The Big Society Reminds Us How Things Used To Be

In the Daily Express Dalrymple calls David Cameron’s Big Society “a bad name for a sensible idea”.


We entrust the State with our health care, cradle to grave; it educates us, right up to postdoctoral level if need be; it guarantees our retirement; for about a third of us, it houses us; it employs many of us, either directly or indirectly; it even keeps us amused, through the BBC. For an increasing number of children, the State – and the TV in the bedroom – is the only father they will ever know. It gives us rights we never knew we had, but once we have them we are reluctant to lose them.

24 thoughts on “The Big Society Reminds Us How Things Used To Be

  1. Mrs. S.

    We have a similar situation here in Canada, with the Liberals now clamoring for nationalized daycare. One can only wonder how many more mothers will need to enter the workforce in order to offset the added tax burden.
    A columnist in our local left-wing rag (Hamilton Spectator) threw out what she felt was a challenging question this week – why do Conservatives expect single moms to go to work, but also state that a child is best reared at home, rather than at a daycare facility? I could only suppose that the concepts of personal responsibility and culpability have never crossed her mind.

    Reply
  2. Mrs. S.

    We have a similar situation here in Canada, with the Liberals now clamoring for nationalized daycare. One can only wonder how many more mothers will need to enter the workforce in order to offset the added tax burden.
    A columnist in our local left-wing rag (Hamilton Spectator) threw out what she felt was a challenging question this week – why do Conservatives expect single moms to go to work, but also state that a child is best reared at home, rather than at a daycare facility? I could only suppose that the concepts of personal responsibility and culpability have never crossed her mind.

    Reply
  3. Mrs. S.

    We have a similar situation here in Canada, with the Liberals now clamoring for nationalized daycare. One can only wonder how many more mothers will need to enter the workforce in order to offset the added tax burden.
    A columnist in our local left-wing rag (Hamilton Spectator) threw out what she felt was a challenging question this week – why do Conservatives expect single moms to go to work, but also state that a child is best reared at home, rather than at a daycare facility? I could only suppose that the concepts of personal responsibility and culpability have never crossed her mind.

    Reply
  4. Jackson

    On ITV there was a puerile show, some sort of chat show… I happened to switch channel as they were trying to work out what The Big Society might be… surprise, surprise they could only really treat the idea with contempt, I have at least read most of Jesse Norman’s take on it, and I think it has quite a lot to recommend it, but the major weakness is that it would mean people having to face up to what Dalrymple writes about.

    Janet Street Porter was on the panel, a guest. http://tinyurl.com/6du26zp this links to responses to a show on Modern British Art that she recently presented.

    Now, to quote Dalrymple from his brilliant essay http://www.city-journal.org/html/8_1_urbanities-trash.html

    “When Damien Hirst was taxed with the fact that anybody could bottle a sheep in formalin, he replied, “But no one did it before, did they?” And if originality necessitates coarseness, then so be it.
    The authentic man, in the romantic conception, is he who has cut himself free of all convention, who acknowledges no restriction on the free exercise of his will. This applies as much to morals as to aesthetics: and artistic genius becomes synonymous with waywardness. But a being as dependent on his cultural inheritance as man cannot escape convention so easily: and the desire to do so has itself become a cliche. Thus, for all its crudity and coarseness, “Sensation” is deeply conventional, but it obeys a wicked and socially destructive convention.
    The crudity of which I complain results from the poisonous combination of an ideologically inspired (and therefore insincere) admiration for all that is demotic, on the one hand, and intellectual snobbery, on the other. In a democratic age, vox populi, vox dei: the multitude can do no wrong; and to suggest that there is or ought to be cultural activity from which large numbers of people might be excluded by virtue of their lack of mental cultivation is deemed elitist and, by definition, reprehensible. Coarseness is the tribute that intellectuals pay, if not to the proletariat exactly, then to their own schematic, inaccurate, and condescending idea of the proletariat. Intellectuals prove the purity of their political sentiment by the foulness of their productions.
    As for snobbery, the intellectual raises himself above ordinary folk—who still cling quixotically to standards, prejudices, and taboos—by his thorough rejection of them.”

    And true to this form Porter had the audacity to align herself with her grossly disingenuous schematic of those people suffering the ‘Big Society’, so as to criticize it to divert her complicity. It’s not the Big Society they’re suffering so much as the rampant puerility that she represents.

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  5. soin

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