Sunday, 20 February 2011

Cbbies and the big society:

Scene: Two ragged and economy puppets stand in front of a cardboard image of parliament; the first puppet is called Symon and the other Paul

Paul: I don’t understand what the big society is?”

Symon: “well it is an idea that a society, “whatever this means” can only be worthwhile as long as it provides service to its members and that in the overly romanticised past there was no need for the state”

Paul: “Boo! Hiss, down with the state!”

Symon: coughs. “As I was saying, that the state & market single handily replaced this idea, community provisions were replaced with state centric organisation and by multinational companies which destroyed the communal bonds upon which social provision rested”.

Paul: “Why did people sit by anD do nothing, why did they not fight for their communities?”

Symon: “some did, but the state is mighty and the economy is even mightier and man is weak, some men renounced the old faith of community and God for money; others for the dream of social advancement and other still where simply swept aside by the crazy lust of the state. The old order was severely injured and the old loyalties which held society together weakened and sometimes broke”.
Paul: “so how will the big society help, is it not too late?”

Symon: “societies are far more naturally stable and ran then clever people like to think and they are and where never a product of a centrally driven statist project; societies are by their very nature organic and spontaneous things; indeed there glory lies in their natural origins and the love people naturally feel for them and it is due to this love that they offer additional services”.

Paul: “Well that seems like a good basis to run – you know love”.
Symon: “yes; love, mercy, community loyalty and a spirit of collective need are all good things, trouble is there often severely lacking epically in poor areas and those who do use these services are subjected to community judgment. I am all for encouraging and simplifying community participation but unless you are willing to reinforce the social and religious order that under pinned the classical solicits of the past you get a mongrel half helpless neutered version; Unable to provide services to all without the heavy hand of the state mutilating community freedoms and without poorer areas receiving less services”.

Paul: “the why are they doing it?”

Symon: “well sometimes when we see no resolution to our issues we seek salvation in the past. The state has failed us, the market has failed us and though community might be slightly better than both it will fail us. Politicians have been brought up with a collective delusion; that there is a perfect system but there is not. People are incompetent and are systems fail because of it. The state it power mad, the market is prone to destructive fads and the community relies on discrimination .

Paul: “So what can we do”.

Symon: “We can continue in pragmatic faith; try small corrections and live and work on a small scale. We can work hard in are communities to make them the best we can, bring people to God and the hope and order a faithful life brings about and we can renounce the ideals of utopia and ideology”.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Matthew 25:40

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (NIV)

40And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. (King James)

I have never actually read the king James’s bible, mainly due to my dyslexia making reading old English difficult and also because I don’t have too and you can’t make me. Goggling these words of Jesus, however I came across the King James’s version, which to my mind is far more profound than the NIV version.

So what Jesus is saying hear; well to my mind it’s very straight forward, whatever you do to the least in society you are doing TO Jesus or in the name of Jesus. I repeat again, whatever we do to the least in our society we are inflict upon Jesus and do in the name of Jesus; when we exclude them we are excluding Jesus and in his name.

Now I am sure my more learned readers are screaming that it does not mean literally “inflicting” the same treatment upon Christ and that this is a metaphor at best and not what the passage means at worse. Well I am not theologian and I’ve not read it in Greek or Aramaic but I think the idea that the often hateful actions we often accidently inflict upon the least in our society we do unto Jesus is one so compelling and frightening and overwhelming that it is worthy of exploration.

So the first issue who is the least; “Cricky” there are much more complex than those defined in the sermon on the mount and ranges from the poor to those who are the least because they are unacceptable to are society or are moral code (I am thinking of paedophiles and drug addicts). When I hear the word least I first think of economically least aka poor.

I then recall a saying a vicar once taught me: “It is those who are least “deserving of mercy” who most require it and are thus most deserving of it”; I know this saying is a paradox but to me it solidifies the concept of least. The least are often those who is it acceptable to represses and relegate to the dark corners of our society; the least are then often people who have done something to, in some way, deserve there lowly position.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Dear Mr Osborn:

I am not a wealthy man and I have just returned to work after a rather extended period of unemployment and I am very happy in my private sector job. I know there is much in economics you cannot affect and I see this government sell UK PLC like no other in my short life span. I am also a proud and loyal conservative party member and it is this spirit I write this letter.

Are you think or what; even the most basic grasp of economics explains that there is only so much money in circulation; this is even true globally and yes before you start I know we have to both reduce the deficit and the massive debt mountain and yes I know in this parliament marked the highest level of nation debt since the second world war and I know we cannot stand square in the face of globalised economics and our debtors.

So acknowledging all of this it does seem to me, with the greatest respect; that your time line should be flexible; debt is a feature of modern societies as is the state and it is not the worse fate for a government to minimise unemployment by building infrastructure projects or indeed decelerating the cost cutting measure and extending plans and aims. I know you are a proud man Mr Osborn but you cannot allow the economy to suffer for your pride.

I do honestly believe that cutting corporation tax is the best route to a sustainable recovery but I don’t believe we could not slow down just a tad for this first hard year, a year of stagflation, the British illness. I do not believe we could not ensure fewer job losses not in the name of economics per say but in the name of faith in the economy and it is the confidence people feel about the economy which is at least as important as actual economic factors .

So I beseech you Mr. Osborn be flexible on your time table, be pragmatic rather than steadfast but know we still believe that your solution of pro-business tax cuts is the best solution then what ever the current labour position is. I still believe you and are party is the party of stable economics and I hope you do not fail in this most sacred of tasks.

Monday, 14 February 2011

CBB’s Vs big society:

Scene: Two ragged and economy puppets stand in front of a cardboard image of parliament; the first puppet is called Symon and the other Paul
Symon: Today children we are going to talk about the big society and you;
Paul: That sounds awful complicated Symon, sound adult
Symon: Well it is Paul but we are all part of the big society even are wonderful listeners but before I explain that let me tell you a tale;
Scene opens on a yea oldie medieval scene
Symon: many years ago lived a knight called Thatcher and a dragon called Sacrgil – they simply could not get along and fought across the lands of Albion, the knight was a good women and was faithful to her god known as the free market, the knight and her God finally rid the land of the evil dragon but her god was capricious and extracted a cost for his assistance and this cost was the social fabric of Britain a fabric already torn and damaged by the dreams of past knights who worshiped the fallen God of the state.

Eventually the god of the market became so powerful and the cost of satisfying him so great that the people could no longer endure it and the God’s capricious nature turned vengeful and struck the people of Albion low. The knight was sent in to exile and a new knight was chosen to lead the land. This knight had no God beyond himself but kept doffed his hat to both the kings of the market and the state and so this knight rode the land even waging crusade in the name his vague Gods.

Eventually even this knight was slain and a knew night with a new God chosen to defend the land; the new nights name was Call me Dave; he had no God’s but call me Dave had a dream. A dream of being a night on the cheap, of protecting the land on the cheap and this was the idea of the posy or the big society. In Dave’s dream the people of Albion had nothing better and no greater wish then to work for him for free; they were tired of the state and fearful of the market and his solution to thise was tombola’s and parish councils.

Sunday, 13 February 2011


It is a too familiar refrain that a government is fair or seeks to be fair and that every policy has at is heart fairness. It of course goes unspoken as to what nature or what end this fairness serves? I as a conservative do not believe any policy can be fair and that no institution of man could or will ever be fair. In addition I even question the pursuit of fairness as seeking to escape from an essentially unfair world.

Let us then look at coalition fairness or what I call shameless political fairness; the most obvious example of this is the tuition fee debate. Fees are paid post university and are based on post university incomes, which we all know but to ensure they are fairer still the coalition have waved the first two (2?) years tuition fees from the bill for poor (that is poor on attendance) students. They have also insisted that any university charging the full amount of fees must find room for student from a state dictated area to a state dictated level. This political fairness causes leads to two parables.

“The parable of the poor millionaire”:
Two students attend the same university. One is the son of a millionaire, who refuses to pay for his debts, this child is spoilt and inattentive to his studies; he gets involved in drug culture at university, he squeaks a pass and manages to find a £20,000 jobs as a favour to his farther. From his earning he is expected to repay the full loans and after thirty years he manages this herculean feat. On the top floor of the very same building sit the companies owner; he comes from a family to whom dirt poor would be too kind, he has strove and worked every day of his life and he gain his university place and applied his work ethic hear as well. Not only was his life improved thank to hardship fund but he was free of any significant debts, whilst at university he creates a safer version of hydrogen and become wealthier then avarice; still he pays no fee, regardless of his wealth it is the dirt poor millionaire’s child who pays for them.

“5 A stars”
Are second parable of fairness is a tale of two students, again one poor and one wealthy, both have dedicated themselves wholly to one end – getting to an elite university. They have both worked extremely hard both in there GCSE & A level the wealthier child has managed to get five A star A levels and the poorer student four A star and one A. Both of course have applied for Oxford but it is the poorer student who is accepted above the wealthier student because Oxford now have other non-academic criteria to fulfil. The hard working wealthy student of course goes elsewhere but losses out on some opportunities and the cashay of elite education his hard work has earned him in the name of fairness.

Now you may sneer and say this is the drivelling’s of a reactionary; that I am simply protecting entrenched privilege but I care nothing for privilege I merely want policy that makes senses. It is nonsense to give people free education based solely on their parent’s income and it is deeply unfair to deprive a hard working student of the just reward of their hard work to appease some mythical structural discrimination in the allocation of university places. I could not care less if Oxford had no one from the lower classes, as long as they took the top students in are nation regardless of class that is to my mind to be expected.