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And another thing

The big society has been neatly characterised as, “If we close all the libraries and youth centres, all the sacked librarians and youth workers will have plenty of time on their hands to go and volunteer at their local library or youth centre”. That may sound cynical but it remains infinitely more convincing, in the light of what we’ve seen so far, than any attempts by the government to sell it to us:
Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General (Francis Maude MP): … It’s about understanding that our obligations to each other don’t end with paying our taxes and obeying the law. We have obligations, and our communities work together. We have a big strong society when people do more, not just for themselves—that’s important, self-reliance—but when they do more for each other, more for their communities, and that’s what binds us together.

Interviewer (Eddie Mair): Point made. What volunteering do you do?

Francis Maude: I do­—golly, what do I do? I do a whole load of things. I’m involved with my local church. Gosh. That’s a really unfair question, cold. The point is—

Interviewer: I think, given that we’re talking about volunteering and how important it is, that you might have been able to tell me. Not least because in your manifesto, it says, “Our ambition is for every adult in the country to be a member of an active neighbourhood group”.

Francis Maude: Well, I’m involved in things in my local community. MPs spend their time involved with voluntary groups.

Interviewer: Well, that’s part of your job, isn’t it? You get paid for that. What else do you do?

Francis Maude: Well, we do it seven days a week, kind of thing. I do various things. It’s a great question to drop on me. [BBC]

This autumn: Roy Walker is Slobodan Milosevic


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
Yeahhh. One rule for us, another rule for them.
Feb. 16th, 2011 08:45 pm (UTC)
It would be funny if, well... God.
Feb. 17th, 2011 08:03 am (UTC)
Mm hmmm. Maybe we should ask for a register of volunteer work undertaken by members of the govt.
(Deleted comment)
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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