Okay, first things first: I am married to a councillor and am a school governor, Chair for the past 2 years. So I think I know a bit about my local community and I suspect that it is fairly representative of the national picture. I see no evidence of a reservoir of popular outrage ready to be channelled into progressive action. In my experience as a school governor, people can be persuaded to volunteer for one-off events or to deal with a specific project but the greater the degree of commitment required, the more difficult it is to recruit volunteers. People generally mobilise themselves into action over single issues eg uniting against a building development or a campaign to save a hospital from closure. In many ways, those of us who are school governors are just the same, the single issue being our children's education, only the time frame is extended.
So under Dave's plan, the various public services which are not working will be replaced by these volunteer-led organisations. What he doesn't explain is who is going to police them? A whole support structure exists for instance to ensure good governance of schools and even that's not foolproof. Who's going to vet the volunteers who want to take over a hospital or fire the local Police borough commander? And by the way, I'm not talking about CRB here, I'm more concerned about such organisations being hijacked by those with an axe to grind but not necessarily the skills to match.
And finally, for me the main problem with the whole idea is that it feels suspiciously like a smokescreen to distract us when the cuts come. If we all join hands, get together, feel good about ourselves we won't notice or mind that services we have paid for in taxes are replaced with something a lot less reliable, unaccountable and shambolic.
Ultimately, I want Government to do its job and govern or govern better!