The meaning of the word ‘Society’

Okay so this blog is a bit political. But the combination of the new benefits cuts on April Fool’s Day (pinch, punch, first of the month) for some of the most vulnerable people in our society, coupled with Margaret Thatcher’s death this week, feels like enough of a perfect storm to make me do this. I tweeted on April 1st about the meaning of the word Society.  Lest we forget. Origin of the word Society: mid C16th, companionship, friendly association with others. From Latin ‘Societas’ from ‘Socius’, which means companion.

‘Friendly association with others.’

We (society, Britain) do need to cut our debt but I don’t agree with the way it’s being done: it’s one-sided. And, yes, while benefits abuses need to be tackled and the system needs to be reformed, those in poverty are being demonised and hammered while excessive, exploitative greed remains unchecked. Nor do I think that business should be demonised, far from it (I’m a copywriter for heaven’s sake); I believe in a responsible meritocracy.

I love what my sister is doing. Gilly has set up a pioneering new social enterprise called WorkSpring in East London to help NEETS find their feet in the world and work their way out of JSA and into a better future (no small thing given the complex issues many of these young adults are facing). To achieve this, corporates donate surplus goods and waste (neatly helping the environment), and all sorts of sparky individuals and huge companies are supporting with training and mentoring for the NEETS. It’s a supported yet challenging “Get up and walk” approach and it’s brilliant.


By Liz Holt