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Responsibility now the watchword for new UK Coalition Government


The team here at Responsible research have been watching the developments of the General Election and immediate post election period with great interest. We are not political in views; as a research business we don’t get involved in opinion polling or voting intention surveys however the emergence of responsibility as a theme rather than a sound bite has been particularly interesting. We have a broad definition of what responsibility as a consumer and as a citizen means – our research drawn from living with consumers and understanding their interpretation of how and when to be responsible indicates that some of the comments made by the new government may be particularly resonant. Currently we would define ‘being responsible’ as making conscious choices to reduce harm or promote good, because one is aware of the impact of one’s actions beyond the personal . In this context we have seen the Conservative position move from: ‘my vision is of a country where people have more opportunity and power over their lives; a country where families are stronger and society is more responsible; a Britain which is safer and greener’ which appears a largely vague notion that links themes in the same sentence. Now with a government formed, we heard a more concrete expression of how these themes could actually work together when David Cameron addressed the press before walking into Number 10 for the first time: ‘I believe together we can provide that strong and stable government that our country needs, based on those values, rebuilding family, rebuilding community - and above all - rebuilding responsibility in our country.’ So is there meaning behind the rhetoric? Here at Responsible research we certainly hope so, as taking this at face value and with a growing sense of purpose behind the new coalition government a focus and encouragement around responsibility of the individual to do what they can to build or rebuild a more generic sense of social responsibility is in marked contrast to the previous administration. It remains to be seen if this is realistic or rhetoric – in our opinion as social researchers the words being used certainly echo how the most responsible consumers we have identified, are starting to think and act. Interestingly amongst this group we actually saw the highest level of support for Conservatives and Liberal Democrats – though a year on from when we canvassed opinion, I don’t believe they ever thought they would see a coalition. So the team at Responsible research are now split between feeling encouraged that ‘responsibility’ is a word and a theme we will be hearing a lot more of and concern at the closer link we seem to have with the Conservative leader .. or should I say Prime Minister!

Tags: responsible; responsibility; Guardian; conservative; government,

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Responsibility now the watchword for new UK Coalition Government

Pic credit- guardian.co.uk


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