of older people.

Recent government has not helped by creating higher hurdles for reasons of health and safety, complex employment laws, who can do what when, who is liable for what and how and the need generally to seek formal and expensive permission to do many things.

One of the most striking things is with extended education together with more strictly controlled and more expensive voluntary work so few young people are able actually to work at something, organise it, put together initiatives and the rest without embroiling themselves with complex bureaucracy.

In any case the schools they attend today and the impact of the media notions of lifestyle and the rest impact on the images of what a young person should be and it is not someone doing much for others.

At the age of 17 or so did I and my friends really hire halls, book the bands, organise the cloakrooms and the catering and take care of the money?

Meanwhile in other places they cannot find people to take on the business of local government:

Are we going the way of Bhutan or is it already worse?

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