Amol Rajan Community organisers are building the Big…

Amol Rajan: Community organisers are building the Big Society

The worst thing about this piece is the headline, despite its concision and accuracy. young Mr. Rajan has his heart in the right place.

Alinskian organising (Saul Alinsky more or less invented ‘community organising’ it and he is a bit of a hero of mine) is long overdue in the UK. About 25 years ago the Church of England, (or was it the Methodists? ) had a push to introduce it into UK community work practice, but it ‘didn’t take’. Perhaps a generation later, when we have become ever more Americanised – ever more individualistic, solipsistic and jaded – the time is righter.

“Saul Alinsky’s work is an important reference point for thinking about community organizing and community development. His books Reveille for Radicals (1946) and Rules for Radicals (1971) were both classic explorations of organizing and remain popular today. Mike Seal examines Alinsky’s continuing relevance to the activities of informal educators, community organizers and animateurs.”

Don’t let the fact that both Hilary Clinton and Obama are fans put you off!

Quotes from his first book:

He wrote two books, thanks to being in jail twice. Who says prison doesn’t work?