Before I say a single word more I want to put on record my praise for all of those involved in founding and growing the Big Issue: John Bird, Gordon Roddick, Nigel Kershaw - legends all. Without these people, the cause of social enterprise would be five, maybe ten years behind where it is today.
But, cutting to my chase, who actually buys the Big Issue any more? I know that I have moved from avid buyer to occasional one over the years. When I read it, the magazine's editorial content is often well below what you would expect. The sellers somehow give off a feel that the day's up and I just don't think the public now buy into the idea that the Big Issue is getting people off the streets.
I know very little about how the Big Issue is now run, how many it sells or what plans its producers have for the magazine in the future. All that I sense looking at it, seeing the people selling it and observing the occasional people buying it is that it is a shadow of what it once was.
I feel like I am stepping on a holy shround even by saying this, but not even the Big Issue - that fine foundation-stone of social enterprise should be beyond the obvious question: Do you still matter?