Tuesday, 27 July 2010

'Big Society': A RANT...

God, I REALLY can’t stand David Cameron. Or George Osbourne. Or Nick TRAITOR Clegg, for that matter. It’s no secret AT ALL, that I regard the average Tory in the same light as I do RAOUL MOAT, but after the election and all this talk of ‘the new politics’, I thought I’d bite my tongue and give them a chance. Early signs were good: the Lib Dems’ idea of taking the first 10K earned out of tax seemed progressive and positive. Lots of red tape was axed and the debt reduction plan got under way. Then the budget came and it all seemed to go HORRIBLY TITS UP for everyone except those who are quite comfortably off. There was much talk of everyone SHARING THE PAIN, but I can’t quite see how the well off are going to feel the same amount of pain as the poorest in society.

At the forefront of the governments cost-slashing mission appears to be Cameron’s ridiculous, unworkable and FRANKLY FUCKING STUPID idea of BIG SOCIETY.

Big Society? Big Bollocks, more like… I don't even want to go into one of my rants about this, but I’m about to, so look away now. All I can say is POPPYCOCK.

Call me stupid, but it appears to me that the entire plan is based upon the notion that the people of our nation actually give a toss about other people. I don’t know how you feel about this, but in my experience the majority of people don't (I’m looking directly at those who voted Tory in the first place – does HISTORY TEACH US PISS ALL?) I’m not saying that EVERYONE is a selfish so and so, but when the main reaction to George Osbourne’s (boo, hiss, spit, happy slap) budget earlier this year is ‘OOH, IS IT GOING TO AFFECT ME? HOW DARE YOU cut things THAT AFFECT ME? Cut the BENEFITS and the SERVICES my family don't use! And kick out all the immigrants whilst you’re at it!’ then SURELY even the Tories can surely gauge the overall, overwhelmingly selfish public mood? There is no concern for the general wellbeing of the country. The government cannot be entirely blind to this, CAN THEY?

Now transplant this attitude to a new system in which the government outsources public services to this general public that don't really give a toss about anyone else and herein lies your problem. Add to that the fact that even those who are interested in doing something don't know a MONKEY’S PISS FLAP about the complexity of running a competent and reliable public service. HECK, most of their opinions of politics are drastically generalising and ill-informed in the first place. This sort of set-up ALWAYS attracts power-hungry Daily Mail reading types with FAR too much time to spare and FAR too much of an axe to grind for their own good. If this is the public they're dishing out "power" to then MADGE HELP our public services. And if public services fail, who suffers the most? Those in need.

Of course, it's not just the fact that people don't want to help, or that they don't know what the fuck they're doing but also the VERY OBVIOUS QUALM that even the most well-meaning of folk SIMPLY do not have swathes of their own time to dish out for NO PERSONAL GAIN of their own. Whilst there are people out there who can and do volunteer for the greater good, my feeling is that they are VERY MUCH a MINORITY. Try finding some school leavers or some of the millions unemployed who are willing to work for nothing whilst their family is already staring the breadline right in the face. Not to mention that we have a populace so obsessed with self-gain and financial reward that it's made us far more unlikely to all PITCH IN AND HELP ONE ANOTHER anyway. One of the most obvious demographics for the ConDem(n)s to turn to are the pensioners, who not only have free time but also some scraps of feeling of societal togetherness (possibly left over from the war, rationing and the 1950s.) But even though there are masses of them, you seriously can't expect people to just want to give up their time to prop up ill-advised government BOLLOCKY IDEAS?

Volunteering, whilst a valuable and honourable thing to do, is also one of the most unreliable ways of running what are VITAL SERVICES. They need funding (and where the hell is that going to come from, exactly? Charity boxes?) They also need people – not those who can down tools and SOD OFF without a moment's notice. Can we really cope with such a fragile framework propping up these operations?

WELL, NOT REALLY, NO.

(Oh look a rant. With lots of CAPITAL LETTER SHOUTING SHENANIGANS. Well done me.)

4 comments:

Andy H said...

Nice unequivocal post there! Couple of points and food for thought:

(1) The ‘Big Society’ concept is a pile of PR dribble, agreed. I think it is an attempt of the Tory/Lib government to distract criticism away from the cuts they are m...aking. The concept will inevitably flop, but as a PR stunt designed for the above, it may well succeed. Nevertheless, let’s not judge the govt. on this (albeit ridiculous) policy alone though. Indeed, some seemingly decent measures are in the process of being implemented, including the £10k personal allowance for income tax (as aforesaid by your learned self), and Mr Cable is looking at ways to cap bonuses and ensure banks start lending again, hopefully to rebuild the decapitated private sector. Time will tell, let’s see how it pans out.

(2) Please let us not forget why the current government is required to make these cuts. Nope, it’s not the fault of the bankers and it wasn’t the fault of the recession (at least in isolation). Instead, we must recognise it was the previous government’s zealous budgeting methods and over-spending. The cuts are bigger than anticipated as the debt is greater than anyone (without the books at hand) were able to gauge. Simply shocking that another £300bn blackhole was found and Labour had not accounted for, and let’s not pretend that Labour (or any other government) would not have made cuts were they in power – Ali Darling changed his position drastically for election purposes only (look at his Budget proposals from the year before).

(3) “I don’t know how you feel about this, but in my experience the majority of people don't [care about others in society]” – this couldn’t be more true! However, as an advocate of socialist philosophies, John, this is exactly why I believe such would never, ever work. Also, remember, these people also voted Labour in the past. In fact, many people vote Labour because it downright suits them – why would the spongers want to have to work for a living, for example, especially when they have a 5 bed in Kensington paid for!? (Ok –I’m embellishing and exaggerating to make a point, but still…) These people also voted Tory in the past too. In my opinion, Thomas Hobbes was not wrong when he said that man is essentially self-interested, brutish and power-hunger.

Discuss…

:)See More

Andy H said...

Nice unequivocal post there! Couple of points and food for thought:

(1) The ‘Big Society’ concept is a pile of PR dribble, agreed. I think it is an attempt of the Tory/Lib government to distract criticism away from the cuts they are m...aking. The concept will inevitably flop, but as a PR stunt designed for the above, it may well succeed. Nevertheless, let’s not judge the govt. on this (albeit ridiculous) policy alone though. Indeed, some seemingly decent measures are in the process of being implemented, including the £10k personal allowance for income tax (as aforesaid by your learned self), and Mr Cable is looking at ways to cap bonuses and ensure banks start lending again, hopefully to rebuild the decapitated private sector. Time will tell, let’s see how it pans out.

(2) Please let us not forget why the current government is required to make these cuts. Nope, it’s not the fault of the bankers and it wasn’t the fault of the recession (at least in isolation). Instead, we must recognise it was the previous government’s zealous budgeting methods and over-spending. The cuts are bigger than anticipated as the debt is greater than anyone (without the books at hand) were able to gauge. Simply shocking that another £300bn blackhole was found and Labour had not accounted for, and let’s not pretend that Labour (or any other government) would not have made cuts were they in power – Ali Darling changed his position drastically for election purposes only (look at his Budget proposals from the year before).

(3) “I don’t know how you feel about this, but in my experience the majority of people don't [care about others in society]” – this couldn’t be more true! However, as an advocate of socialist philosophies, John, this is exactly why I believe such would never, ever work. Also, remember, these people also voted Labour in the past. In fact, many people vote Labour because it downright suits them – why would the spongers want to have to work for a living, for example, especially when they have a 5 bed in Kensington paid for!? (Ok –I’m embellishing and exaggerating to make a point, but still…) These people also voted Tory in the past too. In my opinion, Thomas Hobbes was not wrong when he said that man is essentially self-interested, brutish and power-hunger.

Discuss…

:)See More

Andy H said...

Nice unequivocal post there! Couple of points and food for thought:

(1) The ‘Big Society’ concept is a pile of PR dribble, agreed. I think it is an attempt of the Tory/Lib government to distract criticism away from the cuts they are m...aking. The concept will inevitably flop, but as a PR stunt designed for the above, it may well succeed. Nevertheless, let’s not judge the govt. on this (albeit ridiculous) policy alone though. Indeed, some seemingly decent measures are in the process of being implemented, including the £10k personal allowance for income tax (as aforesaid by your learned self), and Mr Cable is looking at ways to cap bonuses and ensure banks start lending again, hopefully to rebuild the decapitated private sector. Time will tell, let’s see how it pans out.

(2) Please let us not forget why the current government is required to make these cuts. Nope, it’s not the fault of the bankers and it wasn’t the fault of the recession (at least in isolation). Instead, we must recognise it was the previous government’s zealous budgeting methods and over-spending. The cuts are bigger than anticipated as the debt is greater than anyone (without the books at hand) were able to gauge. Simply shocking that another £300bn blackhole was found and Labour had not accounted for, and let’s not pretend that Labour (or any other government) would not have made cuts were they in power – Ali Darling changed his position drastically for election purposes only (look at his Budget proposals from the year before).

(3) “I don’t know how you feel about this, but in my experience the majority of people don't [care about others in society]” – this couldn’t be more true! However, as an advocate of socialist philosophies, John, this is exactly why I believe such would never, ever work. Also, remember, these people also voted Labour in the past. In fact, many people vote Labour because it downright suits them – why would the spongers want to have to work for a living, for example, especially when they have a 5 bed in Kensington paid for!? (Ok –I’m embellishing and exaggerating to make a point, but still…) These people also voted Tory in the past too. In my opinion, Thomas Hobbes was not wrong when he said that man is essentially self-interested, brutish and power-hunger.

Discuss…

:)See More

Johnny Red Pants said...

I agree wholeheartedly with the assertion that 'Big Society' is a load of PR pissdribble. As a catchy buzz word, it didn't work in the election and as a concept, it's not going to work now. Getting self interested, socially apathetic people... to volunteer their time to replace existing services just isn't going to work. I just don't get it... Getting joe public to volutarily run post offices, libraries, transport services and housing schemes, funded by DORMANT BANK ACCOUNTS - I mean, what the fucking fuck? - seems that barmy I'm actually sitting here laughing.

We can crow and crib all we like about Labour overspending and that's the reason that the cuts are taking place, blah, blah, blah, but to dress public spending cuts as 'Big Society' is a) an insult to our intelligence, b) ridiculous and c) PR spin that Blair/Campbell/Mandelson wouldn't even dare to try and pass off. And that's saying something..

I agree that whoever got in would've made cuts - it was an evitability based on years of overspending, but SURELY this government has got the authority to simply say, 'it's Labour's fault,' and not lose votes over, because ultimately, the electorate would probably agree.

My overall point is that some essential public services are going to be ruined in the name of Big Society - an unworkable idea, which, when it probably fails, will leave the most people more insular or apathetic, the most wealthy pretty much as they are now and the vulnerable / most needy worse off, which will tie in nicely with Thatcher's idea that society doesn't really exist.

Thomas Hobbes hit the nail on the head with his assessment of humanity - and isn't it a crying shame?

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