VitalSpark:Coalition Blog

Posted: 20 May 2010, in Blog

I agree with Nick. Nick Clegg wants our advice on what laws should be repealed.

I’m all for power to the people but the people can be a right scunner sometimes. What we can anticipate is that the agenda for these changes will be dominated by two diametrically opposed camps. On one hand we will have the right wing press and the bampots of the libertarian right. On the other will be the liberal elites and the machinery of the nanny state. I think we will also see regional, urban and rural differences in what matters to people. For example, metropolitan sophisticated Londoners, Teuchters, Policepersons, manufacturers, social workers, publicans and the good people of Onthank – currently starring on BBC TV. Discuss what they could agree on.

Let’s be honest here. The practicalities of removing control from Whitehall, the  various devolution settlements in the UK, the nature of politics itself, spin, the resistance of civil servants and trade unions, local government opposition and the demands of lobby and pressure groups will make this one helluva task – assuming our Deputy PM wants meaningful change.

If you want a Roman Circus, I imagine immigration, welfare entitlement, crime and punishment, and the protections currently enjoyed by feral youth, terrorists, bankers, single parents, gypsies and drug addicts et al should get the Daily Mail all of a froth. Chuck in motoring costs and penalties if you want additional fun.

So could social entrepreneurs create a large scale consensus on what they want to see abolished? I think that is doubtful.  This is because of the double/triple bottom line nature and emphases of our work and the personal preferences and politics of individual social entrepreneurs.

So what next?

Our coalition leadership should be Herculean. They should focus on two changes and present them to us as suggested policies for promoting change to government. One should be to do with freedom of the individual and the other should be about social enterprise itself.

My suggestions are that we should repeal petty H&S and insurance legislation that prohibits independent organisation of extra curricular school activities. Kids need this badly– especially the obese and the excluded ones.

The second is that we should radically alter the tax treatment of all forms of social enterprise. As social entrepreneurs, we are left to sort out the messes of State and Market failure.  Therefore, we should have a new set of organisational and activity based tax exemptions on income, property and business profit that to all extents and purposes remove us from those parts of the tax system. What is your advice for Nick?