Some fascinating documents showing Common Purpose working within the highest levels of government and NuLabour. Although from a couple of years ago it is worth reading these documents carefully as they show Common Purpose fully engaged in a political agenda at Downing Street. Note also the input from Fabian marxist DEMOS. This same organisation is now proposing that there is UK wide National Service so that everyone from the age of 7 can repay their debt to society.
The scheme would see people serving throughout their lives, taking up opportunities, from school projects at the age of seven to paid leave for employees. For a week a year, people would down their tools or keyboards and pick up litter, dredge canals, become reading mentors or help the elderly. The community benefits would be huge.
There would be options to suit different needs: spanning service as back-to-work training for unemployed young jobseekers and gap year-style service schemes for young people with access to subsidised loans and grants on the same basis as university undergraduates. The expectation for undergraduates would be that they undertake 100 hours of service over the course of their degree.
It would cost Â£450m a year to set up. True, itâ€™s a lot of money but, over the long term, civic service could pay for itself twice over in its economic and social returns. Itâ€™s estimated that the Canadian version of the programme returns an incredible $2.20 for every dollar originally invested. In Britain, a 2.5% interest rate on student loans would raise that annual Â£1.2 billion. Despite the inevitable howls of protest, this is fair. Undergraduates do so well by the system, with subsidies of at least Â£5,000 a year and extra average earnings of Â£600,000 over their lifetime, that itâ€™s reasonable to ask them to shoulder the costs.
...The report Service Nation by Sonia Sodha and Dan Leighton is published today [7 Dec 2009] by Demos. The research was supported by the Private Equity Foundation
"Returning to the Downing Street documents they include the statement "One of the key aims of the week is to give the 20:20 group an insight into how government and how, in particular, the central government machine actually works. On
Monday 12 June, they will have had input from the new Director of DEMOS Madeleine Bunting, and from Sir Richard Mottram from the Cabinet Office on how the civil service works. "