Changing Balsall Heath, Changing the country
It is a salutary comment on the inter-connectedness of things that while some progress could be made in Balsall Heath from the bottom up and that even more progress could be made with the top down support of the Town Hall, it has also been necessary to change the way Whitehall thinks and acts.
M.P.s and Civil Servants spent most of the twentieth century creating the Welfare state to help poor people. But, the more it did ‘for’ people, the more it took initiative and responsibility away from them.
We now know that instead of doing things ‘for’ people, we need to do things ‘with’ them and, indeed, enable them to do things for themselves. So, the story of the unfinished transformation of Balsall Heath can not be told without also telling the story of the unfinished transformation of the Welfare State of the Twentieth century into the Welfare Society of mutual self help of the Twentieth first century. See the papers: ‘Reinventing Government’ and ‘Vibrant Villages.’