Justice: Fairness And The Big Society

OU on the BBC: Justice: Fairness And The Big Society – OpenLearn – Open University.

About the brilliantly led debate on BBC 4 on Fairness and The Big Society

Professor Michael Sandel, as a friendly observer of British Politics, finished by saying he was excited that the British were having the debate about fairness (implying the cuts in public spending and the campaigns against them, and the rhetoric of The Big Society versus the implementation of it and the criticism of this).  He said it was a once-in-a-generation moment.

It was very encouraging to me when he brought out that there is an “underground” consensus that there IS something between the state and the market that needs renewing; though the definition of this “civic engagement” (as he called it, trying to be politically neutral), the vision of what it looks like and how it should be renewed, differs.

Of course, he also brought out that most people are cynical about Cameron’s Big Society (as am I).

The question I’m left asking, is whether the debate we’re having (which he identified) will go anywhere.  The two sides seem very unlikely to be able to listen to each other.  And it seems unrealistic to think that the Government will ever change direction as a result of this “debate”.

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