The response to my idea of pensioners donating their Winter Fuel Allowances to teenagers who will no longer – from next year – receive Educational Maintenance Allowances just hasn’t quite taken off. The people who did respond – about twenty – have been very kind but I don’t sense many of them are actually pensioners themselves.
I still think it could have worked. But unless it went viral spontaneously (if that isn’t a tautology) it needed some big names and some free PR and I just don’t have the time or energy to do the recruitment.
So ‘thank you’ to those who have discussed it with me and the people who commented on the two earlier blogs.
In one way it is a bit embarrassing to get publicly enthusiastic and then have to back away, but ultimately this relied on people finding the basic proposition: well-off- pensioners-who-have-been-protected-from-the-cuts-help-vulnerable-youngster-who haven’t – seductive and the only to find that out was to ask.
Anyway, all is not lost. The experience has made me think up a modern saying:
You can’t make an innovative omelette without getting egg on your face.
Public services, commercial corporations and spontaneous social movements: what's the power they all lack? How might public service reform not flounder through shoehorning dynamism into a universalist and planned approach? How might businesses become genuinely socially responsible rather than merely intoning fine sounding rhetoric?