I wrote the other day about the pitfalls of empowerment. Neil Jameson of Citizens UK has a good piece in the Guardian describing the success of the campaign to get all Londoners a living wage. He manages to be much more articulate than I was, when he says
What the political elite has not always understood however, is that such “power to the people” is complex and unlikely to happen if it only means a world of disparate good works, extensive volunteering, and neighbourhood improvement schemes initiated and controlled by the state.
And it’s nice to get a bit of philosophy thrown it too
Philosophers offer us clues as to why the giving of power, or “empowerment”, is so difficult for any elite. John Stuart Mill wrote: “That which people get for themselves is so much better than that which they are given.”
Hat Tip: David Wilcox tweet