Neal Lawson says we are doomed...well, we will be if we let him doom us, that is.
The last week seems to have thrown up an amazing array of dispiriting and bewildering stories for anyone who wanted to create a more equal and democratic society.Depends on what you mean by "equal" and "democratic".
The news that CCTV cameras are to be given a voice to shout at anyone caught in the act of misbehaving...Then we have the benefit fraud lie detectors. In my youth I signed on. Then it was a degrading and humiliating experience. I don't suppose it has got any better. Now we make it worse by treating people as suspects and fraudsters. The government's message is thatIf the benefits system was not arranged like a hammock instead of a safety net, this kind of thing would be far less common. Neal forgets that sections of the community have been conceived, born, raised and now spawn their own paid for by Welfare. To them it is an automatic right, not a blessed relief from destitution.
it's being tough on scroungers - yet another crackdown to appease the Daily Mail and the Sun.
What these two government measures have in common is that they both target the poor
They both target everyone else too. "The poor" is redundant and illogical.
and undermine any notion of collective security.Highlight, more like. They are a manifestation of an extant undermining. Stop attacking the symptom (cameras) and attack why the cameras are there. You are missing the target and will not solve the problem.
Are insider-dealers or tax fraudsters subject to lie detector tests? Or, come to think of it, politicians who say that Iraq has WMD? Of course not. Will the cameras and the loud speakers be focused on cocaine snorting city traders? No.
Who else will they be focused on? Burglars? Coke dealers? Red Diesel sellers? Asylum Seekers? No.
The establishment believe society's problems are always caused by the poor and the weak.
Yes, if you consider the Establishment to be the Polly Toynbees of this world, who feed off the weak and unfortunate for their own patronising self-puffery. Poor do not cause problems per se, but they sure as hell give employment to armies of handwringers.
They are the ones who must be hounded and punished. It will be the people of Mosside not Mayfair that will be threatened. This is the way to divide and conquer while the real cheats and proponents of anti-social behaviour, some of the very richest in our society, get away scot-free.
like the present cabinet. It is not just Mosside, but Maidstone too. Your "rich v poor" argument is again without basis.
Another mad story is of course the kiss and tell Navy personnel, back from Iran and willing to spill the beans to the highest bidder. This issue has broken through to the population in a bad way. It was the subject of half time chat at a football match I was at on Monday night and the least political people in the world were outraged.Have you considered this a refelction of the PC agenda being pushed? This event is utterly the beast of the New Labour and PC generation, the infantilisation of the population, not money.
Finally, and most sad of all, another young black boy gets knifed to death on our streets. A 13 year old takes the life of someone just a year older. How little can he have valued his life to take another so cheaply? One can only guess at the trivial incident that sparked it. When society has no respect for them these children create their ownWho lost that respect? Again, deal with the underlying problems not the symptoms.
So what joins all of these stories up? A society that puts money, private wealth and the economy first. A free market demands a strong state.I disagree. What links them is an intrusive, overbearing and large State as the creator of the problems. A disempowerment of individuals has created anarchy on the streets where people cannot intervene. This has created the intrusion via CCTV and exactly what the State wants - it creates a problem and then "fixes" it in a way to further its original agenda. It creates feral children. Welfare State that is massive, dysfunctional and disconnects the giver from the receiver. It funds people to have yet more children regardless of their ability to care for them. It fuels more youth crime.
These kids have no geographic mobility, let alone social mobility.Reason: Council housing. If they were in private housing they could move away. The big state is to blame yet again.
The one bit of good news is that the government seemed to have refused a Megan's Law style approach to paedophiles. It's not good in the sense that things got better, just that they didn't get worse. The fact that 80 children a year die at the hands of their family and only six by a stranger, means common sense has prevailed and more paedophiles won't be driven underground.In this I wholeheartlily agree, except you miss out the important fact that PDO's need to be locked up, not left to roam.
Labour is supposed to be going about a process of renewal through its leadership and deputy leadership race. Campaign teams, web sites and, for some, hoodies with their name emblazoned on them, are all in place. Media interviews are eagerly secured. But on the issues that matter, like these, there is only silence.Yep, and Santa is busy wrapping presents for next Christmas.
Only Jon Cruddas has attempted to comprehend and explain the social recession Britain is facing. He knows we can do better than this."socal recession". A new phrase to be scorned.