25 May 2011 2:50 PM

Barack backing for Big Society?

Following this afternoon's joint press conference in the London sunshine (Rose Garden II, anyone?), commentators are already poring over David Cameron and Barack Obama's words looking for differences.

Two obvious chinks stuck out - Cameron did not mention 1967 borders in relation to Israel, while Obama didn't give the wholehearted backing to the Coalition's economic policy that the Treasury would have loved to wave at Eds Miliband and Balls.

Shortly afterwards, Downing Street highlighted six announcements of closer working between the UK and US, and one in particular caught my eye.

"The US Peace Corps and VSO will jointly promote volunteering and active citizenship through people to people exchanges," it reads.

"They will work together alongside local communities and organisations on development priorities and they will enhance their effectiveness by sharing best practice in training, systems and innovation."

OK, so it isn't quite Barack Obama declaring his unstinting belief in the Big Society. But it is very BS-centred, which seems like quite a coup when you consider the other five areas of joint working are on armed forces support, global development, cyberspace, national security and science and universities.

Craig Woodhouse
Follow me on Twitter @craigawoodhouse


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