What’s so bad about the Big Society?

The idea of volunteering our free time to help the more vulnerable members of society is quite challenging to many people. Britain’s game show hosts, comedians and BBC breakfast show hosts seem desperately worried that it will damage the moral fabric of the country.

Presumably every hour wasted on the community is billable time that could have been more profitably spent on doing voice- overs for building societies, banks or dodgy insurance companies. What a joy it must be to be young and rich and left wing!

They do have a point, however. Maintaining community spirit is quite a labour intensive process. It’s a real slog getting round to see all the people you need to keep a friendly eye on.

Oddly enough, the fogeys are leading the way in this respect. The Isle of Wight isn’t traditionally regarded as one of the hot beds of technology innovation, but the deployment of community monitored TV could help Age Concern run its Good Neighbours scheme far more efficiently.

Residents in Cowes and East Cowes, who give up their time to keep a watchful eye on their elderly neighbours, could achieve all their routine checks in a fraction of the time. This would free them up for more of the ‘value added’ consultancy work, such as changing light bulbs, taking out rubbish or even writing official letters for their elderly constituents.

They could also offer ‘just in time’ online services, using the cameras. Such as dealing with aggressive door to door conmen, who target OAPs with their bamboozling schemes about how they could save money by switching to a new gas or electricity supplier. As advertised by some trendy left wing TV comic.