Theresa May's ditching Cameron's "big society" for the "shared society"

Lynsey Barber
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Prime Minister David Cameron Meets Social Entrepreneurs In Big Society Event
Theresa May is ditching big for sharing (Source: Getty)

Forget "big society", now it's all about the "shared society".

Theresa May is ditching the "big society" agenda of her predecessor David Cameron, instead vowing to tackle "everyday injustices" and "build a shared society for everyone".

The Prime Minister will lay out plans for social reform in a speech on Monday, to "build a country that works for everyone, not just the privileged few".

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"The shared society is one that doesn’t just value our individual rights but focuses rather more on the responsibilities we have to one another. It’s a society that respects the bonds that we share as a union of people and nations," she is expected to say.

The plans signal a break with previous Conservative leaders, including Cameron's Big Society platform of the 2010 election.

May will seek to address voters who feel government is not working for them and the so-called JAMs - those just about managing.

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"While the obvious injustices receive a lot of attention – with the language of social justice and social mobility a staple of most politicians today – the everyday injustices are too often overlooked. If you’re from an ordinary working class family, life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise," she will in the speech delivered to Charity Commission.

"It means making a significant shift in the way that government works in Britain. Because government and politicians have for years talked the language of social justice – where we help the very poorest – and social mobility – where we help the brightest among the poor. But to deliver the change we need and build that shared society, we must move beyond this agenda and deliver real social reform across every layer of society so that those who feel that the system is stacked against them – those just above the threshold that attracts the government’s focus today yet those who are by no means rich or well off – are also given the help they need.

"Because people who are just managing, just getting by don’t need a government that will get out of the way, they need a government that will make the system work for them. An active government that will work for them and allow them to share in the growing prosperity of post-Brexit Britain."

Big society was named Oxford Dictionaries' word of the year in 2010.

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