I must say I'm enjoying all this "Big Society" malarkey. The debate about what in the hell it means, the irony of Liverpool City Council complaining it doesn't have to fund its involvement (which is the point, after all), the claims that volunteering is in decline, the claims that volunteering is doing just fine.
Wavy Dave must be pleased that it's all travelling in the right direction.
Because the big idea in the "Big Society", if there is one, is really for the Tories to make political capital out of a number of trends that have been building and converging throughout the past decade. They know that faith in our institutions has been in decline, that various facilitators are enabling us to personalise retailing, entertainment, travel, finance, politics and now public services. They know that everyone (except investment bank executives) is focused on sustainability and how to achieve more with less. They know these trends are not going to ebb away any time soon.
But who cares if the Tories try to claim the credit? That's politics. I'm all for having more Big Society debates. The more we focus on the problems of how to deliver public services more cost-effectively and efficiently, the better.