A Negative Discount Rate for Social Innovation? »

A Negative Discount Rate for Social Innovation?

The beauty and the beast of the problem when it comes to evaluating social innovation is that the benefits tend to take the form of reducing the need for future remedial public spending.  It’s often called ‘preventative’ for that reason.  For example, setting up a youth timebank might reduce (or prevent) the need for future […]

The Public is Wrong… more Power to the People! »

The Public is Wrong… more Power to the People!

Prisons are like holiday camps; benefit claimants are mostly lazy scroungers; and, on the other hand, zero hours contracts are nothing but a return to exploitative Victorian labour conditions?  All views widely held and, as it turns out, wrong.  They – along with misconceptions about everything from immigration to the health service – are often […]

Left, Right… or Nasty? »

Left, Right… or Nasty?

Andrew Mitchell MP – when he swore at the police’, it fitted with the popular idea of the ‘Nasty Party’. The real divide in politics isn’t left or right, it’s whether you like people or not.  The reason the  ‘Nasty Party’ tag has stuck so long to the Conservatives is that it accurately sums up […]

Politics is Bust. Time for some Democracy? »

Politics is Bust. Time for some Democracy?

UK politics is bust?  So it might seem.  Fewer than 1 in 100 of us belong to a political party (the figure was 10% in the 1950s).  Parties have grown even more despicably dependent on ‘donors’ – a polite word for the people who purchase power and influence from them.  No government, since 1945, has […]

Social Enterprise Watch? »

Social Enterprise Watch?

Who isn’t a social entrepreneur these days?  My inbox just took delivery of an email about Healthwatch Birmingham claiming it is a ‘groundbreaking independent social enterprise’.  I’m confused… because as far as I know, Healthwatch is the body set up the Health and Social Care Bill 2012 to act as ‘the new consumer champion for […]

Time to
Defend Improve Public Services!

Time to <br/><strike>Defend</strike> Improve Public Services!

Appalled by the effect of cuts on your community?  But you want to improve public services, not defend them?  I was speaking to one of Birmingham’s genuine social entrepreneurs yesterday.  He was telling me about his experience of making his voice heard in relation to cuts in public services. The cuts are having a real […]

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