Paging all political junkies: you can call off the search, we've found the answer.
The Sceptic Tank can exclusively reveal that it has worked out what David Cameron's "Big Society" actually means.
It has been a long and unrelenting quest that took in numerous cul-de-sacs. Was it an attempt to revive the good old days of Edwardian philanthropy? Was it a philosophical cover for selling off vast swathes of the public sector? Was it a welcome end to the nanny state? Or was it a meaningless mélange of policy wonkery?
It was, of course, all those things and less. But most of all it was a means of making sure you buy your own sandbags.
Could there be a better embodiment of the Big Society – or should that be Wet Society – than Defra's gracious offer this week to help businesses and communities pay for their own flood protection?
Now, some people may see the reforms as a cynical means to prop up the swingeing cuts to Defra's flood protection budget at a time when everyone agrees flooding is only going to get worse. But we have no truck with such cynicism – the proposals are in fact an opportunity to empower people and businesses to play a proactive role in building their own levees and redirecting their own rivers.
The Sceptic Tank is not about to miss this glorious opportunity to play a part in the Big Society and has already started the search for a new home, flood plain-adjacent.
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