2 months ago, in ‘Liberal Conservatives’: New Politics?, I wrote about my hopes that the Conservative/Liberal Democrat Coalition might indeed be the start of the ‘new politics’ Nick Clegg says he’s always believed in. I talked about the need for 2nd Tier thinking in Government to take us beyond repeating the same old mistakes, ideological conflicts and embezzlement of the public purse.
A month on I’ve yet to see real signs of 2nd Tier thinking in anything the new Government does.
Yes, as Henry Porter wrote in last Sunday’s Observer (11 July), they’ve made a good start. “…the coalition has moved with degrees of fair mindedness and deliberation that are refreshing. To be sure, there have been blunders, like Michael Gove’s botched announcement on scrapping new schools, but it surely is right to suggest that doctors be put in charge of spending GPs’ £80bn budget, to remove the target culture from the health service and provide 24-hour cover. The withdrawal from Sangin and setting a deadline for ending combat in Afghanistan is welcome, as is the review of defence needs and spending. For once, our relations with the world appear to be conducted by grown-ups without displays of fawning or self-importance…..In two months, the coalition has announced the ending of the wasteful and, as it turns out, dangerously insecure children’s database, ContactPoint, as well as the ID card scheme. Immigration minister Damian Green put an end to the inhumane detention of thousands of children belonging to asylum seekers. Theresa May has agreed to examine the way the police are collecting and storing photographs and data about legitimate protesters, like 85-year-old peace campaigner John Catt who was classified as a “domestic extremist. She has also said that the automatic number plate recognition system that tracks and records 10 million vehicle journey per day will be placed under statutory regulation and scrutinised for the first time. CCTV cameras used to watch Muslims in Birmingham have been disabled. The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act terror laws, used by councils to spy on members of the public, are to be reserved for counterterror operations. And in the last week the home secretary suspended section 44 of the Terrorism Act which allowed police to stop and search 250,000 innocent people last year alone, and [David] Cameron announced details of a full judicial inquiry into allegations that British intelligence officers were involved in the torture of terror suspects.”
As Porter says, the “Coalition is popular” – and that may, in part at least, why there has been so little reaction against the massive cuts the Government is going to make – and is already making – in the public sector. (RMT leader Bob Crow’s call for a general strike is, at this stage at least, a very lone voice.) The Treasury’s demand, ‘leaked’ from the Cabinet meeting of 1 July, for most Cabinet ministers to prepare plans for cutting their budgets by 40% is, as some commentators have suggested, almost certainly scaremongering. That way, the real depth of the coming cuts – predicted to average out at 25% – will seem nothing like so bad.
While, as Henry Porter points out, the new government are already implementing a number of new policies, their ‘big idea’ undoubtedly is cutting the deficit; and it will certainly be the defining policy of the Coalition’s first few years in power.
Though I think the developing policy on Afghanistan is muddled and short-sighted – see Why we must win in Afghanistan – much else the Coalition is doing seems headed in the right direction. Even the cuts.
We all knew there would be cuts. We’ve been told since before Christmas that there would have to be cuts; and Labour aren’t denying that they were edging towards the 20% figure for cuts in their own proposals. (Though Labour almost definitely weren’t planning to impose the cuts as hurriedly as Chancellor George Osborne intends.)
So why am I casting doubts on the quality of thinking in the new government?
Essentially, it’s because I’ve yet to see a vision being articulated.
Cameron & Clegg, in their co-written article for the Daily Telegraph (12 July) say they “…want to change our country for the better. We want to see the best schools open to the poorest children, a first-class NHS there for everyone, streets that are safe, families that are stable and communities that are strong.” That’s hardly a vision since it’s pretty much everything every politician tells the voters. Nor is a key strategy – that of slimming down and decentralising government – a vision.
When I say ‘vision’, I mean a view of how society should be.
The need for a vision
Margaret Thatcher, for example, had a clear vision based on the philosophy of meritocracy. It’s all too easy to see Thatcher as being about depriving unprofitable heavy industries of state subsidies or busting the unions or deregulating the money markets. Rather they were key strategies to free up individuals to create and enjoy wealth. ‘Thatcherism’ was such a success that Tony Blair carried many aspects of it over into the early years of his government, with the British being the second richest people on the planet (based on gross national income per head) by 2006 (World Bank, 2007).
However, it was far from being a 2nd Tier philosophy since it left substantial communities in Wales, the Midlands, the North of England and Scotland devastated, with a consequent raft of social problems – including large scale unemployment amongst the indigenous working classes, many house repossessions, spiraling divorce rates, substantial alcohol and drug abuse and an explosion in small-scale crime (drug dealing, prostitution, burglary, car theft and mugging, etc).
In the early days Blair talked from time to time of creating a ‘decent society’ but there was never any real elaboration of what he meant. So Britain drifted on, the majority reaping the rewards of Blair’s neo-Thatcherism while a substantial minority got lost in the sprawling urban sink estates typified so well in the Shameless TV programme. (See: Underclass: the Excreta of Capitalism.)
Now a great many more of us are faced with ‘sinking’. The newly-created Office of Budget Responsibility anticipates 600,000 jobs will be lost in the public sector over the next 6 years. Meanwhile leaked Treasury figures anticipate more than 700,000 private sector jobs will go in the same time period. When confronted by Labour’s acting leader, Harriet Harman, about these figures at Prime Minister’s Questions on 30 June, Cameron stated that employment would rise during the life of the Coalition…but he didn’t say how.
The remarkable Coalition is enjoying a remarkable ‘honeymoon period’ with the voters (in spite of some venomous attempts in certain parts of the media to hurry them towards divorce). Partly that’s because people are ready for something different from the party-centric conflicts of the past. Partly it’s because Dave ‘n’ Nick actually do seem to enjoy a genuine rapport. Indeed much of the Government seems infused with bonhomie – even George Osborne and his Lib Dem Chief Secretary Danny Alexander seem capable of singing from the proverbial ‘same hymn sheet’!
But bonhomie isn’t going to go very far when people are losing their jobs and their homes and seeing their standard of living plummet – and there seems little or no hope of things getting significantly better. The truly scary thing about Osborne’s ‘cuts budget’ is that there’s almost nothing in it to stimulate economic growth.
On 30 June Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development’s chief economist John Philpott told BBC News: “The government thinks that just by …tackling the deficit, there will be a vent for growth because the prospects for investments and exports will be greater. If you look at both demand in the UK economy and more globally, there is a question mark over that and if that doesn’t pay off then we’re going to have a much weaker employment outlook.”
If the economy fails to grow sufficiently in the short-to-medium term to offset the social sinking caused by the cuts in the immediate-to-short-term, we risk becoming a different kind of Britain.
Thatcher – love her or loathe her! – had a pretty clear vision of the kind of Britain she wanted us to become. So what kind of Britain do Cameron and Clegg want us to become? Do they know? And, if they do, when are they going to tell us?
You simply cannot take 25% out of the public economy in anything but the very shortest term and not create massive change.
So where do we start? (After all, Clegg has promised widespread consultation over how and where to apply the cuts….)
Maybe you’re OK with having to take your own recycling to the council tip; and having your domestic rubbish collected only every other week would be acceptable…?
Getting the potholes in your road filled in only every other Spring…?
Class sizes of 35-plus and out-of-date textbooks instead of broadband-connected PCs in schools…?
How many police officers are we prepared to lose…? (According to The Guardian’s Haroon Siddique, former chief constable Tim Brain estimates that between 11,500 and 60,000 police officer, civilian staff and community support officer posts will be lost by 2015.)
According to Justice Secretary Ken Clarke, speaking on Tuesday evening (13 July) to judges at their annual Mansion House Dinner, the fall in recorded crime during the 1990s may have been precipitated by economic growth, high employment levels and rising living standards rather than imprisoning criminals.
If Clarke is right, then will the reverse prove true when we add another 1.5 million to the unemployed tally, some of whom will be police officers?
Having still not cleaned up fully the ‘human waste’ from Thatcher’s era, are we now going to add massively to the ‘human rubbish tip’?
Just what do you do with 3 million people with no jobs and few prospects, slashed to the bare bones benefits, a still dwindling jobs market and many losing their homes…? Faced with similar crises, Margaret Thatcher, the most unpopular prime minister since the end of World War II, took us into another war – the Falklands – from which she emerged victorious and untouchable for another 8 years, the public behind her so much she was able to batter the miners almost with impunity.
What will Cameron and Clegg do to reverse their fortunes when, as is all but inevitable once people really start to suffer, their popularity dwindles? (Only yesterday a supermarket till assistant told me she wanted “that new prime minister shot because he took away my second baby’s child benefit!”)
What kind of Britain will we become?
The challenges Britain faces as the cuts bite are more than simply coping with lower standards of living, mass unemployment, schools troubled more than ever and a likely substantial rise in small-scale crime – as if they weren’t daunting enough! We actually face a major change at vMEMETIC level in societal values.
Since the late 1960s much of the political agenda in Britain (and in the rest of the Western world) has been driven by the GREEN vMEME. Anti-racism, feminism, health & safety, rights for disabled people, employment rights, anti-ageism, human rights…to some degree or other, they’re all the creation of the GREEN vMEME. In its drive for egalitarianism, GREEN will even use positive discrimination to equal the playing field for those who are disadvantaged.
The problem is that GREEN is expensive. Where now will come the money for ramps for wheelchair access in buildings that weren’t built with the disabled in mind? Community Care is more costly than institutional care – so how long before the old mental asylums are reopened and people with mental health problems requiring supervision are herded back into them? How will the Government be able to justify the Equality & Human Rights Commission when the jobless are marching through central London?
One of the things Tony Blair probably was grasping for in his inarticulation of the ‘decent society’ was that we treat each other as equals and with respect and that we care for the less fortunate.
Treating someone with respect might be hard when they got the only job available and you didn’t – especially if your PURPLE clocks that they’re not of your ethnicity and, therefore, not of your tribe. (Just watch the popularity of the BNP grow among the white working class jobless needing someone to blame! Just watch as more Muslims become more devout in the desire for God to right the wrongs white secular society does to them!)
Charities can be expected to take on some of the support for the disadvantaged but charities depend on donations and it’s hard to donate when your company can’t pay its suppliers (corporate donations) or you’ve not worked in a year (individual donations).
With little nurturing of ORANGE’s wealth creating tendencies, much of the culture of this country will go down the Spiral, settling in PURPLE and RED. Expect increases in racial tension, crime and religious observance (of all kinds).
To some extent, it’s unavoidable. Whether from Osborne’s head-on dive into austerity measures or Alistair Darling’s slightly more measured approach, the cuts have to happen. However, the transition to a different kind of Britain they will bring can be managed and some of the more severe effects ameliorated – especially if there is understanding and management of shifts in values from 2nd Tierperspectives.
But, for that to happen, Cameron and Clegg have got to develop and then share the vision.
It is, of course, a little unrealistic to expect 2 men who were political opponents 12 weeks ago to get into each other’s heads so much in such a short space of time that they can develop a vision they can sell both to the public at large and their 2 respective parties. But, if we are not to slide unthinkingly into the kind of Britain many of us won’t want, then Cameron and Clegg have to get to work pretty damn fast.
I wrote in ‘Liberal Conservatives’ about dissonance arising from the challenges in holding the Coalition together possibly being the factor to drive them into 2nd Tier thinking. Now, as we face the reality of the cuts, it’s clear that there’s going to be far greater dissonance from far more sources than most people realised. It’s also patently clear that the need for 2nd Tier thinking in our leadership is far more urgent than I realised 2 months ago.
I’m still intrigued and excited by the Cameron-Clegg Coalition and still think it presents potent opportunities for real change in the way we do politics…but, guys, we need real vision very quickly.
Wednesday, January 26th 2011 at 06:04
Interesting this week that outgoing CBI director general Sir Richard Lambert has criticised the Government harshly for a lack of vision about what the economy should become…
“It’s failed to articulate in big picture terms its vision of what the UK economy might become under its stewardship. And it’s taken a series of policy initiatives for political reasons, apparently careless of the damage they might do to business and to job creation…. The growth White Paper that was expected last autumn never materialised, and the impression was given that there simply weren’t enough good ideas around to justify such a publication.”
There could hardly be a more damning critique. Yes, the Government’s doing bits and pieces in and amongst the cuts – which, in principle, Lambeert supports – but, beyond the still ill-defined ‘Big Society’ idea, grand vision seems to be seriously lacking.
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 22:48
Yes I too also thought that you really pulled the threads of this sprawling conversations well, joining the dots, ‘cherrypicking’ the important elements and unpacking the sub-text with consummate skill.
Forgive me if i am repeating whats been said but it bears repeating that our Job is ‘shaping’ this debate, that the way a ‘Big Society’ model can emerge from implicate reality is manifestó: many ways to skin a cat! Whats the model that would be most empowering, effective and fun, Who Cares Wins? I’m thinking of that recent conversation about different styles of councils delivering services and at the time, y’all may remembre it resolved into two polarities: the ‘EasyJet’ no frills model (ORANGE?) vs the ‘John Lewes’ mutualismo cooperative model (GREEN?) both could deliver ‘Big Society’ but obviously both would feel very different. The John Lewes Model would seem to be the better fit?
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 18:54
Yes it’s exciting, yes Rachel Ian and I at CHE-UK have started to talk together about it today and yes it is what we are here for / passionate about / preparing the last 12 months for the right timing…..)….Just give us a couple of days.
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 18:02
I love the idea of a graphic. Language is powerful. I suggest we move away from mechanistic language and replace it with language that reflects movement, outcome, or imagery (e.g.,devolving/evolving or siloed/unified system).
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 14:24
> Yeah let them play catch up.
> Very exciting, or is that just me????
I feel pretty excited too 🙂
Great ideas re Rory Stewart etc! (Getting in with a future PM is certainly some good long-term thinking 😉 )
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 14:12
Carpe Diem Matthew, Seize the Day!
Well CHE-UK would be crazy to miss this chance I’d say, but let’s hear from them.
Yeah EnlightenNext, British SD people, and maybe TED Oxford people, saw an article the other day saying there is a thirst for ideas right now, that the popular House show is actually about Epistemology, so that would fit neatly into that, if Don comes on board, others will surely follow? Rory Stewart might be good to approach, he’s the MP for one of the Vanguard Projects, and as we know a polymath kinda guy; Renaissance Man.
A Collaborative Big|Broken Society Grid sounds very sexy, really. Set it up let’s get started whilst the gumption is flowin’. There’s nothing to lose, if nothing else good practice for future projects!
Yeah let them play catch up.
Very exciting, or is that just me????
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 13:13
If CHE-UK decide to move into the kind of areas we’ve been talking about, then I’ll definitely try to find time to set up such a dashboard to help build momentum.
It’s fairly quick to do something basic – though to do really well (with all the right RSS feeds etc) takes a bit longer…
I can’t actually remember what’s happening in the autumn, other than hopefully Don’s around.
Maybe we need to rope in the EnlightenNext folks, and the 100 people who attended that British values SD event with Don that I helped organise, and the people who attended the follow-up.
Maybe the window of opportunity is indeed right now, before the Coalition’s honeymoon is entirely over…
Any mileage in working (via a collaborative Google doc?) on a Broken Society – Big Society grid do you think Joty?
‘Broken Society’ – ‘Big Society’
And then we populate the grid with the UK’s ‘Broken Society’ problems, and ‘Big Society’ solutions up and down the spiral.
So people get to see the ‘big picture’ of the spiral, of how Red can be *both* unhealthy and healthy.
Graphically, I guess we need to somehow show that the flow gets broken and fragmented between the values rows in the left column, and becomes fuller and freer and continuous in the right column.
Everyone is saying that the Big Society thing is too vague and unclear for people.
**Well, maybe we need to give them something clear: “the health of the whole Spiral”!**
And then Cameron and Philip Blond can play catch up!
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 12:29
Great stuff love what you are saying Matthew, so are you able to set The Dashboard up, sooner The better. John Findlay, CEO pf The National Association of Local Councils felt we have short lived window of opportunity to influence The politicians; in which case maybe we should really push for The autumn Event!
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 12:13
I had another thought….
Maybe the document – or webpage? I’m suggesting we try to produce should revolve around a simple two column table graphic.
One column would say: ‘Broken Society’ and the other ‘Big Society’.
The unhealthy left column would show the unhealthy broken flow and negative outcomes (ie lots of things we know people worry about), the right column would show the healthy flow and positive outcomes – including lots of stuff to keep Lib-Dems, Tories and Labour happy!
I don’t know how many values rows we’d include – using all 7 or 8 might be too complicated.
I’m not even sure if a simple page or two should outline the SD model and colours or not…
But it certainly ought to cover: impulsive/predatory, traditional/conventional, achiever, communitarian/sensitive and then Yellow.
The Broken Society issues should be, at least, all the things Cameron mentions – check his speeches….
Probably includes things like anti-social behaviour, gangs, fatherlessness, drugs, inequality (?) etc.
Big Society column includes current policies to deal with them – if they exist or even ones that we would suggest, based on SD. (If it was a webpage, we could hotlink to all kinds of valuable resources from this grid).
Right, I think it’s time I stopped having all these speculative ideas…
By the way, a book called The Spirit Level has become something of a holy grail on the Left – in its justifications for egalitarian redistribution and all the things the Left always wants to do. (The book seems to argue that all social ills are caused by inequality and disappear in equal societies).
The RSA (London) has a fascinating-looking event at lunchtime on Thursday, bringing together the authors and some critics:
They often make the video of the events available.
Prof Peter Saunders is one of the panellists and has done some very iconoclastic reports lately, another was on social mobility.
He’s great at undermining the current received wisdom on such areas. I certainly suspect that he’s right that the Left’s blank slate/egalitarian/social engineering ethos isn’t the answer to any of our problems…
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 12:05
The BNP failed
> to produced anything in the election.
I’d be a bit careful of viewing them as a spend force – didn’t their vote go up, overall?
And when you combine them with UKIP, that other English something or other – well, it’s probably quite a lot of people.
The Islamist extreme, while there are
> no doubt still some cells operating who may produce something nasty at any
> time, don’t seem to be a major threat.
Didn’t MI5 say they were monitoring some rather large number of Islamist plots, at any one time.
Thank god most of them don’t succeed – and we don’t see another active SD person, like Colin Morley, killed.
But this doesn’t mean they aren’t there – just that we’re more competent than them.
> I have been reading more of Blond. Not enough yet to be sure of his
> consistency, but beginning to believe that he might well be a second tier
> thinker. He certainly seems to speak from multiple Vmemes. He has
> achieved major exposure, and by coming from outside of all the political
> parties seems to be getting more influence. His background is as an
> academic in theology and philosophy and his think-tank includes Prof. Roger
> Steare, who developed a one of the leading psychometric tests for ethical
What’s Prof Steare’s test called?
Actually, wait a sec – I had a go at some test that I think I found on the Res Publica site. I guess it must’ve been Steare related.
> Don, you might just be right about Britain being able to produce
Just seeing that a coalition can work, might have major psychological effect.
I encourage others to read the http://www.respublica.org.uk
And get commenting on their Disraeli room blog, as I have been.
Start influencing things!
Though I guess we shouldn’t all go into SD monologue mode. I try to avoid that when I comment on Matthew Taylor’s blog, but sometimes lapse into didactic mode… 😉
– both to form their own views and to see what implications Blond’s
> thinking might have for the US and elsewhere. I believe that David Brooks
> picked up on him recently – which may not be a recommendation, but could
> signal the start of wider transatlantic influence.
Everyone is beginning to realise that he was the guy behind the ‘Big Society’, I think.
His new think tank has been a bit success, as far as I can tell…
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 11:38
> The combination of coalition and “Big Society” conversation indicates that
> the UK is having a leading-edge moment.
Sounds a bit like a ‘senior moment’ 😉
Whatever else is happening, the
> mould is cracking. Alleluyah. Blond and others are getting off the
> simple Tory vs Socialist stereotypes. Liberals (who have been doing that
> for a long time) are now inside the tent.
I’m personally unconvinced that the Lib-Dems are transpartisan and breaking the mould. (Except in things like their Orange Book – which were less Green that usual).
They have always bought into to the big state/welfare state myths as heavily as much of Labour, I tend to think.
The Purple/Red dependency culture (underclass) is one of the biggest blockages to the shift into Blue – and health unfolding generally, I believe.
My personal view after too much exposure to Blond and the Daily Mail 😉 is that the anti-family/anti-marriage attitude of large parts of the political/media class is also blocking the shift into Blue, and beyond, for many people – notably the less well off. (Eg the notorious ‘Couple’s penalty’ of diminished income when you marry).
Along with Blond, we need to be following the work of Labour’s Frank Field MP – who says the kind of things things that the more PC liberals and Labourites never make. And he backs up his views (on the family, on immigration etc) with evidence – and widely-respected integrity.
For that reason he’s now part of the Coalition, and is tasked with thinking the unthinkable about welfare (again?), I think.
He did this before, for Labour, but they ignored the results.
I also think that the feminisation, children’s rights and anti-sport ethos in schools has damaged the spiral. Again, that’s a ‘conservative’ view – but I think it’s possibly right to be bringing back competitive sports into schools, as the Coalition have said they will.
For me, this enables the flow from Red to Blue (and eventually to the Green stuff that we all like).
IMHO the ‘Broken Society’ is partly about the Purple/Red zones being cut off from reaching Blue.
Much of it by well-meaning Green, with it ‘Rescuer’ complex about Red (that keeps it stuck) and hatred of Blue.
Spiral Dynamics has the possibility to fit the Broken Society and the Big Society and a whole bunch of Coalition policies into a spiral context **which would actually show how this all eventually will enable Green** (which is what the Lib-Dems want).
No-one has clearly provided this context and if we did this well, it could make a real difference.
It could be very reassuring for people on the left!
(Maslow too felt that seemingly conservative policies, are the necessary foundation for an eventual decentralised society organised around a sort of philosophical anarchism!)
I was at a big internal Lib-Dem dinner event with liberal leader Clegg et al a few weeks ago – and was struck by how vulnerable, fragmented and weakened the Lib Dems seem to feel as a party. Not what I expected.
An SD vision could actually help keep their party together?!
Yes there is some kind of
> opportunity emerging. Any thought that we can take over this conversation
> would be naïve and very arrogant, but we could influence it. But I think
> that we may need to be sure we have our own act together first.
Just get together a nice paper that puts Big Society/Broken Society together in the context of SD – and then we can all refer people to that, whenever we comment on the web etc.
> Our own conversation and ideas will need to reach second tier with some
> consistency if we are to facilitate others.
For me, antipathy to the Tories and a predisposition towards the LibDems or Labour shows a lack of Second Tier thinking which will be very hard for most UK SD people to overcome.
When Wilber said he’d vote for Bush – years back it was not because he loved Bush, but because that was what the Spiral needed, at that moment.
Most people don’t seem to be that disidentified from their own political views to make a move like this.
We (UK) have a number of
> people who are trained in SDi theory and a few who are actively using it.
> We have very few who know about the Organisational Design aspects. Don has
> never done an OD Level 2 training in the UK and we were already discussing
> the possibility of doing this for October 8-10th. Let me know off-list if
> you are interested. This is just the basics of what is needed to lead
> conversations about z templates etc.
I did an SD I and SD II training, but we never got into Z templates, I don’t think and I certainly haven’t a clue about how to use them.
> The population COG here is still Orange, with a Green strand in social
> policy and aspiration (Health and welfare). A year ago Lynne Sedgmore, our
> “Whitehall insider” described not just the government but the civil service
> as being very Blue-Orange, with a lot of Red infighting.
I’d love to know where the Yellow is, in the civil service. Also, the language of much of the civil service is pretty Green, and people vote Labour or Lib-Dem. Yet the org itself is Blue-Orange. I always find it hard to get my head round that…
> If I am right about our COG, then we will have to go through Green to get to
I think the aim is to knit together a credible SD-based strategy that explains things to the leading-edge policy folks. That’s the audience not the UK population as a whole. Those policy people, and leaders, are Orange/Green (a bit Yellow at times?).
The policy indications from Blond, and possibly even from the
> coalition, suggest a willingness to accept the Green strand. But there is
> considerable tension between it and Orange material aspirations not just
> in individual choice of holiday or having the grandparents at home, but in
> the willingness to combat the big financial and industrial interests which
> keep us in a centralised, globalised model of industrialized food, pharma
> healthcare, centralised bureaucratic standards for EVERYTHING.
The Tories have turned against bureaucratic standards for everything.
I don’t see how, or why, we should undo efficient models of food production or pharmaceutical production. Of course things should be healthy, and sustainable, but such ‘Concerned Ethical’ lingo (to use a Maslow label) is the biggest turn-off for many of the other segments of society.
> big advertising budgets for corporations whose survival depends on our
> continuing to want HD TV’s. There will be big resistance to a rebalance.
> Rebalance is one part of what second tier is about bringing about health
> in all of the first-tier values stages.
We could perhaps start off by coming up with some kind of balance sheet of the problems and blockages in each tier, in the UK – and which policy area relates to it?
This could perhaps be done collaboratively via Google Docs? (An interesting experiment in itself?)
This appears to mean containing
> unhealthy Red, rebuilding healthy Blue (right regulation), constraining
> Orange excess without killing the goose that lays golden eggs, and
> strengthening healthy Green.
Yes – but if we’re talking to the political leaders, we mostly have to use their language, at least to get them interested.
The last two require a big shift of Values.
> The entering Green phase “has already done the peak ORANGE materialism thing
> and found it wanting” (Spiral Dynamics P. 263). Like the child in the back
> seat I have to ask if we are “there” yet? I don’t think so. The COG
> still wants materialism; it has not given up the addiction (and never
> underestimate the power of addictions, as our colleague Ian reminded me
I wonder whether the Center of Gravity (COG) thing is a red herring, in a way.
What we suggest has to make sense for traditional, modern, and Green segments of the population – for different reasons.
To have a vision aimed at a mythical average/COG will miss most people’s motivators perhaps.
> Quoting the close of that chapter “perhaps the most significant marker of
> exiting Green / yellow stage is the dropping away of fear”. I don’t see
> much evidence of that around me.
Maybe you mix with the wrong people? 😉
I think we’ve seen the “overwhelmed by the costs of caring” factor, that calls us to leave Green and come up with Yellow solutions.
I also am convinced that we cannot really
> get out of Orange unless we see substantial undermining of both the
> scientific materialism and the “money-first” view of economics.
We’re never going to ‘get out of Orange’, and that is a misconceived aim, I think.
We just want to make it healthy and balanced and part of the spiral.
Indeed, it is *vital* that we get more people into (Self-Authoring) Orange – as one OECD report made clear.
(We need to refer to such things, to look credible IMHO).
If we aspire to influence the conversation, or to organise
> events designed to contribute in that direction, we will need to be quite
> clear about the message we are bringing.
I’m not convinced of this – I think the message can be quite unclear and multi-faceted. A ‘clumsy’ solution that integrates the previous purer forms (as in Michael Thompson’s Cultural Theory).
This thread of conversation has
> been great. To take it into the public arena in my view requires some
> recognition that we have a really good framework for our questions, that we
> have some excellent toolkits to offer. We can be proud and confident of
> that, but right now we also still have more questions than answers. I am
> very interested to hear what others think the next step needs to look like.
A collaborative Google Doc where we write in the flows and blockages in UK politics/community health – and link them to current policies, or even identify where there need to be policies but currently aren’t.
From this we somehow craft a public paper for the UK political milieu – and seed that everywhere, plus do a big launch. In October. Etc.
Oh, and the Big Launch would be an event with Pat Dade (Maslow guy), Philip Blond, Matthew Taylor, Don Beck, Lynn Sedgemore, Jake Chapman etc.
OK, this is probably too much to pull off, but you get the idea…
Another minor thing we could do is set up a web dashboard to monitor the websites and blogs (and Twitter) where ‘Big Society’ and SD-relevant conversations take place.
That way we could all see in real-time where we could be commenting – feeding into the ongoing UK public conversation, in a way that we don’t really now.
If we set up a ‘Big Society’ dashboard on the web – we could also have a linked Delicious bookmarks account, so that we can instantly add any new webpages, blog posts we come across.
Actually, other orgs/readers might actually find the live dashboard valuable in itself – and we could plug SD events on it!
Such dashboard can be made using ‘Netvibes’, a free tool.
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 09:42
I would like to step back and look at the big picture of the shift we are discussing.
The combination of coalition and “Big Society” conversation indicates that the UK is having a leading-edge moment. Whatever else is happening, the mould is cracking. Alleluyah. Blond and others are getting off the simple Tory vs Socialist stereotypes. Liberals (who have been doing that for a long time) are now inside the tent. Yes there is some kind of opportunity emerging. Any thought that we can take over this conversation would be naïve and very arrogant, but we could influence it. But I think that we may need to be sure we have our own act together first.
Our own conversation and ideas will need to reach second tier with some consistency if we are to facilitate others. We (UK) have a number of people who are trained in SDi theory and a few who are actively using it. We have very few who know about the Organisational Design aspects. Don has never done an OD Level 2 training in the UK and we were already discussing the possibility of doing this for October 8-10th. Let me know off-list if you are interested. This is just the basics of what is needed to lead conversations about z templates etc.
The population COG here is still Orange, with a Green strand in social policy and aspiration (Health and welfare). A year ago Lynne Sedgmore, our “Whitehall insider” described not just the government but the civil service as being very Blue-Orange, with a lot of Red infighting. Just how far and fast have we moved? We have some strong Green public institutions (with Blue foundations). There are some other Green indications in the political correctness language, but with much resistance underneath. Perhaps there is indeed an FS/gt conversation opening up. But the 25% cuts on their own will surely pull us back from Green as far as State activity is concerned. The business mentality that I encounter is still quite hunkered down and the SME’s I am meeting are in survival mode. For individuals, Green is an aspiration – collectively we (the GB public) want hospital care and to have our elders taken off our hands (sorry that’s how it looks to me). But if paying for it conflicts with our annual holiday…….
If I am right about our COG, then we will have to go through Green to get to Yellow. The policy indications from Blond, and possibly even from the coalition, suggest a willingness to accept the Green strand. But there is considerable tension between it and Orange material aspirations – not just in individual choice of holiday or having the grandparents at home, but in the willingness to combat the big financial and industrial interests which keep us in a centralised, globalised model of industrialized food, pharma healthcare, centralised bureaucratic standards for EVERYTHING. There are big advertising budgets for corporations whose survival depends on our continuing to want HD TV’s. There will be big resistance to a rebalance.
Rebalance is one part of what second tier is about – bringing about health in all of the first-tier values stages. This appears to mean containing unhealthy Red, rebuilding healthy Blue (right regulation), constraining Orange excess without killing the goose that lays golden eggs, and strengthening healthy Green. The last two require a big shift of Values. The entering Green phase “has already done the peak ORANGE materialism thing and found it wanting” (Spiral Dynamics P. 263). Like the child in the back seat I have to ask if we are “there” yet? I don’t think so. The COG still wants materialism; it has not given up the addiction (and never underestimate the power of addictions, as our colleague Ian reminded me recently).
I recommend a reading of Chapter 14. You could find evidence in the UK for all the Green elements – entering, core and exiting. My view is that the majority of both population and politicians are still in various blends of ER to GT.
Quoting the close of that chapter “perhaps the most significant marker of exiting Green / yellow stage is the dropping away of fear”. I don’t see much evidence of that around me. I also am convinced that we cannot really get out of Orange unless we see substantial undermining of both the scientific materialism and the “money-first” view of economics. These are the other parts of what is needed and underly a shift of consciousness. For as long as people continue to believe that happiness comes when you get the money right, we will try to fix the numbers and think that will alter reality. If we aspire to influence the conversation, or to organise events designed to contribute in that direction, we will need to be quite clear about the message we are bringing. This thread of conversation has been great. To take it into the public arena in my view requires some recognition that we have a really good framework for our questions, that we have some excellent toolkits to offer. We can be proud and confident of that, but right now we also still have more questions than answers. I am very interested to hear what others think the next step needs to look like.
All the best,
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 06:20
I agree about not “taking over.” that’s not what the 7th code does. It simply introduces a framework as an option in Flux as a pace car.
Just to introduce the idea…and, for sure, you don’t want a Yankee behind any of this. So, Don would not, under any circumstances, take over anything. the book The Crucible was such an example..I was just suggesting that if everybody waits for “government” to do something and fears being a tall poppy, nothing gets done. Mostly, folks today who are in this situation simply do not know how, or cannot see how at this stage, so this is more informational than even persuasive. The role is to perhaps guide idea formation; give examples; keep open an inquiry; and engage people in a natural design process where everybody participates in a sequence of exploration….from debate, to dialogue, to deliberation, to design..
And my comments were about what an informed group would do to fill in the blanks and make connections….I usually hide behind the public efforts….the idea is to create a process where this happens…with people who know what they re talking about, which isn’t always me.
Tuesday, July 20th 2010 at 00:15
> Don’s idea of moving in & taking over
I’d be a bit careful using language like that. Sounds a bit too much like the underhand tactics of the ‘Militant Tendency’ in the 80s!
Or that Islamic group in Tower Hamlets…
Position papers are, well, the kind of think that think-tanks put out.
Position papers, policy documents, reports et al. (Check out what IPPR, Demos, Res Publica, Civitas et al are doing).
You put them out and at first no-one much listens, but eventually a politician gains power that needs all the ideas, policies asap – and you’ve provided lots of them already!
At least that’s kind of what happened with Thatcher, and the free market think-tanks that preceded her, I think…
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 23:54
I’m not sure how well you know the UK situation, or how well I do, for that matter…
As far as I know, a fair number of Islamist ‘Community’/cultural groups ended up getting funding from the Government’s large anti-radicalisation ‘Prevent’ fund.
Eventually the Govt got wise to this, and is now much more wary. (Actually, that fund’s stopped now).
Some years back the Labour Govt was respecting all manner of extremist groups as ‘legitimate’ voices of muslims.
They eventually grew out of that – indeed reversed their position rather entirely.
It’s certainly more than possible that Cameron will end up inadvertently giving funding to unhealthy Blue/Red (?) Islamist groups that emerge asking for ‘Big Society’ community funds in a plausible guise.
One such grouping was recently said to have pretty much taken over by stealth Tower Hamlets Council, in London. (Now removed I think).
I do think that even Green can eventually see Red – but really doesn’t like to talk about it, or point the finger too much… Anyway the Muslim community as a whole is seen as vital support, in election campaigning by people like Ken Livingstone. And one minister’s published diary even listed the number of seats that depend on gaining the Muslim vote. Though I’ve forgotten the number – 20, 40, or 60, I think.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 23:38
We are indeed entering a time of uncertainty.
It has been my understanding that a basic principle of SD that while we can predict the possible changes in vMemes that will occur as life conditions change we cannot predict the memes or values that will emerge never mind the actions that will result.
You could imagine that the twin strategy of putting the British people under enormous change, and consequently stress, and at the same time offering a new model for involvement in Big society might well have been specifically designed by someone who understood the nature of human social change. Whatever the result it will certainly be an interesting few years. Perhaps a watchful eye, some involvement here and there and a gentle nudge occasionally from a 2nd tier informed individual or group might well make a significant difference to the outcome.
And so, i am not too worried about the lack of a specific published goal on the part of the government at the moment. Better i would say to let big society evolve and back the winning ideas as they emerge. From the government point of view, publicly at least.
From the point of view of red taking over in some areas, i am not too worried. At least, i am not worried if the course of big society follows a path that really does embody big society. In this area i would say that it is very important that we see big society taking on Holacracy principles of representation up and down through the individual groups to keep them informed and loosely coordinated. Of course, red won’t like that and won’t be able to even understand it. Any groups that are red dominated will struggle to engage in the wider picture because they can’t see the end game. In fact, i can see other elements of local communities where red emerges trying to connect and effectively giving us a better idea of red activity than might otherwise have been possible.
Of course, my lack of worry of red making large inroads in British society is an optimistic one but is based on two things. The first is that this is Britain and we are British – in some ways the return of difficult times may well be exactly what we need and bring about a resurgence of the old British bulldog soldier on attitude. My kids, boys of 9 and 11, put the Zulu film on again the other day – that’s the third time they have watched it. Maybe the old British spirit still lives on even if it is buried under a generation of green rights.
The second reason is a hope that things will not get too bad. If we get major social collapse then who knows where we may end up on the spiral.
From a perspective of 2nd tier activity though i very much see the need for a plan of action. We might be lucky and mr Blond might be 2nd tier and have everything under control. But on the other hand, perhaps there is indeed a gaping whole just waiting to be filled, or at least a need for a helping hand or two.
So what does the plan look like? Here are a few things to throw into the pot.
1 – we need to influence the design of big society groups. Meshworks and Holacracy and other techniques will be useful.
2 – how to get 2nd tier into the groups on the large scale? A set of principles for leaders of such groups perhaps. Maybe framed in terms of guidelines for how they could be run.
3 – Does anyone know of a useful test that might be used to identify 2nd tier thinking? 🙂 But seriously, how do we value scan large numbers of people and start aligning people to projects. In the ning site i suggested profiling organisations and then having a web site to allow people to test themselves to see which ors they line up with in terms of values. It would work equally well with big society groups. And of course, it would pull 2nd tier together into big society “management”.
In feedback to the changes happening at the online values test i suggested a way to make the results much more accessible than the diagrams (and perhaps much less unacceptable to green) by having a text result instead. The result would be made up of paragraphs selected by triggers of various combinations of values / change state indicators. It would be like a Myers Briggs personality type but actually made up of lots of possible, probably millions, of different possible combinations. I can see that running on a free web site – fill in your email address and name to get a free personal assessment. Then of course we need a mailing list with regular updates on how we can help in society and good news etc. And we quietly contact anyone with yellow / turquoise signs to get more involved as well.
And big society sounds quite similar to me to what i want to build as network Britain – or maybe i am biased 🙂
I guess big society would not really be big “Society”, because only a relative few would get directly involved. But you could look at it as distributed government – that would be big. And central governments role could then really be smaller in everyday life.
I am optimistic. But it might be that Britain has to make some ruthless decisions to drive thru to a new plateau.
And we might fail – but it is certainly going to be interesting.
( i have not read any of the background stuff on big society, full time jobs and all that. But it does sound like perhaps it is time to start learning again… 🙂
and thanks for the nudge Keith – your post really did make for a fascinating read.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 21:17
Thanks so much, Said. You are certainly on target regarding RED threats to the body politic. The complete model I have in mind fits the Template design from the book Spiral Dynamics with the Z template focused on the health and well-being of the whole. Aided with Vital Signs monitors and the conceptual capacity to monitor various “cultural virus strains,” a distributed intelligence as you mentioned, would have prepared the whole system to understand the nature of threats and a series of preventative as well as therapeutic actions would be available. Rather then fostering a closed BLUE conformative model, the idea would be to create and sustain the kind of living system central DNA core that would be open, adaptive, flexible, and sensitive to the necessary aspect of change in its many variations. Actually, we now know enough about this critical process to create an initial version of it. and, since all of this begins with an understanding of the Life Conditions, unique resources in each unit, as well as a sense of the demands of leadership to make possible the design and facilitation of the essential cultural codes. While I know a little bit about UK, it would take the indigenous intelligences, wisdom, and experiences to run the show.
No system of management is perfect in itself; but the key, from my experience, is to focus on the practical…and constantly use research to stay in touch with the essential dynamics.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 21:03
Your point about the capacity to contain unhealthy Red is well-made. However, I am not sure that the lack of consideration for the question is coming from Green – least of all a socialist Green when we are talking of Cameron.
The thing is, I don’t see islamist Red as a big problem here right now and I believe that it is being treated as if it is under control. The BNP failed to produced anything in the election. The Islamist extreme, while there are no doubt still some cells operating who may produce something nasty at any time, don’t seem to be a major threat. I also don’t see why the decentralization agenda should make them more of a threat than they are now, and since there is a strong moderate muslim community here too, the proposed community base might actually allow them to be more constructively influential. Of course the other Red problems – gang cultures and sink estates still exist, but relative to all the other issues being debated are not being treated as a priority.
I have been reading more of Blond. Not enough yet to be sure of his consistency, but beginning to believe that he might well be a second tier thinker. He certainly seems to speak from multiple Vmemes. He has achieved major exposure, and by coming from outside of all the political parties seems to be getting more influence. His background is as an academic in theology and philosophy and his think-tank includes Prof. Roger Steare, who developed a one of the leading psychometric tests for ethical thinking.
Don, you might just be right about Britain being able to produce trans-partisanship. I encourage others to read the http://www.respublica.org.uk website – both to form their own views and to see what implications Blond’s thinking might have for the US and elsewhere. I believe that David Brooks picked up on him recently – which may not be a recommendation, but could signal the start of wider transatlantic influence.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 20:02
This is quite an interesting discussion. Empowering small, individual communities definitely sounds YELLOW; a Distributed Intelligence type of approach. The presumption I believe, is that distributed intelligence is homogeneous or at least HEALTHY in all its expressions and therefore will grow to serve a Big Society platform envisioned by its makers). I wonder what would home-grown RED (Islamist and otherwise) do with such freedom when the spread of their beliefs/value system is condoned by the government? I envision a license for full passage through UNHEALTHY RED, then maybe a FALSE BLUE and eventually their own expression of BLUE that will represent the uniqueness of modern British identity.
Until mechanism are built into the plan to contain RED, I’m convinced that it’s nothing but a socialist GREEN project designed from GREEN. The RED bulge cannot be ignored and not once did I see a mention of RED in this entire exchange which proves the theory that GREEN cannot see RED. It wasn’t PURPLE, BLUE, or ORANGE that bombed the London Underground just a few short years ago.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 19:09
“Position papers”, eh, Matthew. Hmm…. Not entirely sure what you mean. Would ‘position papers’ be different to stuff on the Blog or some of the articles on https://www.integratedsociopsychology.net – eg: Killing the Terrorists https://www.integratedsociopsychology.net/global/killing-the-terrorists/
I DO like your idea of “‘Big Society’ SD event in the UK with Don Beck, alongside Philip Blond and maybe Matthew Taylor”.
Something like that could not only be a pivotal point for the profile of SD in the UK – and, in part at least, it would fulfill Don’s idea of moving in & taking over – but it could also be a vehicle for relaunching CHE-UK. What do you reckon, Jon?
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 18:33
Yeah excites but cynical, wary still! But Don’s approach is very liberating, don’t ask permission, just do it! Reminds me of an american libertarían groups crude mantra: ‘Do Sh*t!’
Here is The view of respected channel 4 news hound Jon Snow:
David Cameron has been to Liverpool, land of voluntary sector action, to put bones on the flesh of his “Big Society” campaign, which he first tried to launch during the election. It has put many charities on the defensive because they naturally believe in the concept of the “big society” but are fantastically dependent upon the state for much of their funding. Throughout the last Labour administration the government was happy to make the case that the voluntary sector was better at delivering many of the services, which were previously the responsibility of the state. The issue tonight is what is going to happen to that state funding, without which many charities are likely to fold, even before they become part of any “big society”.
Read: David Cameron launches Big Society scheme
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 18:14
> I’m still very excited about the Coalition – really! – and the Big Society as a concept. But I do share Jon’s suspicion – though perhaps not as strongly – that it may be a distraction technique.
> Beyond the volunteer thing, I’m still not seeing a vision.
Maybe you need to be knocking together some great position papers and case studies to fill this ‘vision’ gap, with some Spiral Dynamics-inspired thinking.
Then busy yourself wherever the policy types go online in the UK, and tell them about this SD material….?
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 18:09
> At the same time this seems to mean that we have to live with lack of
> clarity, and possibly with different people seeing “Big Society” to mean
> quite differing things.
Well, anything like ‘commmunty’ or ‘sustainability’ is likely to be seen in a different way depend on your values lens.
Indeed it might be a good thing if the ‘Big Society’ idea is broad enough that all levels of society can interpret it in their own way…?
Empowering people to take action in their
> communities sounds great. But as a Trustee for a local charity which does
> fill the “local provision” slot, and which is having its financial
> underpinning hacked away, I fear that this could be a smokescreen.
A smokescreen for what – trying to balance the books, rather than continuing to spend money we don’t have willy-nilly?
> Cameron’s version (which presumably is the one likely to become defining)
> seems to promise a few hundreds of millions and is deliberately funded
> outside of the State by using dead bank accounts – which is a non-renewable
> resource. In comparison with the billions of cuts…
> Phillip Blond does at least appear to be a complex thinker.
Yes, I must get round to reading his stuff. I subscribe to Prospect, but don’t even remember his big article there that launched him as a big name.
However I see
> him quoted as advocating ‘a considered rejection of social mobility,
> meritocracy and the statist and neoliberal language of opportunity,
> education and choice.’
Phew, lots to chew on there. People seem to forget that meritocracy is double-edged sword.
If we lived in a ‘meritocracy’, how would you feel if you were left behind at the bottom of the pile, and had seen various creative minorities, cognitive elites recede into the distance, beyond your grasp.
And to know that you have no-one to blame but yourself – as we live in a ‘meritocracy’.
And that elsewhere he talks of the ‘New
I wonder what that is?
and harks back to “a golden age of rule by the best.”
Isn’t there a well-know Clare Graves about how “higher levels are better than lower levels”.
And “the prime good of any society’s governing figures woudl be to promote human movement up the levels of existence”…
> contradiction between rejection of meritocracy and advocacy of rule by the
I think meritocracy might leave too many on the scrap-heap, with no worthwhile role in society. Bit like today’s underclasses…
Perhaps a good reason to reject it.
He takes an anti-abortion stance which looks decidedly pre-Green.
Do you think anti-abortion is de facto pre-Green or could any Green, or post-Green individuals be ‘against abortion’?
> At the moment I suspect Blond of seeing all sides at once, which may open up
> the debate towards a Yellow way of thinking.
Yes, seeing all sides sounds pretty integral to me… 🙂
But he looks like someone who
> can see all points of view and attempts to be all things to all men. Or I
> might mistake complexity for confusion.
> The most optimistic I can be is to see this trend as part of breaking down
> old structures. It may be the start of an opportunity. It may be a very
> good distraction technique.
Maybe you should put on a ‘Big Society’ SD event in the UK with Don Beck, alongside Philip Blond and maybe Matthew Taylor.
That could get some good attention – and provide for a juicy discussion, about building meshworks etc.
And perhaps build some bridges for SD, into Taylor’s Labour networks, and Blond’s Tory ones.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 17:36
Thanks, Keith. I think it would be a huge mistake relying on Cameron or ANY current politician to generate the kind of vision that will be required. We don’t ask permission. We don’t go hat in hand. We simply move into the fray and take over, capture, exploit, expropriate the moment to give it structure and make the connections ourselves. We have to “pull” others into the Integrative zone – not by force, of course, but by the sheer “common sense” and “stuff that works” images. The strategy is to appeal to “hearts & minds.” And, as we did in South Africa many times, challenge many who oppose our approach to place their “solution” along side of ours and then let’s compare. No one ever took us up on the challenge.
I don’t see the issue as a contrast between “government and volunteers,” nor do “big” or “small” government make any sense to me. We speak of “smart government” because all governance means is to describe the operating code that works in a certain context. If one shifts from a supply or top-down role of government that “provides” as Labor Party thinking stresses, to a function that Integrates ALL of the sources and stakeholders — church, business, education, law enforcement, foundations, etc and gets them on the same page, there are huge benefits in doing this. Conservative thinking that is laissez faire is just as faulted, because it assumes people can go cold turkey or pull themselves up by their boot straps because they may not have any boots. But, you can understand why there is a pendulum swing between the two as one produces the need for the other. No doubt there will be painful results from the cut in benefits in the welfare state but when money runs out then something else needs to be done. I’m trying to show what that new program can be that ultimately generates more independence and autonomy at local levels, such as transition towns and many other efforts that are beginning to shape around city/community efforts.
This is a whole different function of “government” one that Graves used to call “facilitation.” You can see this explained in the Humpty Dumpty Effect. I tried to get Valerie Amos, when she was Minister of International Development in the Blair cabinet, to understand how British influence could be trained to perform this role in helping societies emerge — rather than provide, through economic and technological aid, all of the programs itself. You will no doubt recognize the “warm colour” memetics in this function. It needs lots of RED, ORANGE, as well as YELLOW in its orientation. Unhappily, Blair then named her leader of the House of Lords and her replacement, Hiliary somebody, didn’t get it.
Valerie was from Ghana.
In this case so-called “government” is lean, able to connect resources, provide emotional and spiritual leadership; work on super ordinate goals, and use Assimilation-Contrast Effect technology to defuse radicalism. A whole new understanding of “leadership” that we have been advocating for two decades. Amazing how a number of people have just discovered all of this.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 15:19
Thanks, Jon. Once again your insights are thorough, well thought out, and balanced. I read all I could on “Big Society” and even found Phillip Bond to be interesting with good perspectives on many of the processes. I suspect that one would find, among you British, some of the very best understanding of this needed transition because of the quality of education; the experiences of complexity; the Anglo-American language advantage (I did not include Texas!) and what it means living in the cross-roads of the planet. I’m a huge fan of broad sheets and BBC.
There is more at stake, here, and I hope you can grasp the moment. The larger issue is whether UK will be able to maintain its role in the UN Security council as you shrink down (as we are doing) in response to the financial crisis. As I kept saying in the UK summits we designed last year. while the sun does set on British soil; it does not set on the British soul. I truly believe the stage is prepared for a major global initiative from “the mother land” but, in my view, it will take different motives on the part of everybody. Orange competitiveness can be a virtue but it can also turn into a curse. I know a great deal about the culture of BP from my oil patch experiences and, in fact, several of the aspects set in the merger with Amoco and Arco troubled me. I even visited BP headquarters in London to warn them. I had done extensive work with both of the American “partners.”
There are two issues for me. First, I have great interest in what I call the “State of Flux” – (SOF) the unique dynamics involved as one system begins to dissolve while the next one is not yet clear. Dangerous time, but fraught with opportunities. I won’t take the time to spell this out since it is the topic of the new book. It is in this context that “pace-car” techniques become viable. Graves used to say that the best way to lead a system is to operate one half step beyond it’s core VC – Values Code. The “pacing” comes slightly beyond tomorrow. So, my GREEN/yellow or even green/YELLOW mention is such a technique. Other things need to be done at the same time. The changing Life Conditions need to be tracked and even dramatizes, as in the Music Man – “You’ve got trouble my friends right here in River City.!
And, one must ALWAYS remember “getting rid of what you don’t want is NOT the same thing as getting what you DO want!” Add to it a conversation on “change FROM what and TO what” to get clarity. Finally, it becomes critical to go down Spiral to address the matter using all of the other Value Codes so connect these First Tier codes to the new system. More about this later.
Second, how can we approach a process that goes beyond the “conservative” and “labour” orientations. Clearly, labour ran out of petrol as its solutions began to produce new problems. Same thing happened to Thacterism that gave birth to ‘new labour.” ( we have the same matter with Bush and Obama models.) That Cameron has a coalition partner in Lib-Dem elements, means that the public made a statement about what it wants in the future. This is a good sign. This means that it is time to take “the third way” seriously. Over the last decade we have been sketching-in the parameters of such an approach but decided to keep them quiet until the window opened to possible understanding. Maybe that time is now. Graham Linscott and I wrote about this approach in The Crucible on South Africa and there are elements of it in Stratified Democracy and MeshWorks Solutions. We will not be able to get much done on this in the United States because of all kinds of reasons so, once again, we need you chaps to take the lead.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 14:03
So Cameron wants a nation of volunteers who will run the things the Government is cutting….?
Undoubtedly this is exciting stuff – very GREEN. Possibly GREEN/YELLOW. But, if that’s where Cameron’s thinking is at…does he understand that PURPLE is unlikely to do it for anyone other than friends & family and that BLUE will do it only if it’s framed as duty/doing the right thing.
Will Cameron fall pray to the same kind of delusion that Thatcher did when she thought everyone could become an ORANGE achiever – only now the aspiration is higher: to be a GREEN volunteer?
And the ‘Big Society’ still doesn’t tell us, for example, what kind of standard of living we’re going to be able to expect. 2 meals out a week…2 holidays abroad per year…2 cars per family… Will those kind of things stay or go?
Will we be a more religious society? Will we grow more of our own food? Where will ethnic tensions fit? Will we still be trying to get 50% of our kids to university? Etc, etc, etc.
I’m still very excited about the Coalition – really! – and the Big Society as a concept. But I do share Jon’s suspicion – though perhaps not as strongly – that it may be a distraction technique.
Beyond the volunteer thing, I’m still not seeing a vision.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 13:16
The idea of releasing some funds to support community based projects is hard to argue with. If I were optimistic I would join Don in seeing it as transitional Green-Yellow. And maybe it is. I am not sure whether there is one “Big Society” or several. The website does not seem to have quite the same approach as Cameron.
I don’t want to rush to knock what’s happening. There are some good seeds here – particularly in the Big Society website. And I am comfortable that there is no “end state”. In my view this change will need to be evolutionary. We could define the end state in vague terms like “flexible” and “sustainable” and “localized”. The recognition that there needs to be some kind of balance between globalization, state-level and local empowerment is a step forward. So too would be recognition that we cannot expect the State to carry everything, and have to become awake and responsible individuals.
At the same time this seems to mean that we have to live with lack of clarity, and possibly with different people seeing “Big Society” to mean quite differing things. Empowering people to take action in their communities sounds great. But as a Trustee for a local charity which does fill the “local provision” slot, and which is having its financial underpinning hacked away, I fear that this could be a smokescreen. Cameron’s version (which presumably is the one likely to become defining) seems to promise a few hundreds of millions and is deliberately funded outside of the State by using dead bank accounts – which is a non-renewable resource. In comparison with the billions of cuts…..
Phillip Blond does at least appear to be a complex thinker. However I see him quoted as advocating ‘a considered rejection of social mobility, meritocracy and the statist and neoliberal language of opportunity, education and choice.’ And that elsewhere he talks of the ‘New Medievalism’ and harks back to “a golden age of rule by the best.” Note the contradiction between rejection of meritocracy and advocacy of rule by the best. He takes an anti-abortion stance which looks decidedly pre-Green. It would be easy to see simple, old-fashioned Orange “smash the state” views underpinned by traditional Blue. If he thinks that what we traditionally had was rule by the best then we are in big trouble.
At the moment I suspect Blond of seeing all sides at once, which may open up the debate towards a Yellow way of thinking. But he looks like someone who can see all points of view and attempts to be all things to all men. Or I might mistake complexity for confusion.
The most optimistic I can be is to see this trend as part of breaking down old structures. It may be the start of an opportunity. It may be a very good distraction technique.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 12:46
As you may know the Dutch are also trying to form a government. The free-market liberals are talking with labour and even the greens. Great thing is, all the party leaders get along and trust each other to a certain degree, even including bully Geert Wilders and the true socialists which are not invited at this point. I would imagine that the Big Society movement can work for liberals (as in free market and personal freedom) and greens, but perhaps not old-style labour. We will see who has a functioning competent government first 🙂
Michiel Doorn, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 11:01
The program provides new energy and optimism, that is good in and of itself. However, the sentence “This process is all about learning. It’s about pushing power down and seeing what happens.” From what level does it come? For one, I would hope there will be some guiding principles, coming from yellow. For example, there would have to be clear vision of what the national government should and shouldnt do. There are plenty of global and international and even regional issues that may more effectively be handled at those levels. I am very weary of simplistic visions that propose nothing but more freedom, freeer markets, lower taxes or smaller government.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 05:56
Well the Big Soceity Network was only launched last Tuesday, so at the moment it’s very much an aspiration rather than a movement. And according to John Findlay (Chief Executive of the National Association of Local Councils) it springs from Camerons loins and he is going to use the money left in dormant in bank accounts for over 15 years as one way of funding it’s associated ‘bank’.
Monday, July 19th 2010 at 00:05
That Big Society Network looks interesting, though I’m unclear out its provenance – or who’s in the network…!
I think the ‘Big Society’ (current iteration!) idea came from Philip Blond, the so-called ‘Red Tory’. Check out his Res Publica think-tank and Disraeli Room blog.
Sunday, July 18th 2010 at 23:01
We might be seeing FS/gt or even fs/GT. The entities appear to have a focus on functionality rather than feelings: they appear to ignite and mobilize everything in “place” — not just people. So this could well be a prime opportunity for the ValueCodes, the MeshWorks Solutions, and Trans-partisanship Processes that go beyond bi-partisanship. Maybe even Vital Signs Monitors. Summits, and 4Q/8L patterns will be quite appropriate. I am very encouraged about these developments and the editor of the Dallas Morning News has shown interest in exploring the Big Society movement as what might be next for Republicans rather than Bush economics. So we might do a series on the movement.
Hope to see you in October.
Sunday, July 18th 2010 at 10:53
Thanks for this info, J.
The whole Big Society web site – http://www.thebigsociety.co.uk – looks really interesting. Who would have thought Cameron could be so attuned to GREEN??? Definitely one to watch and possibly look for ways to bring in SDi/Integrated SocioPsychology.
But I’m struggling to see it as an end state – where’s the way we should be at the end of all the cuts and the decentralisation, etc. While I can see elements of vision in it, I can’t see anything of an end state. Thatcher had an end state of sorts. Those who could and did would be wealthy.
Sunday, July 18th 2010 at 07:04
Following on from Keith’s post on ‘the vision thang’ this is probably mostly of interest to Brits?
Today we had a short talk from the head of the Local Government Assoc. (LGA) who has an inside track to Cameron’s thinking on ‘Big Soceity’; still very much in the running and essential really to balance the 25% cuts to services with volunteers and private company outsourcing, ‘society vs state’; the ‘Big Soceity’ agenda has now been outsourced to a social enterprise: the Big Society Network, see the press release from last Wednesday:
‘An introduction of the Big Society Network
Last night (13/07/10) David Cameron hosted a great event to help introduce the Big Society Network. We are delighted that dozens of social entrepreneurs, voluntary sector organizations and other partners were able to join. If you are interested in getting in touch with the Network, please register on our site, or contact Steve Moore at 078705 15025.’
We’ve put together a brief press release here . http://www.thebigsociety.co.uk/pdfs/100713_Press_Release_.pdf
Surfing the zeitgeist it continues to focus on the decentralising and localism agenda by talking about ‘Your Square Mile’, Total Place (a kind of balanced ecology approach to services); LGA picked up this thread by talking about ‘decision miles’ (think ‘food miles’) its all about community power, devolving planning down: the Decentralisation & Localism Bill will implement many of the proposals in the Tories’ Control Shift, Housing and Open Source Planning green papers returning power to local communities and setting sets out how the Tories would shift power from the centre to local people and councils, leaving behind the old Thatcher ‘Bugger Soceity’ model behind for a shiny Philip Blond ‘Red Tory’ new model army. Cameron has earmarked a cool £300 million for Youth Engagement.
Interestingly the LGA parliamentary track has trouble getting MP’s on board this year however they are clamouring to get in, including the quite remarkable Rory Stewart… “Stewart seems to be living one of the most remarkable lives on record.” The New York Times
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 23:44
Thanks, Keith, for stimulating this extraordinary conversation. While many in this country are aware of developments in “the mother land,” even to watching or listening to BBC every night, we seldom experience the depth of analysis that you and your mates have provided. We have a lot to learn from you.
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 23:33
Which systems…? it is still a Tory party fundamental that the (welfare) state is too big and taxation levels unacceptable. I believe Cameron means well by the NHS (and will hold back any questions over whether their methods can work). His language has painted the long-term unemployed as deliberately work-shy (“not doing the right thing”) and I find the contradiction between planning to make large-scale public sector job cuts while penalizing those who remain unemployed during a period of falling job-markets a difficult contradiction to reconcile. Depending on where you see the balances in education and policing to be (how much either of them might be Green rather than Blue) these could also be included. But my experience with the charitable sector leads me to the view that those who do not have a strong political voice are threatened. The elderly will get less care provision while lip service will be paid to the importance of the pension. I wait to see if there will be any improvement to the system of ping-pong between local authority and National Health Service care budgets. Other the improvements in social care (e.g. those demanded after the “Baby Peter” case) will not actually see any funding support.
Ken Clarke’s enlightenment over prisons is an interesting anomaly. Recognising that it is not prison but improved prosperity that reduces crime is quite something from a Conservative politician, even if the same conclusions were drawn in 1920’s Bavaria. Chosing to change that system just when prosperity is under severe threat and doing so while simultaneously squeezing benefits and cutting the police is just the sort of complexity failure that makes me doubt the presence of 2nd-tier thinking
It may be that we have to go through this pain. Even though I think there is a lot of over-simplified and knee-jerk decision-making, there may be a need for us to revisit the balance in our values, to learn again how we care for each other rather than expecting the state to do it. Naïve Green isn’t an answer either. But there is a difference between carefully planned surgery and amputation without anaesthetic. Having no vision is one thing. Having no coherent strategy, no joined-up plan is another, particularly with problems which require long-term solutions. It is all being done in a great rush to appease the Bond markets and avoid losing our triple-A rating. Just one more piece of the Orange imperative.
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 22:25
Do you mean all the Green systems? Or some of the Green systems?
Which are the ones that will be affected?
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 19:04
Of course there’s no vision! That’s a) because it is a coalition of two rather different mind-sets and Values systems and b) because Cameron is trying to finesse his own right-wing, getting his view of Conservatism delivered in the hope that he can push it all through while he has the initiative. Note the conversations yesterday in committee with his own MP’s arguing against his agreement to a fixed 5-year term, and pressures that now the Lib-Dems are dropping in the polls and Labour without a leader he should call a snap election to establish an outright majority. In the middle of this rush to legislate there are possible patches of second-tier thinking, perhaps from Vince Cable as one example.
Yes, the British Public are in shell-shock, or acquiescence, because no-one understands what the consequences of the cuts and reorganizations will be, but they are currently believing that there is no alternative but to take this medicine. Those on the front lines can see what’s coming. The Special Needs charity that I work with is being warned of 20% fee cuts for next year while being hounded by functionaries ticking boxes full of “outcomes” and insisting on raised standards. Viable? Hardly. Does anyone in the government really understand what 25% cuts will look like in practice and where the impact will come out? I don’t believe so. Some of it (eg. GP fundholding) may be a good idea, but right now sounds like throwing the carddeck in the air and hoping that it comes down neatly arranged in suits. The GP’s will end up with all the admin, and all the Health Trust employees will go and work for them.
The question of who caused the financial crisis fails to address the deep underlying issues. Yes, Goldman Sachs didn’t behave honestly. Yes people made silly choices in all sorts of ways, but the underlying problem is in the Value systems folks.
Orange thinks that money is the reality. That comes out firstly in the belief that if you grow money you have contributed something to the world, or to human well-being. So you get unviable derivatives schemes that are based on the notion that you can make money grow by itself, even when nothing has actually been produced in the world. The only possible result is that the money grows, but has no underlying value. It is the basis for all bubbles and can only burst (more of that shortly). It comes out secondly in the belief that by fixing the money now (sorting out deficits) we are addressing the underlying problems. It doesn’t.
Two key indicators of fundamental problems being ignored. 1) Global cumulative GDP is $50 trillion per year. Global debt is estimated as $600 trillion or more. My definition of personal bankruptcy would be triggered when I am mortgaged to the level of 12 years income. 2) The issuing of money is talked of within a theory that it comes from governments. That’s not the reality though, which is that UK Banks have added credit to the system at the rate of £200 Billion per year. US banks have done the same. Since much of that is in housing loans, it is hardly surprising that house prices grew every year. The belief that underpinned the Collateralised Debt Obligation paper was that house prices could never go down. But the price rise was new money, not actual organic growth in the economy. Therefore it would not, could not, did not sustain. Quantitative easing and cash for clunkers has held back the effects. Now both are stopping.
These two problems should be enough to tell us that the recent recession is not the end of the story, merely its first instalment. It happened because Blue regulation was not sharp enough to contain it and was out-strategised by Orange Values. Today we hear that the US has just put in the Blue regulatory layer that was missing. Bravo. But that regulation will not itself address the problems just described. It does not stop Banks creating money and it does not settle our debts. The solution will have to be a lot more sophisticated – i.e. second-tier complexity management. Among the many steps that will be needed are those advocated by Denis Kucinich in the US, and by http://www.bankofenglandact.com in the UK.
It won’t happen of course. The UK government thinks the banks are contributing to the economy and daren’t restrict them. The banks think they are making profits and that justifies their bonuses. But guess what? If you let me create 200 billion, then pay myself 5% of that in bonuses then I will be happy to give a big slice of that to the government. If they are grateful, then more fool them!
Until I see Clegg, Cameron or anyone else stepping out of the illusion, no vision will look coherent. And because they are in the illusion that’s why they can’t offer one. The numbers aren’t the problem. They are a reflection of the problem which is that we don’t understand money, that we all have believed that we can have tomorrow’s lunch today (and next year’s too), that some people think that the lunch will be free and others that they can have your lunch as well as their own.
The Cameron-Osborne agenda is to step more deeply into Orange and think that everything will come back into balance – regardless of the consequences to many of the Green systems. It has all the wisdom of thinking that the solution to an irrigation problem is to tear up all your crops so that they don’t need any water. Next year, we may all be hungry. So we had better start understanding the way in which money systems are integral to the solution, because we are the sorts of people who will need to be helping.
Rant over – for now.
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 16:56
It would seem that to work effectively Orange financial need strong Blue regulation, maybe a 2nd tier adopted Blue, rather than a 1st tier Blue. Not quite the same but I’m reminded of those brokers whose management (Yellow), took positions against their brokers (Orange) Win/Win?
On the ‘Big Soceity’ front it would appear to me to be a real misnomer. As soceity only really works small. Small is Beautiful. What’s that research about the optimum size for a human grouping being a hundred and something (might have been mentioned in a Malcolm Gladwell book)
I can care about my friends, neighbours, people in my locality but the further away, the bigger the group the harder it gets to care, to be compassionate. The Transition Town movement embodies a lot of the D.I.Y. Culture traits of ‘Big Soceity’, resilience, localism, self-sufficient living, community and so on because it works on the small scale best, small modules, tribal, 2nd tier Purple?
Capitalism as Holocaust, well give me time and I’ll list the casualties, the flora and fauna wiped out, indigenous peoples and many of our modern wars have capitalism at their root, like the scramble for oil in Iraq…
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 16:30
What an interesting and pertinent conversation!
Thanks especially J for the extra detail on how the Coalition Government is going to slim down the State.
As to Cameron’s ‘Big Society’… are they still pushing that actively? Can’t recall seeing much, if any mention of it since the election results. I do recall an Observer journalist accompanying Cameron on the election trail writing that the idea wasn’t playing out well at all on the doorsteps, that it was too woolly for the ordinary punter to grasp.
As much as I personally understand the ‘Big Society’ concept, I don’t see it as a vision – more a means. What I was saying – attempting to say? – in the original post was that Cameron & Clegg haven’t told us what state they want Britain to become – only that there will be less State. When we have less State and when the cuts have wreaked their havoc, what kind of Britain will we be?
To go back to my Thatcher comparison, she had a fairly clear vision of what Britain should be: a population focussed on achievement, self-aggrandisement and wealth creation. Effectively, though she obviously wouldn’t have used SDi terminology, a nation of go-getters driven by ORANGE. Blair clearly was infected with this meme too when he talked about individuals being flexible in managing a portfolio of jobs.
How unrealistic and 1st Tier this was was reflected in Norman Tebbit’s infamous “get on your bike” comments. ORANGE, of course, would get on its bike: it would do whatever it took to achieve its goal. Not so, PURPLE which stays rooted to the spot, fixated in the security of its geographical homeland. Thus, not that many of the PURPLE-dominated newly made-unemployed manual labourers, fresh from the closed pits, the depleted fishing fleets and the cut-down steel mills actually travelled in search of work. It takes a push down to BEIGE and a real threat to survival to get movement – as per the Irish emigrations during the potato famines.
How ever unrealistic and divisive Thatcher’s vision was, nonetheless it was a vision of what kind of Britain – what kind of people – we should be. And that’s not what I’m picking up from Dave ‘n’ Nick. Slimming down the State and slashing the deficit is one thing: telling us what kind of people we need to be in what kind of environment, when our horrendous journey is through…that, in my view, is what we need to know.
On a different note, Matthew raised the issue of Day Care. I’ve had to do a fair bit of research on Day Care to teach it. While the quality of both care and parent time is critical – and clearly there are certain rubicons that should not be crossed usually (eg: age of 1, no more than 20 hours thereafter) – the evidence generally is very mixed as to whether it is harmful or not and it is very difficult to draw consistent conclusions.
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 16:19
> Enjoyed the post, Keith. I’d second Matthew’s request for a discussion of Cameron’s vision for the ‘Big Society’: what it is, what it would take to get there, what it would mean in Spiral terms, and the implications for he and Clegg’s relationship, etc.
I think that the ‘Big Society’ came from the trendy ‘Red Tory’, Philip Blond – who founded the Res Public think-tank not long ago.
The ‘Red’ bit refers to him being a sort of communitarian/anti-Thatcherite – I intend to read his book some time.
Some of the anti-command-and-control/systems thinking advocates – eg John Seddon – seem to think they’re time has come, with this shrinking of central diktats, targets, audits etc.
I’m pretty sure that Pat Dades’s Maslowian data on British political parties found that the Cameron/Osbourne wing of the Tories is the complex/libertarian end of it all, rather than the Sustenance-driven traditional wing. (There’s some great analysis of British Politics, using Dade’s ‘Values Modes’ here: http://www.cultdyn.co.uk/ART067736u/democracy2010.html
> The interesting thing about the Dave and Nick partnership, for me, is their seeming willingness to set ideology aside in so many cases. Clearly, they must have at least come to terms with the notion that their old solutions and party biases are simply not up to challenges of this magnitude.
Cameron’s probably pleased to be able to ‘put on hold’ (dump?) some of the policies driven by the grassroots traditional Tories.
> So this seems to be producing a degree of openness and expansion rather than the contraction we’re seeing in the US and Canadian politics that is both fresh and hopeful. And necessary to weather the coming storm you laid out so clearly.
Let’s hope the UK is a good example!
> Earlier in the week, we (Cornerstone Global Associates) published 3 Blue Papers dealing with the UK’s challenges. The paper below in particular examines the emerging public service paradigm of citizen-centred collaboration. When it comes to the 25% budget cuts, we need to break out of the assumption that it’s slicing 1/4 of the status quo, but rather see it as an opportunity and catalyst to generate extraordinary innovation and productivity enhancements in the public sector. To do more with less.
Let’s hope so.
> A new public service paradigm: innovation through citizen-centred collaboration by Lucian J. Hudson (Partner and MD), Mark Napier (CPI – Strategic Partner), Alex Plant (CSN – Strategic Partner) et al – http://www.cstoneglobal.com/assets/files/CS%20Blue%20Paper%20-%20Collaboration%20and%20Innovation.pdf
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 15:25
Enjoyed the post, Keith. I’d second Matthew’s request for a discussion of Cameron’s vision for the ‘Big Society’: what it is, what it would take to get there, what it would mean in Spiral terms, and the implications for he and Clegg’s relationship, etc.
The interesting thing about the Dave and Nick partnership, for me, is their seeming willingness to set ideology aside in so many cases. Clearly, they must have at least come to terms with the notion that their old solutions and party biases are simply not up to challenges of this magnitude. So this seems to be producing a degree of openness and expansion rather than the contraction we’re seeing in the US and Canadian politics that is both fresh and hopeful. And necessary to weather the coming storm you laid out so clearly.
Earlier in the week, we (Cornerstone Global Associates) published 3 Blue Papers dealing with the UK’s challenges. The paper below in particular examines the emerging public service paradigm of citizen-centred collaboration. When it comes to the 25% budget cuts, we need to break out of the assumption that it’s slicing 1/4 of the status quo, but rather see it as an opportunity and catalyst to generate extraordinary innovation and productivity enhancements in the public sector. To do more with less.
‘A new public service paradigm: innovation through citizen-centred collaboration’ by Lucian J. Hudson (Partner and MD), Mark Napier (CPI – Strategic Partner), Alex Plant (CSN – Strategic Partner) et al – http://www.cstoneglobal.com/assets/files/CS%20Blue%20Paper%20-%20Collaboration%20and%20Innovation.pdf
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 14:15
> And on the point of who caused the banking system, well sure as hell
> was Ã±ot the sub-prime defaulters,
As you could read in my post, I didn’t blame the sub-prime defaulters but Clinton/Bush/Obama who campaigned and laid the groundwork for what happened.
(Wasn’t Obama one of the biggest recipients of Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac political donations, for his commitment to easy mortgages?)
but the ‘light touch’ banking system
> that turned a blind eye to the rampant excesses of the bankers; if you
> put a pot of gold in front of anyone youre liable to make a crook of
I hate to point this out… but a pot of gold was put in front of the self-certified soon-to-be mortgage defaulters too, or are they somehow above Orange greed?
institutional greed and avarvice, rampant bad Orange, but then
> thats what they do, aint it?
> Capitalism is a holocaust.
That’s a bit of a strange comment, I don’t see capitalism deliberately wiping out whole groups of people anywhere…
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 09:12
Yes of course its absurd to depict the ‘Tea Party’ movement as far Right fascist/white supremacist ‘British National Party’ thug types, just a rough ball park analogy for our friends in the US, Nazis then, but they do have a point about immigration, don’t you agree?
healthy BLUE/orange, well I couldn’t possibly comment, not according to the HuffPost. I actually don’t know.
KKK in their midst? Hmmm well that’s Sarah Palin surely!?
Actually I’m on your side here matt, I love mums who are fulfilled by childcare, was just saying there arn’t so many around these days as cost of living forces both parents out to work.
So we agree!
I think we are ALL less happy, so no of course we haven’t actually got it all right? If only!
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 08:19
It’s a bit absurd to depict the ‘Tea Party’ movement as far Right fascist/white supremacist ‘British National Party’ thug types, isn’t it?
Aren’t they just ‘small government’ libertarians and conservatives/Christians – ie fairly healthy BLUE/orange? (And relatively well-educated, well-off – at least compared to how the media depicts them? The media is desperate to find the KKK in their midst, I’m sure).
I also rather disagree with this line:
“1950’s model, where there were lots of affluent stay-at-home mums to do the volunteering?”
What’s so great about thoughtlessly forcing everyone out to work, and preventing people from looking after their own kids, as they’d often like to? (Instead putting all kids into nurseries, which former supporters are now becoming very concerned at the apparent damaging effects of).
Can’t we let people choose, rather than dismiss it as “back to the 1950s”.
Women’s happiness has been plunging downwards in recent decades, apparently – maybe we haven’t actually got it all right?
The left is still grappling with the so-called ‘paradox’ that in the most gender emancipated countries on the planet, women actually choose to become less equally represented in some professions.
Why don’t they want 50:50 the left’s social engineers wonder…
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 06:29
Well Keith maybe the vision is there hiding in the sub-text, you don’t seem to mention Camerons ‘Big Society’ agenda, cutting back the state ~ ‘society vs state’ ~ so that NGOs and volunteers pick up the slack, private and voluntary sector organisations are going to provide public services while being paid by results; to my mind harking back to a 1950’s model, where there were lots of affluent stay-at-home mums to do the volunteering?
The Decentralisation & Localism Bill will implement many of the proposals in the Tories’ Control Shift, Housing and Open Source Planning green papers combine that with Nick Cleggs coming ‘power revolution’ and the pragmatic praxis of the The New Austerity would seem to suggest that the new coalition government will be looking to devolve many more powers to the local level; local government, community groups and community organising, as I see it the challenge would seem to be how we can leverage this new political landscape for the niche needs of the disadvantaged bankers and front-benchers? 😛
Osbourne, the Chancellor, is also using the ‘Austerity Budget’ as a form of social control and again slipping in the old Tory agenda of cutting the state, especially for the under class whom it has been shown will be hardest hit; will we see an increasingly radicalised society or will the lumpen ~ ‘Shameless’ ~ proletariat demographic lapse back into ‘learnt helplessness’? His budget threatens us, in the UK, with the infamous ‘double dipping’ recession, or is he sneakily paving the way for Tim Jackson’s ‘prosperity without growth’ model; (Tim Jackson is a lecturer in Sustainable Development in the University of Surrey, on the Economics Steering Group of the Government’s Sustainable Development Commission, author of Prosperity Without Growth.)
I think the point that Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, made in his recent talk in London about journalism could also be applied to the way politics will evolve/emerge in our networked age, Network Politics:
‘WikiLeaks has just five full-time staff and about 40 others who, he says, “very frequently do things”, backed by 800 occasional helpers and 10,000 supporters and donors – an amorphous, decentralised structure, which might become the model for many media (political?) organisations in the future…’
and also about how many modern organisations are developing ‘porous boundaries’ (movements and networks.)
Is WikiLeaks the journalistic model for the future? He gives a characteristically lateral answer. “All over the world the barriers between what is inside an organisation and outside an organisation are being smoothed out. In the military, the use of contractors means that what is the military and what is not the military is smoothed out. Newswise, you see the same trend – what is the newspaper and what is not the newspaper? Comments on websites from the general public and supporters . . . ”
Mathew Kalman’s comment on Matthew Taylor’s blog – http://www.matthewtaylorsblog.com/thersa/sen-and-sensibility/ -recently pointed out Robert Kegan’s work and the importance of leadership maturity level: A report by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives and Senior Managers (SOLACE) called Flying High – a new look at local government leadership, transformation and the power of conversion concluded that: “An important step for chief executives is to be aware of their own leadership ‘maturity’, especially if they want to transform their organisation… “ How mature is Cleggermon?
Interesting, counter-intuitively, the far-right, BNP (think Tea Party) and such like have had their electoral gains rolled back in many local councils. But yes the BNP electoral strategy is to are bank on a tectonic shift back to Blue, strong government, especially in the light of the end of cheap petrol looming in the ‘oil crunch’ in five years time, peak oil and climate change combining with the financially straitened times. Back to the ‘simple’ polarities of the halycon 1950’s… when a man was a man, a woman was in the kitchen and like John Wayne you never apologised…
Friday, July 16th 2010 at 05:59
Isn’t Cameron’s idea that everyone should get involved in building the ‘Big Society’, the key element of his vision?
I’m not sure if you referred to that in your paper, which I cam only skim right now.
I remember in the Spiral Dynamics model it talks about how the shift to Yellow from Green may occur because Green becomes “overwhelmed by the costs of caring”.
I wonder if this is what we’re facing now? The massive, Green welfare state just not working?
More ingenious and appropriate – Yellow – solutions are needed…?
I also wonder if one of the reasons that Green caring is so pricy is because – due to its blank slate/egalitarian ideology – it thinks that *outcomes* for all groups of people must be the same, as that’s the way to prove there have been equal opportunities, a fair system (that Clegg is so keen on).
The notion that equal opportunities will lead to inequality, that meritocracy has a downside, does not really compute for Green thinking.
It’s very, very costly to ‘fix’ reality so that we all end up equal!
Also the welfare state has arguably entrenched – in places – a self-perpetuating Purple/Red pre-conventional ‘victim’ culture, that is also very costly!
Then of course there’s the whole contentious issue of Clinton/Bush/Obama successfully campaigning to mandate that more mortgages must be given to minorities, for political reasons (nice reasons: ie American dream must be available to all). But as we know, these groups couldn’t repay them, and we’re arguably living with the results now… 😉
Just some thoughts…