BS SOS!

It’s all hands to the deck as the HMS Big Society takes water below the bow. Luckily someone is tooled up, hoping to plug the hole:

What a coincidence that today after sustained attack on the BS, Mrs Cameron was out and about visiting a social breakdown charity in Reading. Apparently “it is very exciting to see a social action project so successfully bringing together different elements in the community to help young people struggling with mainstream education”. Activate the Sam Cam…

Quote of the Day

George Osborne welcoming of Balls to his new job:

“Now he knows too what it feels like to be the peoples’ second choice”.

Power Crazed Former Coke-Head Seen in Westminster

"The Hoff" David Hasselhoff and David Cameron

Via Paul Waugh.

Maggie Streep

Guido is late to this, but quite a stunning resemblance:

As His Grace said, probably as close to the truth as the film will get…

Big Society v Big Government

In the Indy this morning the left-wing columnist Steve Richards identifies the key truth about the ideological under-pinning of the heavily under attack Big Society programme which seems to have escaped most of his allies on the left. When Cameron said “There is such a thing as society, but it is not the same as the state” it wasn’t a rejection of Margaret Thatcher’s famous dictum, it was a restatement of what she said:

“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour.”

That he set the chattering classes into paroxysms of delight over a Tory leader’s supposed rejection of Thatcherism shows that on the whole, with a few exceptions like Jon Cruddas, most of the left don’t understand right-of-centre thinking because they hold a mental caricature of centre-right and right-wing ideology in their minds, attributing malice to their opponents. The Big Society is about displacing Big Government as the key actor in society, so when the left-wing quangocracy, unions and their media allies complain that charities are losing their taxpayer subsidy and this undercuts the Big Society agenda, they misunderstand completely. A charity that relies in the main part on taxes is no more a charity than a prostitute is your girlfriend. Since Edmund Burke conservatives have wanted Little Platoons to take the lead in civil society. If David Miliband’s Movement for Change had actually set about being the change rather than just (as his brother Ed wants) campaigning for Bigger Government, it too would have been one of Burke’s “Little Platoons”. Radical whigs and liberals have always wanted to disperse power away from first the monarch and in modern times from the state. The Big Society agenda is not about the state delivering through para-statal bodies, it is about society delivering for itself. Ask not what your government can do for you, but what you can do for society…

Expect the Prime Minister to very soon deliver a speech reaffirming his Big Society agenda, when you are right, you cannot be too radical. The speech will have a touch of a mea culpa, though it will not be a retreat, it will be a call-to-arms at the start of the Big Society revolution unlike Blair’s late recognition in 2005 that “Every time I’ve ever introduced a reform in government, I wish in retrospect I had gone further.” Expect more squeals from those still advocating Big Government solutions…

Balls 1, Osborne Nil

No hangover from the Black and White Ball for George Osborne, he was up bashing bankers at the break of dawn. And what a coincidence he’s up against Balls in the House today in what will no doubt be the first of many ugly brawls. However before they even face each other, Balls has won the day.

Last night Balls claimed Osborne was “all talk and no action” and as if by magic Osborne gave ground. While the extra £800 million levied on those driving growth in the City will blunt Balls’ sword today, what about next week and the week after that? Will Osborne raise a tax a week to avoid standing by his principles?

Local Government In a Pickle

The Guardian is very excited about a leaked email from some LibDem local council sandalistas who seem rather scared of Eric Pickles. As sound as he is round, when asked to find 25% cuts, Pickles ended up mapping out 51% in his department. No wonder they have “little enthusiasm” for the local government bill – it’s hovering over many of their heads.

They go on to bleat that Pickles is “happy to bypass elected local government and give power direct to local residents.” No wonder they are so upset, their power is draining away to, errm, the people. “The situation has been likened to having a republican in charge of the monarchy.” Good.

UPDATE: The Guardian are having a really bad day. Take the headline Most Liberal Democrat MPs oppose coalition’s NHS reforms, poll reveals. It’s not until two thirds of the way in that we find:

“MPs – 49 Tories, 81 Labour, 13 Lib Dem and eight others – were quizzed by the polling agency ComRes on behalf of the lobbying firm Westminster Advisers.”

13 Lib Dem MPs is not “most”



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Quote of the Day

Ken Clarke tells the Ben Fellows trial:

“The idea that I would go strolling off in order to grope a man in an office is highly unlikely.”

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