It’s been a big week for the Government. For years, we’ve been talking in the Conservative Party about how we need to build a stronger, bigger and more responsible society. This week we really began to make those ideas a reality.
It began on Monday when David Cameron gave a speech in Liverpool to an audience of local community groups, charities and community leaders. He made it clear how we’re going to bring about one of the biggest and most dramatic redistributions of power
For decades, there’s been a basic assumption at the heart of government that the way to improve things was to micromanage from the centre, from Westminster. With David’s speech, we’ve banished that idea to history. If we want real long-term change, we need people to come together and work together – because government can’t solve all our problems on its own.
Then yesterday we announced our plan for National Citizen Service. This is something which is incredibly important for me. There’s a massive waste of talent and potential in this country. Young people are as passionate and idealistic as they’ve ever been. But too many teenagers appear lost and feel their lives lack shape and direction.
Our new, non-military, non-compulsory National Citizen Service will help change this. It will mix young people from different backgrounds. It will teach them about social responsibility. And it’s going to inspire a whole new generation of young people to appreciate what they can achieve.
And underlying all these changes are some very clear Conservative beliefs. That local people, not distant bureaucrats, know best how to run their communities. That decisions are best when they are taken locally. That if you give people more power, they will behave more responsibly. And that government can’t solve all our problems on its own.
The Big Society is a huge culture change from Labour’s top-down, controlling government. It’s about people being free and powerful enough to help themselves and their own communities. And that’s how together we can build a better country.