In a private dinner attended by senior civil servants, leading journalists, prominent academics, leaders from private and public sector enterprises and NGOs, I attended a debate on Corporate and Personal Responsibility and the Big Society. Well it was not much of a debate; the consensus was that as responsible citizens and tax payers, corporations and individuals were within their rights to expect the government to play its role in society. The recent austerity measures and cuts cannot be used to get more support from stakeholders than what is due from them. However, there were hair raising stories from civil servants and NGOs on how things were going from bad to worse and in some cases could well come to a grinding halt.

It is painfully clear that the government cannot take their foot off the pedal and hand it over to private citizens and companies while taking control of the steering wheel.