‘Our Common Good’ by John Nickson – Reviewed by Tessa Hibbert

Our Common Good: If the state provides less, who will provide more? written by acclaimed fundraiser for the arts, John Nickson, is a powerfully argued statement of the need for new partnerships between the state, social and private sectors to meet societal needs.

Nickson’s book, a follow-up to Giving is Good for You, sets out to answer some important questions about how to support the vulnerable in an age when the economic squeeze and a new political discourse mean that the state is no longer the guarantor of the common good.

Coming myself from the world of charities and giving, it is easy to agree with every word. The challenge will be in ensuring that those who are not already converted – those in big business and government – are persuaded to hear its powerful argument.

The first half of the book sets out the challenges facing contemporary UK society, with chapters devoted to: the lack of equality; disadvantages faced by young people; inadequate funding for higher education sector and the arts; and our growing housing shortage.

 
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