Knowing ‘Bugger All’

I spent a very pleasant afternoon recently in the offices of New Start Magazine researching what makes for an inspirational or transformational relationship and I came across this wonderful quote:

In my ethnographic work, with a head full of American methodologies and theory, I thought I knew a bit about local government, urban and social policy and the theory of community and activism.  However, I knew as Betty was to tell me, “Bugger all!”.  All I knew was learned, abstract and distinct from reality.  Betty knew it from 60 years of lived experience.

Neil McInroy Chief Executive, CLES

This is why we need to have a process for community development that is not controlled by local government but by the lived experience of local people.


  1. Exactly what I have been saying! The grassroots people know what they want, and it isn’t big brother watching them…
    We want broadband access in an area of BT market failure, but nope, they don’t listen, they give us a broadband evangelist to help the ones who don’t want broadband. Mad world.
    We want food from this country, and they give us cheap imported rubbish so our farmers go out of business.
    We want roads without potholes, and they give us quangos. The HSE is a blight on the country. Ofcom is a waste of space. Ofsted has virtually ruined our educations system. Aye, they know buggerall.

  2. haha, just seen you tweet this again, and 6 months later nowt much has changed… they still know buggerall and digitalbritain is no nearer, just more consultations and they still don’t listen to us…
    I will retweet.

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