Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Getting Irate So That You Don't Have To

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

At The End Of The Tunnel There's...What, Exactly ?

The general situation with politics in this country is something I am profoundly depressed about. For the last ten years we've been living under a tax-raising, war-mongering, lying, legislation-crazy and utterly incompetent government and we haven't had an Opposition worthy of the name.

If, like me, you desperately want someone to stand up for the ordinary people of England, to give us some freedom and to get the legislators off our backs, you just have no where to go in English politics. Unless....

From time-to-time there's a chink of light from David Cameron. Something that makes you wonder whether the Conservatives haven't actually lost their way completely and do in fact have an agenda which hands ownership and responsbility to the people. This might be one of those times.

Today Cameron is talking about crime. God knows there's enough to talk about. People being murdered for standing up for themselves, knife crime soaring again, 42% of people reputed to be scared of going out at night.

The Guardian reports that Cameron will talk about dealing with "anarchy in the UK" (sic) by strengthening families and communities. He is expected to call for a stronger role for the voluntary sector and better use of legislation to help deal with the problem. When Cameron has spoken like this in the past, he has talked complete sense and suggested, just suggested, that there might be someone out there who accepts that government doesn't have all the answers.

I live in hope. You never know. If he actually says something sensible and packs it up with some concrete policy which talks about less government intervention and not more, I shall let my mass of esteemed readers know...

UPDATE: I'd give him about 6 out of 10. Lots of recogntion that endless legislation does not work (mind you, give a politician power and that view tends to change). More power for magistrates over sentencing. More police on the beat and less papaerwork (God, how many times have we heard that ?). A few "making people realise" statements.

And then, near the end; "For me the most exciting development that is happening in Britain today is the growth of social enterprises and other voluntary bodies dedicated to social justice. They're tackling the hardest problems, the things which agencies of the state find it so difficult to get at - debt and addiction, unemployment and family breakdown. They are independent organisations, locally based, often amateur in their beginnings but soon highly expert. They are fired by compassion and the spirit of innovation. They work. I would like to make a new deal with the voluntary sector. Longer contracts. Less red tape. Full cost recovery. These are the organisations in the front line of the war against crime and exclusion, and we need to give them the weapons to do the job."

Right. Now you're talking, David. These are the kind of groups, close to the ground and giving real help and support, who could repair our social fabric. Trouble is, I can't, help feeling that within that "empowerment and support for those close to the ground" rhetoric, there's a top-down "here's how it has to be done" politcian. When Conservatives says "The State rarely knows best", some believe it, and some don't.

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