The concepts that underlie the ‘Big Society’, like increasing personal responsibility and allowing civil society groups to replace government bureaucrats in certain roles, are good. Cutting back the state’s spending and allowing the private sector to fill in the gaps is what any responsible government should do. But is this really what it means? Apparently not. David Cameron’s speech is heavy with rhetoric about personal responsibility, but light on the implications of that. If personal responsibility means anything, it is that people must choose to be charitable, not be forced by the state to be so.