British Tory leader David Cameron is, of course, quite right when he says “there is such a thing as society, it’s just not the same thing as the state,” but a laughable ragbag of measures allegedly designed to give society a helping hand that was just unveiled by the Conservatives (as, supposedly, an incentive to vote for them) must be amongst the most nauseating productions yet seen in this political season (beating even Tony Blair’s descent from the heavens yesterday). Amongst its delights:
A “Neighbourhood army” of 5,000 full-time, professional community organisers who will be trained with the skills they need to identify local community leaders, bring communities together, help people start their own neighbourhood groups, and give communities the help they need to take control and tackle their problems. This plan is directly based on the successful community organising movement established by Saul Alinsky in the United States and has successfully trained generations of community organisers, including President Obama . . .
Transforming the civil service into a “civic service” by making regular community service a key element in civil servant staff appraisals . . .
Launching an annual national “Big Society Day” to celebrate the work of neighbourhood groups and encourage more people to take part in social action projects.
Good grief. We are doomed.