The Big Society and the Great Society


Sir, – Your editorial “The radicalism of Joe Biden” (April 9th) refers to “Lyndon Johnson’s 1960s Big Society”.

The Big Society was, however, David Cameron’s social programme in the UK.

It was conceived as the antithesis of “big government” and looked to private philanthropy rather than government action – and funding – to alleviate social problems.

Lyndon Johnson’s social programme was the Great Society, and that greatly expanded the role of government in social policy areas in the United States in ways that were anathema to conservatives on both sides of the Atlantic, including Mr Cameron, hence his Big Society initiative. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 18.