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Jul. 26th, 2010

David Davies may be insisting that he was misheard (an entire conversation, including his repetition of Tory donor Lord Ashcroft’s bon mot, “Brokeback Coalition”? That's quite a mishear), but the bitter little analysis attributed to him by the Financial Times journos who sat next to him at lunch the other day is hard to argue with:
The corollary of the big society is the smaller state. If you talk about the small state, people think you’re Attila the Hun. If you talk about the big society, people think you’re Mother Teresa.
Ultimately, wasteful and inept state spending and haphazard philanthropy relying on rapacious corporatism are probably quite as harmful as each other, so his aggrievedness may not be as justified as he appears to believe. But his underlining of the fact that “big society” is just welfare-slashing in an unconvincing moustache is instantly more credible than his boss's claims that “This is not about trying to save money, it is about trying to have a bigger, better society”.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 26th, 2010 01:09 pm (UTC)
The main problem with this, of course, is that society isn't willing to step into the state's shoes; that's why we have the state empty our bins and sweep our streets in the first place: people can't be bothered to do it themselves. Conservatives are keen on chattering about empowering society at the expense of the council "bureaucrats" but people can already do that by, you know, contacting the council when something needs done which most people are surprisingly reluctant to do. If we had a more can-do public then local councils up and down the country wouldn't be so slovenly because they'd be getting bitten on the arse regularly. As it is, people expect someone else to pick up after them and show no inclination to do it for themselves. Cameron, like most of his class and most of his Party, has little experience of what the society he's so keen to empower is actually like.
Jul. 26th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
I saw him in St James' Park once. As soon as he realised that i had clocked him he dashed away like a fleeing rapist with a really strange, contorted facial expression. Years before that i saw the MP for Ipswich at the time (i forget his name) late at night in the town centre - he too dashed away, apparently horrified.
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