That changed with David Cameron's conference speech, of course. And, since then, the Big Society has been back, loud and proud. Only this week, Philip Hammond was talking about a "Big Society approach" to dealing with the snow. Nick Clegg has taken to opening "big society classrooms". And, today, we have a piece in the Guardian by three ministers (none of them, I notice, a Lib Dem), reiterating the thinking behind slogan, and calling for a stronger culture of "charitable giving and volunteering" in the UK. They add:
"At the moment we are looking at the ways we can encourage people to give more. Our proposals will be published by next spring. As part of that process we will be asking the public to contribute their thoughts."