Sunday, February 13, 2011

The ‘Big Society’ is to David Cameron what ‘Education, education, education’ was to Tony Blair


As Tony Blair ascended the political mountain, he proclaimed his core philosophy to be ‘Education. Education. Education’. David Cameron must be careful that his ‘Big Society’ does not prove to be as vacuous and disingenuous. After more than a decade of Blairite education reform and billions of pounds, we were assured time and again that things were getting better and results were improving. But objectively, we saw the calibre of the nation’s education quantitatively diminished: according to the OECD's comprehensive world education ranking report for 2010, by the end of the New Labour era the UK had fallen to 11th place in Science; sunk to 20th place in Reading; and plummeted to 22nd place in Maths.

Ergo Tony Blair failed.

In the Big Society, we glimpse David Cameron’s core philosophy. A few weeks ago His Grace observed that the Prime Minister was habitually negating a third of his Foundation-for-Government course, his Oxford PPE degree. We were getting lots of Politics, a manifest primacy of Economics, but zero Philosophy. What’s the point of a tripartite degree if you’re going to ditch cohesive element; the glue that binds; the rhythm which beats at the heart; the piece which makes sense of the whole?

By turning again to his ‘Big Society’ vision – which he should never have permitted to be hijacked by the ‘cuts’ narrative – the Prime Minister is undertaking a wholly necessary political pursuit, for it is the policy by which his premiership succeeds or fails. It is the mantra that people most remember from the time he became Party leader: his constant refrain was ‘Broken Britain’ and how he intended to fix it. Much more than the economy, the ‘Big Society’ entered the public consciousness as David Cameron’s political priority.

But he never expounded it. People had a sense of understanding of the meaning of ‘Education, education, education’. But the ‘Big Society’ remains undefined, nebulous and opaque. Certainly, the Conservative Party didn’t win the General Election, but the ‘Big Society’ idea was a perfect unifying policy for the Coalition; indeed, the formation of a Conservative-LibDem partnership augured well for the vision, because it is both liberal and democratic. David Cameron’s plans for free schools are both liberal and democratic; his plans for a ‘pupil premium’ for the most challenging pupils are both liberal and democratic; his desire to redistribute NHS funding to the areas with the lowest life expectancy is both liberal and democratic. His opposition to further taxes on jobs is both liberal and democratic; his desire for lower personal taxation is both liberal and democratic; his opposition to ID cards is both liberal and democratic. And what liberal and democrat could possibly resile from the Conservatives’ proposed reforms to Parliament – that of granting the electorate the right to recall their MP, and petition for a parliamentary debate?

What went wrong?

He allowed this Conservative-led Government to be tarnished (again) with the primacy of economics. Mammon, materialism and the market are perceived to be his primary concerns, such that any and every policy (even the proposal for forestry privatisation) is perceived to be about money, not about the size of the state.

You couldn’t actually be much more ‘Big Society’ than to implement the break-up of the self-regulating monolithic Forestry Commission, and place woodland into local ownership making it accountable to democratic bodies. But the policy appears now to have been placed in a swift reverse gear. Why?

A massive failure of communication.

The Prime Minister needs to remind us of his core conviction: that big government is a big part of the big problem, and that it exacerbates the nation’s social problems. He needs to talk about personal and social responsibility, liberated from state control, which fosters fraternity, strengthens families, inculcates respect and permits the application of common sense. He needs to remember that there is little point in making ‘free schools’ to improve social mobility if children are nurtured in a state-induced poverty trap which actively discriminates against married couples. He must bring some ‘joined-up’ thinking to his education reforms by actively supporting families and backing commitment. He must tackle drug abuse, alcohol abuse, family breakdown and the worst rate of teenage pregnancy in Western Europe not by pouring in more billions of pounds, but by liberating people from inhuman state interference, monolithic state surveillance and oppressive state control.

If David Cameron wants a ‘Big Society’, he must bring ‘We the people’ into his thinking. And to do that, he must devolve and trust. But if he will not do that within his own party, he is not likely to achieve it in the country. The ‘Big Society’ is about personal and collective responsibility – the Church has been doing it for centuries. And that irrefutable fact calls for humility on the part of the Prime Minister: instead of criticising and lecturing church leaders, he might just sit at their feet and learn about the church’s centuries of experience in educating children, feeding the poor, housing the homeless and ensuring justice for the oppressed.

The ‘Big Society’ is a true Conservative vision: it respects the individual, embraces diversity and empowers community. It shows faith, deep faith, in mankind as the vehicle of compassion, of neighbourliness, of love. It demands the bottom-up participation of the traditional institutions – family, church, charities, community and country. So any attack on the family, any negation of religious freedom and any denigration of our instinctive patriotism is an offence against the ‘Big Society’: you cannot force families or coerce charities or the church into doing what’s right when you pursue policies and issue diktats which are wrong.

There is a balance to be struck between liberalism and conservatism. And that ought to be at the heart of every policy. If David Cameron really believes that strong families lead to strong societies, he must put his policies where his heart is. If he believes that the church is indispensible to social cohesion, he must harness its strengths and build on its conservative values and roll back the immoral cultural revolution.

The ‘Big Society’ is to David Cameron what ‘Education. Education. Education’ was to Tony Blair, and the Prime Minister must make sure it does not go the same way. The concept is not only in need of urgent definition, but targets must be set in order that progress may be measured and data verified qualitatively and quantitatively. If there can be no empirical verification, we cannot know if David Cameron has succeeded in delivering. And if we cannot know if he has succeeded in implementing his vision, we cannot know what manner of prime minister he was: a great reforming one or just another sophist and salesman.

74 Comments:

Blogger Jared Gaites said...

You are asking for empirical verification for something that was designed to distract from the empirical facts that the "cuts" are purely based upon ideology. It's all about Mammon and materialism, and keeping the wealth in the right pockets. Follow the money.

And what the hell does Fraser Nelson care about bloody forests? All he is interested in is money and property and the right to destroy trees on personal whim.

The collective consciousness is waking up to the deception.

13 February 2011 10:52  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

"The collective consciousness is waking up to the deception."

I am having that one Jared!

De facto Government is representative of nothing but themselves.

13 February 2011 11:17  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Cameron is full of BS, Your Grace and I don't mean Big Society.

13 February 2011 11:20  
Blogger Alan Douglas said...

"Ergo Tony Blair failed." I hesitate to disagree with Your Grace, but TB did NOT fail - he achieved what he set out to achieve, despite cheap propaganda, which many believed, like "Education etc etc." Surely there is some link in there with the cock's crowing thrice ?

ALan Douglas

13 February 2011 11:21  
Blogger James Reade said...

Er Cameron has forgot only one part of PPE?

More like he has only remembered one bit: Politics.

He certainly hasn't remembered any of the economics he learnt, even from economists as great as Peter Sinclair, sadly.

13 February 2011 11:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"If David Cameron really believes that strong families lead to strong societies, he must put his policies where his heart is."

What sort of government policies would create strong families?

13 February 2011 11:29  
Anonymous tony b said...

>By turning again to his ‘Big Society’ vision – which he should never have permitted to be hijacked by the ‘cuts’ narrative

But it's intimately connected with the "cuts" narrative. It is the fig leaf for cuts. It is the positive spin on cuts. And everyone can now see it's bollocks.

13 February 2011 11:30  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I saw you on the Andrew Marr Show this morning, tony b. :) Strange how coming out of office suddenly ages a prime minister.

13 February 2011 11:34  
Anonymous tony b said...

"So any attack on the family, any negation of religious freedom and any denigration of our instinctive patriotism is an offence against the ‘Big Society’!"

Whose instinctive patriotism? Who are you representing here?

All of this government's policies are an attack on families, except the families of the already wealthy, of course. Does he really think that making hundreds of thousands of public servants redundant is no kind of attack on families? Do you? Does he really think the cutting of so much of our public services is no kind of attack on families?

He speaks with a forked tongue; and so do you.

13 February 2011 11:35  
Anonymous tony b said...

Dan, you must be thinking of the other one :o)

13 February 2011 11:35  
Blogger Graham Davis said...

Cranmer said

If he believes that the church is indispensible to social cohesion, he must harness its strengths and build on its conservative values and roll back the immoral cultural revolution.

Please define immoral cultural revolution

13 February 2011 11:48  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Arguably, a lot of the problems we face are down to weak or broken bonds between families and within neighbourhoods. From those bonds, come obligations.

Successive government polices, especially Conservative ones, have led to us moving around the country thus splitting up extended families and undermining neighbourhoods.

Now I rather cherish my mobility and freedom, and the diversity the movement of people brings, so I personally wouldn't want to lose that.

If we accept that the genie is out of the bottle now then what can be done to encourage people to recognise their obligations despite their moving about? Is this what this nebulous Big Society is all about?

13 February 2011 11:59  
Anonymous tony b said...

"immoral cultural revolution"

He means "stuff I personally do not like"

13 February 2011 12:16  
Anonymous Anguished Soul said...

Isn't CallmeDave funding his BS through money from defunct accounts? All very reminiscent of a certain Austrian gentleman with a mustache. He did something very similar back in WWII.

13 February 2011 12:28  
Anonymous Elmo said...

YES YES YES Your Grace! Spot on! I hope the Conservatives read your post...

13 February 2011 12:35  
Blogger Anabaptist said...

The term 'Big Society' is vacuous and manipulative. It was coined as part of the May/Maude 'nasty party' propaganda motif, as a deliberate counter to Mrs Thatcher's much-misquoted, 'There is no such thing as society.'

The Tories wanted everyone to hear them saying, 'We really, really, really, really do believe in Society. We're ever so nice really, just like those nice socialists and liberals, only better at managing things.'

If it had any further meaning, I imagine it was that governments shouldn't be expected to do everything. But if it really meant that, and if Cameron had any conservative principle at all, it would result in the government withdrawing from much of social life and leaving people with their own money and time and resources to do whatever they wanted, on the assumption that some of it would turn out to be charitable, social and cohesive.

Instead it turns out to be all about government (i.e. taxpayers') money being directed towards various 'bids'.

It wasn't any government-inspired, socialist 'big society' that gave us parks, swimming baths, libraries, museums, and the like. It was Victorian Christian philanthropists. It wasn't government-led 'big society' money that gave us building societies, credit unions and cooperative socities. It was non-conformist Christian working people whose charitable instincts led them to develop solutions to poverty.

As I believe Ronald Reagan said: "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.' "

13 February 2011 12:59  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

I leave it to others to decide whether Cameron's Big Society concept is likely to be a success or not.
My only comment is that he has make a BIG B******* in its name; as far as I am concerned, every time I hear it, I am reminded of "BIG BROTHER" which I certainly don't want.

13 February 2011 13:46  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

He needs to talk about personal and social responsibility, liberated from state control …

Liberation from state control is a fine aspiration but the trend over the last hundred years has been for the state to extend its control. In this document from the House of Commons Library, Table 2 shows that the combined number of pages of Acts of Parliament and Statutory Instruments in 1911 was 760. The 2005 total was 14,580.

The state has become so accustomed to controlling our lives and the people have become so inured to following the orders of Big Brother that it’s difficult even to imagine turning the clock back. However, if Cameron is really serious about reducing the size of government, a useful first step would be to free us from the European Union and the Council of Europe. Will he do that? Will he hell.

13 February 2011 14:26  
Blogger Bred in the bone said...

The Big Society is about empowering NGOs so that they can play Big Government with volunteers.

That way they get Big Government at less cost but still full of Common Purpose clowning around.

13 February 2011 15:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Education, education, education” = indoctrination, indoctrination, indoctrination.

13 February 2011 17:02  
Anonymous Oswin said...

I-am-sick-to-death-of-the-very-words 'THE BIG SOCIETY'!

Whatever its meaning, whatever the concepts inherent within, I utterly loathe the sound of. It makes me want to vomit!

Worse still, when one hears it, sees it, expressed from the thin-lipped, small mealy-mouth of Cameron.

It is the terminology of the cloying, saccharine Coca-Cola advertisements of the 1970's, and is as equally meaningless.

As Your Grace has it: reformer, or just another sophist and salesman?

Cameron might well want to ''teach the world to sing'' but I doubt that ''it's the real thing thing''...

13 February 2011 17:22  
Blogger English Viking said...

According to reports in the Telegraph today, Cameron's Con-Dem Gov is planning on changing the law to allow gayers to get 'married' in places of worship, ie Churches.

Yeah, he's real committed to building strong families, isn't he?

He is a dangerous moron, who should be removed from 'power' immediately.

13 February 2011 17:27  
Anonymous graham wood said...

Anabaptist said>
"The term 'Big Society' is vacuous and manipulative. It was coined as part of the May/Maude 'nasty party' propaganda motif, as a deliberate counter to Mrs Thatcher's much-misquoted, 'There is no such thing as society."

I think a very good summary including the rest of your post.
The BS idea from Cameron is largely an attempt to foster an ill defined and 'populist' political theory, but without any real substance. Its a slogan and that is all.
If he had serious intentions to cut down the size of the State he would start by reversing the many social engineering pieces legislation put out by Labour over the past few years, thereby leaving people in "society" free to determine their own decisions, policies and moral choices instead of being constrained by the constant interference by the State.
To roll back the State and let in the Big Society would mean the repeal of the intrusive "equality and gender laws which run counter to a free society, freedom of conscience, religion and assembly.
So that, for example, Christians in any context may exercise their own moral judgments on who to associate with or who to decline.
Has Cameron made a single move to reverse the persecution of Christians and religious minorities?
On the contrary he is now thinking of allowing the State to IMPOSE through legislation to force churches to "marry" homosexuals in churches.
This would force the issue, again, and bring the possibility of churches having to reverse their commitment to the historic and thoroughly Christian concept of heterosexual marriage as alone reflective of God's will for men and women, and trade it to accomodate an entirely alien view.
Is such compulsion, if it comes, his idea of the Big Society in action?
Mr Cameron speak with forked tongue.

13 February 2011 17:41  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Yeah, he's real committed to building strong families, isn't he?"

What effect will that have on families? :confused:

The Times reports it rather more extensively:

"Gay men and lesbians are to be given the same right to marry as heterosexual couples under marriage law reforms expected to be announced this week. The historic change will end the legal definition of marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman."

and

"Under proposals to be put out to consultation by the equalities minister, same-sex couples would be given the right to hold traditional weddings in register offices and other civil settings, ranging from country houses to football grounds. Religious faiths would be able to decide whether to hold gay weddings."

and

"In a separate move expected to be announced this week, the government will make it legal for civil partnership ceremonies to be held in places of worship, including churches, synagogues and mosques. Individual churches and temples would be able to apply for a licence to hold civil partnership ceremonies. They could include readings from the Bible, other religions’ holy books and hymns."

No doubt mosques will be queuing up already for this. :)

13 February 2011 17:42  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

graham wood: "Has Cameron made a single move to reverse the persecution of Christians and religious minorities?"

The equality laws protect Christians and other religious minorities. Of course, criminalising the persecution of Muslims is not that popular here I don't think. :)

13 February 2011 17:47  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

DanJo said:
"The equality laws protect Christians and other religious minorities."

I think not for these crimialise Christians and restrict their freedom to act in accordance with their own Christian convictions.
(Homosexual admission imposed on Christian owners of B&Bs is just one example of many).
One would have thought that the Big Society concept would have detached such issues from State interference and left freedom of conscience and assembly to operate as heretofore.
What is now being proposed is a gross interference in the freedom of churches to formulate and maintain their own doctrine on marriage. How is that "protection" please?
As a matter of interest, and as an urgent practical concern any attempt by government to compel Christian churches via legislation would fly in the face of the protection which Magna Carta afforded - an abiding principle of freedom for which the Church has had to fight for centuries since 1215.
MC states clearly:
"In the first place we have granted under God and by this our present charter confirmed, for us and our heirs forever, that the English Church shall be free, and shall hold its rights entire and its liberties uninjured....."
In my book, that is the end of the matter.

13 February 2011 18:29  
Anonymous len said...

The 'Big Society'means to me "look the Bankers have got us in a bloody mess and we are looking to you(the man in the street struggling to hold it together) to pull us out of it".

We will have to tighten our belts while the bankers and the other predators in our Society are letting theirs out!

Successive Governments have pushed through various policies which have undermined the fabric of our Society, now they are trying to piece together the tattered pieces.

13 February 2011 19:13  
Anonymous non mouse said...

Yes, Len. I always said the deconstructionists are like children who deliberately break your most valuable possession. Then they bring you the pieces and say: "I brought you this."

When I asked what we were supposed to do with the mess, my professors always produced the 'gallic' shrug. The previous lie had been that we (the people) could rearrange them at will. That never was the intention, of course.

Neither does DC intend to empower the people. Otherwise, he'd let us choose to ditch the euSSR. Instead he toys with what he thinks is rhetoric, diverting us from the economic fact that if they didn't extract so much money from us, every minute of every day.....

13 February 2011 20:00  
Blogger English Viking said...

DanJo,

It weakens family by equating buggery with a life-long commitment between one man and one woman, which has, until recently, been pretty successful as a system for providing a healthy environment for raising children.

Promoting perversity as normality will lead to the utter destruction of society.

You said you were confused; I can see that.

13 February 2011 20:05  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

Like I said: Follow the money

13 February 2011 20:33  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"It weakens family by equating buggery with a life-long commitment between one man and one woman, which has, until recently, been pretty successful as a system for providing a healthy environment for raising children."

That isn't answering the question. How does it weaken the family? In what way exactly?

Are you suggesting, for example, that knowing that someone gay at work has a partner with whom he has committed his life means that one is suddenly more likely to divorce?

Also, being in a gay relationship doesn't mean one has to engage in buggery. That's you're imagination being seductive, I suspect.

13 February 2011 21:00  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"What is now being proposed is a gross interference in the freedom of churches to formulate and maintain their own doctrine on marriage."

Woahhhhhhh!

Is that what is being proposed? All the reports I've read so far say that the law will allow churchs to marry gay people. Allow.

13 February 2011 21:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Big Society.

DC's way of saying 'There is no money left in the kitty and the rest of us will have to go back to victorian values and do charitable work for nothing'.

However the Victorian era of philanthropy was based on 'Christian Values' however much these are demeaned by the BBC in their 'documentaries' and secularist state at large regarding this period of British history.

These christian values defined their motives, so how can a secularist atheistic state mirror these.

The secularist state has given us;

1. Children that practise sex underage, tutored in the art by our own education system rather that the emotions and consequences that come with it and we are reaping the whirlwind of children who are single parents bringing up their children on benefits, with no realistic future unless they can find a partner to help and lift them out of this situation.
2. Abortion as an industry that teaches that human beings and life itself is nothing but a convenience until it proves otherwise to that individual. Then it can be cast aside like a bogey in a kleenex handkerchief.
3. The very values that our society are built on are christian principles and values (sorry athiests but its a fact) and are absolute and have eternal value unlike secularism that is arbitrary and based on personal whim and can be changed to suit individuals as it becomes convenient to do so. Euthanasia !
4. All we have to do is 'Allow' things to be so. However we find that once the request to 'Allow' becomes law then you will be brought before a court and charged that you say vocally 'They want more than to allow it'. You will be condemned as a bigot and tarnished as such. This is what ALLOW brings you. How very tolerant.

No DC, your Big Society cannot succeed as previous governments and your's have for decades undermined the values that support our 'Society' at large.

The tipping point is hardly ever immediate but comes as alternative values are stacked one on top of another, until it all comes crashing down around us.

As Non Mouse says 'Neither does DC intend to empower the people. Otherwise, he'd let us choose to ditch the euSSR. Instead he toys with what he thinks is rhetoric, diverting us from the economic fact that if they didn't extract so much money from us, every minute of every day.....'

We need to wake up as christians and smell the coffee.Urgently!!

The Man Who Never Was.

13 February 2011 21:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

By the way, you religious types can count on my support if the government tries to force churches to marry gay people. I promise I won't turn up in sequins either to protest outside.

13 February 2011 21:34  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'Are you suggesting, for example, that knowing that someone gay at work has a partner with whom he has committed his life means that one is suddenly more likely to divorce?'

It is not the short term acute effects of this equalisation that is going to cause people to spontaneously divorce. It is the chronic effects that are worrying; if you tell people something often enough then they'll believe it. If they are told that marriage is a legal contract between two people who have familiar relations, then that is what marriage will become. Most importantly it completely removes the notion of reproduction as a part of marriage, and we are a horribly underproductive country already.

In short, it is not the short term definite outcomes of gay marriage (i.e. gays will get married) that is worrying; but it is the change in general attitude towards marriage.

Let homosexuals have their secular legal contract (civil partnership); why do they need to give it a different title? Although evidence suggests that a very unscrupulous and malignant strain of homosexual groups wish to push this in order to destroy the family and therefore its special status. Just ask yourself why homosexuals want to get 'married' when a civil partnership gives the exact same legal status, differing only nominally. In fact, how many homosexuals actually want marriage? Is this yet another time when those in charge act based on what they think people want, rather than what they actually want?

The interesting problem comes with removing the clause disallowing religious civil partnerships; this was originally introduced because it was decided that if they were allowed then, with existing legislation, it would be forced upon churches to perform civil partnerships. Performing marriage is a service; if you're not allowed to disagree with homosexuals sharing a double bed in your B&B, I can't see what defence there is for a church to turn away a homosexual couple. It's discrimination right?

How could Mr Cameron encourage marriage and family? Easy, just remove the tax penalties associated with it. Considering how often money issues are cited in divorce cases, I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a valuable, even non-interfering, approach. They could sell it as a green policy to please the left as well, after all 2-4 people living in one house use much less energy than two people in two houses. Offer it to civil partnerships as well if you like, I don't care how Caesar spends his money.

I used to support Labour, but the tipping point came when they shut down adoption centres that refused to choose who they let adopt. If Cameron lets (the logical conclusion being forces) Churches to marry homosexuals then I shall not vote for his party's candidates again (unless perhaps I am still in Mr Soames's constituency).

13 February 2011 21:49  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Just ask yourself why homosexuals want to get 'married' when a civil partnership gives the exact same legal status, differing only nominally. In fact, how many homosexuals actually want marriage?"

It's debated often enough online if you look around. I couldn't see the point of civil partnerships, I always thought it should have been gay marriage from the off. I suppose, like the age of consent law, it was less of a fight to do it in stages.

"How could Mr Cameron encourage marriage and family? Easy, just remove the tax penalties associated with it. Considering how often money issues are cited in divorce cases, I wouldn't be surprised if this turned out to be a valuable, even non-interfering, approach."

If I were straight then I couldn't imagine a few hundred quid here or there would encourage me to do it. I'd marry for love, or nothing, myself. It was a genuine question I asked and I'm interested in what a liberal state could actually do.

I'm glad no-one has suggested making divorce very onerous. I come from a broken home and the strife before that was plenty onerous enough for me as a young child. This was when it was a bit more difficult than today.

13 February 2011 22:00  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Performing marriage is a service; if you're not allowed to disagree with homosexuals sharing a double bed in your B&B, I can't see what defence there is for a church to turn away a homosexual couple. It's discrimination right?"

If I were to argue that then I'd go for the participation angle. B&B couples simply let rooms for the night, they don't share the bed and help with any sex that might take place. B&B owners are providing rooms to let, which is a secular activity irrespective of their own beliefs. A vicar or priest would be actively involved in the act of marriage. The act in a church is implicitly a religious activity and the beliefs of the people officiating therefore matter.

13 February 2011 22:07  
Anonymous Taylor said...

YG you appear slightly equivocal here:

"He allowed this Conservative-led Government to be tarnished (again) with the primacy of economics. Mammon, materialism and the market are perceived to be his primary concerns.."

Begs the question: Is (and was) the primacy of economics the real position or just a 'perceived' view?

That aside! - doesn't Mr Cameron show the 'modern' paralysis that seems to grip all of our leaders, torn as he is between the fratricidal twins of Reductionism (Economics) and Holism (Big Society)?

The interests of one appears to cut slices out of the other, but it is really a co-dependence. The twins collude towards a shared ambition that draws us into the mystique of their phony war and thereby dictates our governance as one of 'stark choices' (between Global Absolutes).

Is the humble possibility of living with the contingent and the 'unknown' really so terrible that we must continually fall for the same 'BIG' deception?

13 February 2011 22:08  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

By the way, I read today that one of the quirks of all this is the reasons why people can divorce, one of which is not consummating the marriage. Civil partnerships are simply dissolved. It said that the definition of consummating presented civil servants with a problem for lesbians. The mind boggles. Presumably, this implies things about gay men and marriage which may not be true. I am obviously a bad person because the idea that civil servants have minuted meetings about these details amuse me.

13 February 2011 22:12  
Blogger English Viking said...

DanJ0,

You're spamming, stop it.

...'If I were straight'...

You are 'straight', you just bugger people.

Being 'gay' is something you do, not something you are.

13 February 2011 22:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"You are 'straight', you just bugger people. Being 'gay' is something you do, not something you are."

Ah, yes. I see the error of my ways now. If only you were around when I was growing up to tell me that.

What are you still doing here anyway? Weren't you going to set up a blog yourself which was more to your liking than His Grace's?

13 February 2011 22:24  
Anonymous Voyager said...

Your Grace is very indulgent towards Cameron and Hilton. Myself, I am aghast at the sheer stupidity of the man. It is like having Prince Charles running amok full of half-baked notions and oblivious to the realities.

Cameron is heading for real opposition and public humiliation and should be removed from office.

He is deconstructing what is left of this nation's identity and there is little holding it together. If he wants to auction a day playing gold with Andrew Strauss for £25,000 and internships with hedge funds for £4000, he should not pretyend to be a Prime Minister.

This 1925 era rubbish is not acceptable and it is time for serious resistance to this weak man and his class-based politics

13 February 2011 22:42  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Oh, and English Viking, you still haven't answered the question. How does it weaken the family? In what way exactly?

I have never buggered anyone in my life, to use your argot, but I can see that you're finding that question a bugger to answer.

13 February 2011 22:43  
Blogger Wrinkled Weasel said...

The coalition exists in a principle-free, moral-free vacuum and is an exercise in pragmatism.

The problem is, pragmatism is a following strategy, not a leading one.

14 February 2011 00:31  
Blogger English Viking said...

DanJ0,

You're still spamming, still stop it.

I never inferred that I would I would create a blog, His Grace suggested that I should choose my friends more wisely - a very different thing.

If you have not buggered anyone, you have not behaved in a gay way. What a relief. (We both know you are lying.)

BTW Your last post reveals at least one more identity.

Sloppy.

14 February 2011 00:44  
Blogger English Viking said...

DanJ0

BTW, 'bugger' is not argot, slang, jargon nor patois.

It's what gayers do.

To their own destruction.

14 February 2011 00:53  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Still no answer!

Did you see that TV programme Father Ray Comes Out about the gay vicar a few days ago? I found it quite moving myself. But anyway, that's Ray Andrews, man of the church, gay man, and celebate.

In his sermon, he talked about the teenagers committing suicide because of their sexual orientation and other people's responses to it, and he talked about his life and the problems his orientation has caused him.

Of course, Ray may be just a drama queen wanting to spice up his sermons, and those teenagers may be just committing suicide out of teenage angst and wanting a colourful reason to write in their notes, and I might be lying over something that doesn't actually matter in the scheme of things.

Or alternatively, English Viking, you might be trying to bend the whole world to your own distorted view. Now which is the more likely?

14 February 2011 06:22  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Mr Anabaptist:

'It wasn't any government-inspired, socialist 'big society' that gave us parks, swimming baths, libraries, museums, and the like. It was Victorian Christian philanthropists. It wasn't government-led 'big society' money that gave us building societies, credit unions and cooperative socities. It was non-conformist Christian working people whose charitable instincts led them to develop solutions to poverty.'

Outstanding!

Anon at 21.25 - I concur.

14 February 2011 07:57  
Anonymous Tacitus said...

Cameron's "Big Societrick" will soon collapse once the funding dries up. Already the Third Sector are being squeezed and his ideas of a Big Society Bank are ludicrous, although maybe he has plans to become a banker and give himself a huge bonus.

14 February 2011 08:25  
Anonymous len said...

Satan is the master tactician,after all he got two perfect people living in Paradise to obey him and defy God.And by this means sin entered the World with the result chaos and disorder.
Satan knows that the Family unit is God ordained and it is the 'glue' that holds Society together.So he will attack the Family unit in ANY way possible ,encouraging same sex relationships is just ONE of the weapons he uses.
Look at the heartbreak and family breakdowns caused when someone decides to 'come out 'when they decided they are 'gay'.
'Gayness'could not survive unless it attacked ( or coerced )the Family unit which it relies on to provide new members.
Christian ethics also stand between the new liberalism in our Society and 'gayness'hence the constant attacks on Christians and Christianity.

14 February 2011 08:26  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"'Gayness'could not survive unless it attacked ( or coerced )the Family unit which it relies on to provide new members."

Len, you can't imagine the world to match your beliefs. We're not the product of damaged families. It's a natural phenomenon across families, societies, religions, history, and species.

14 February 2011 09:17  
Anonymous Michael Fowke said...

This Big Society is a big nonsense. The only people who want to volunteer for stuff are the people who are already doing so. The average joe in the street is not interested. Cameron will have to force people - or send them to re-education camps.

14 February 2011 09:51  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

'The ‘Big Society’ is a true Conservative vision: it respects the individual, embraces diversity and empowers community. It shows faith, deep faith, in mankind as the vehicle of compassion, of neighbourliness, of love. It demands the bottom-up participation of the traditional institutions – family, church, charities, community and country. So any attack on the family, any negation of religious freedom and any denigration of our instinctive patriotism is an offence against the ‘Big Society’: you cannot force families or coerce charities or the church into doing what’s right when you pursue policies and issue diktats which are wrong'.

Outstanding!

14 February 2011 10:09  
Blogger D. Singh said...

Your Grace

The Big Society can be summed up by this Victorian maxim:

God, family and country.

That's it: in a nutshell.

God, family and country!

14 February 2011 10:29  
Anonymous Flossie said...

DanJo, I don't know if you are being disingenuous, or if you really want to know, but whichever it is, you could do worse than to read the attached, by Jennifer Roback Morse, on why gay marriage is such a bad idea.

http://www.ruthblog.org/2011/02/10/dr-morses-testimony-to-the-rhode-island-legislature-yesterday-re-ssm/

14 February 2011 12:29  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'B&B couples simply let rooms for the night, they don't share the bed and help with any sex that might take place. B&B owners are providing rooms to let, which is a secular activity irrespective of their own beliefs. A vicar or priest would be actively involved in the act of marriage. The act in a church is implicitly a religious activity and the beliefs of the people officiating therefore matter.'

I don't know whether you were around a couple of weeks ago when I said this, but I actually completely agree. I do differ slightly though, in that I feel the B&B owners should have been allowed to request that the homosexual pair refrain from sex for their stay's duration. I also agree in that there is a true difference between the two situations, one in which one looks the other way from sin, and the other in which one is an active participant; however I fear that there is no legal difference, and my point would still stand. I probably lie on the let religions bless homosexual unions if they want side, but I keep one hand firmly gripping the fence. What kind of assurances could there be that even current (let alone future) legislation cannot be used to force heterosexual marriage only Churches to perform homosexual weddings.

You have yet to explain why homosexuals want to call it marriage. It could be an interesting point.

14 February 2011 16:29  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

Thanks Flossie.

Do we actually have such a rigorous presumption of paternity like that in the UK? I'm not sure we do and I'm not sure what the importance of it is here anyway.

I'm struggling a bit to pull out the arguments she makes in the article.

She asserts that the purpose of marriage is to create a social unit in which to nurture children. I agree that this is one of the purposes.

She asserts that a family unit consisting of a biological mother and father is the best environment in which to raise children. I agree in the generalised case though I would say that other environments are often good enough.

The presumption bit seems to matter very much to her. I'm not really following that one, or rather the importance of it.

The rest seems to worry about shuttling children around between separated parents or perhaps guardians. Obviously this happens very often now without gay marriage so I'm not convince that is much of an argument against it at all.

Finally, she suggests that we (they) should be focusing on putting in 'responsible limnits' on divorce, whatever that is. I find that a bit alarming, having come from a broken home myself. Without that separation and divorce, I probably wouldn't have had a mother at all to grow up with.

14 February 2011 16:56  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"You have yet to explain why homosexuals want to call it marriage. It could be an interesting point."

I don't speak for all homosexuals of course but I've followed a number of discussions about it.

The term that is often used is 'apartheid' presumably to draw comparison with what happened in South Africa between races where two parallel systems were being operated based on the arguably unnecessary distinction of race.

The argument for civil rights for gay people is founded on there being no relevant distinction between heterosexual and homosexual people in most areas of life which would justify discrimination.

A marriage between a man and a woman in the UK is usually a monogamous relationship based on love, sex, mutual support, and friendship. Usually, it involves a single home and some sort of shared finances. If the couple have children then this social institution provides a valuable means of early socialisation. The state recognises the relationship and the commitment with a legal bond.

None of that requires a heterosexual couple and excludes a homosexual one.

Yes, the two adults in the couple cannot share their DNA to create the offspring of both of them together. Is that important? It certainly helps with biological bonding but it's not necessary.

Yes, a child will probably do better with a mother and a father in the relationship but that's by no means certain as I'm sure many people know. What's more important, I'd say, is to have male and female influences in growing up and that's entirely possible in a homosexual family.

There are many ideals one could formulate for raising a child, all independent of sexual orientation. I'd say that a couple maintaining a stable, loving, and respectful relationship is core. I think an extended family environment is pretty useful so that the child gets interaction with adults other than the parents. Being interested in the children, perhaps with one parent being at home during childhood, is another. And so on.

So, if I am right then a gay partnership is essentially a gay marriage just like a straight marriage in the relevant respects. Marriage apartheid is not necessary and is just another means of discriminating in an area where has a history of unjust discrimination.

14 February 2011 17:22  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'Is that important? It certainly helps with biological bonding but it's not necessary.'

Actually it's one of the basic tenets of marriage. Love, physical unity and procreation. I have no problem with a parallel system and it compares in no way to apartheid. Apartheid discriminated irrelevantly, whereas marriage has a specific definition and purpose that proscribes homosexuals by biology. It is like complaining that there is no men's maternity ward, or that there is no female prostate screening program.

14 February 2011 18:21  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Actually it's one of the basic tenets of marriage."

Well, there's the point of contention: who owns marriage. It's a social institution, not a religious one. As ever, the rest of your arguments flow from a contested premise.

14 February 2011 18:44  
Anonymous non mouse said...

So not only is marriage as we know it to be banished; thesis and hypothesis are to be eliminated from enquiry.


*****************************
I cannot help but wonder: is DC bisexual?
*****************************

14 February 2011 19:33  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

My premise did not make religion necessary at all. No contested premise I'm afraid.

14 February 2011 21:05  
Anonymous len said...

Homosexuals want to get married because it is part of the 'normalisation'process they are trying to establish.
One point I don`t think anyone has raised is that some/many adolescents pass through a same sex attraction during puberty.For most this is a process that they pass through and go on to a heterosexual relationship.
However, established homosexuals,committed to their lifestyles, have a vested interest in the establishment and the prolongation of the 'homosexual phase'.

Prominent 'intellectuals' Dawkins, Grayling, et al, also have vested interests in promoting and endorsing same sex relationships as they serve their purposes.These 'intellectuals 'are spurred on not so much for their search for 'enlightenment'but for their hatred of God,and will do all they can to encourage rebellion. Why,(you ask yourself,do they hate God so?)
The answer is as old as time itself, Pride,intellectual arrogance, and the refusal to bow to a superior intelligence.Instead they bow to the 'new god'- Reason.

Professing to be wise they became fools! (And led many to their destruction.)

15 February 2011 08:01  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"My premise did not make religion necessary at all. No contested premise I'm afraid."

Cool. You say "marriage has a specific definition". So if Parliament changes the definition of marriage, it being essentially a social institution, then you have no comeback on it.

15 February 2011 08:04  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Why,(you ask yourself,do they hate God so?)"

I don't suppose they don't. Afterall, by definition they don't believe it exists. They are against the use of religion to control people by systematic indoctrination. Dawkins in particular promotes science as a better way to explain the world, especially how we evolved as a species.

15 February 2011 08:09  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

^ I don't suppose they do.

15 February 2011 08:10  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'They are against the use of religion to control people by systematic indoctrination. Dawkins in particular promotes science as a better way to explain the world, especially how we evolved as a species.'

Let's be fair, they're against religion full stop (especially the ignoramus Dawkins).

'So if Parliament changes the definition of marriage, it being essentially a social institution, then you have no comeback on it.'

Am I not allowed to comment on social institutions? Does/should my faith bar me from talking about social matters? Did my argument not come from a social background? Why am I allowed no comeback to a discussion on what is best for society?

15 February 2011 09:06  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"Am I not allowed to comment on social institutions? Does/should my faith bar me from talking about social matters? Did my argument not come from a social background? Why am I allowed no comeback to a discussion on what is best for society?"

Of course you can comment. However, you can hardly argue from a specific definition now but complain if the definition subsequently changes and invalidates your argument.

I suppose one could argue that marriage is actually as it is in society now and claim it cannot reasonably be changed. The obvious question that arises is why it cannot be changed to accomodate gay people.

If procreation is a basic [non-religious] tenet of marriage then we have a problem already. Couples get married and have no children. Couples get married with no intention of having children. Couples get married when they are too old to have children. None of those is an invalid marriage to most of us.

Extending the reach of marriage as a social institution does not change the usefulness of a marriage in encouraging social stability, providing an environment for early socialisation of new society members, and so on. It extends rather than replaces.

15 February 2011 09:54  
Anonymous tony b said...

Ien, you're an ignoramus.

15 February 2011 12:25  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

'However, you can hardly argue from a specific definition now but complain if the definition subsequently changes and invalidates your argument.

It doesn't invalidate the argument as my argument is about the definition of marriage. If society wishes to change its definition of marriage, then let it. I am simply arguing that it would be bad for society, and there is no way to restore it.

'Couples get married and have no children. Couples get married with no intention of having children.'

Perhaps, but that is not the ideal marriage. I see a difference between accepting less than perfect when we have to, and encouraging it. We accept single mothers, for example, if the husband dies or leaves, but we do not encourage women to conceive children outside of wedlock. In the same way, we accept those who cannot have children due to pathology or age, but should not encourage those who cannot/will not due to physiology or choice.

15 February 2011 15:42  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

"In the same way, we accept those who cannot have children due to pathology or age, but should not encourage those who cannot/will not due to physiology or choice."

The second bit is interesting there. You want to 'not encourage' people marrying who choose not to have kids? :O Or have I misunderstood?

"Perhaps, but that is not the ideal marriage. I see a difference between accepting less than perfect when we have to, and encouraging it."

Luckily, society tends to be pragmatic.

15 February 2011 16:11  
Blogger Lakester91 said...

There's a difference between 'not encourage' and discourage Mr DanJ0, I'm not entirely sure what you've inferred from my text.

15 February 2011 16:25  
Anonymous DanJ0 said...

I don't really know. I originally wrote 'discourage' and then realised that was too strong in the context.

I haven't really got a knock-down argument in this area of gay marriage but I haven't seen a knock-down argument in return either.

I'm informed by my gayness and natural sense of optimism, and I think the people opposed are informed either by their religion or their social conservatism.

I think at some point gay marriage will get through the legislature, though perhaps not unscathed and perhaps not in this attempt. I think it will all be a storm in a teacup.

In all honesty, I couldn't care less whether gay marriage ends up just as a civil union myself. The religious bit is another argument for me.

15 February 2011 18:30  
Blogger Khyberman said...

My blog entry of the same day pretty much says the same thing. I fear that the Big Society idea could still very easily be derailed under the screams of 'cuts!' by the opposition.

See it here: http://tinyurl.com/5rqs8qx

15 February 2011 22:46  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older