David Cameron approached me with a request for an urgent consultation. As his recently appointed Communications Director I immediately went to his office at No 10.
The Big Society, Jim Womble, I need your input.
Not a good idea.
Wooly. No one knows what it's all about.
Come on. I've explained it clearly.
No you haven't. At heart you may have a good idea. People are not keen on the State organising things but they need a real alternative if you take it away.
That's where the Big Society comes in.
It is the small society, David. The charitable, voluntary sector is tiny compared to the Government. Parts of it depend on Government support. Others depend on donations which are drying up because people are feeling the austerity measures. In any case the biggest donations usually go to organisations that try to deal with Disasters overseas.
But it can grow and encourage local action.
The areas that need the most help are the ones least likely to have people with the time to devote to voluntary effort.
What should I do?
Pass it to Nick Clegg.
I can't do that.
Yes you can.
You are too busy. He needs something to take his mind off students.
It would be doing him a good turn.