Exercise one

I’ve received this letter from two CLG Ministers. 10 07 01 Letter to Bristol Bath and Surrounding MPs on BS roundtable

It might appear rather cuddly at first glance, with lots of whooh! whooh!* language (“that would be marvellous!”)

But make no mistake, the Government’s Big Society agenda is not (just) about being nice to charities and social enterprises and rewarding their good work. It’s about demolishing brick-by-brick the welfare state, undermining local democracy and destroying any notion of collectivism, except at the very, very local level where it can’t possibly do any harm. Am I alone in finding the reference to “challenges in dealing with the local state” rather sinister, for example?

The Labour government was criticised by some for moving too far towards the ‘private sector good, public sector bad’ agenda, (wrongly in my view, except some of the ‘ultras’ like Hutton, Milburn and Byers) but this Government’s hostility to the public sector is palpable, and quite frightening. Thatcherism writ large.

I am going to reply to the Ministers’ letter by the way, and nominate a few organisations to take part, but I retain the right to be rather suspicious about the whole exercise.

*This is a technical term, used in the highest academic circles to denote slightly manic over-exuberrance. Think Aneka Rice getting into her helicopter, or Anthea Turner polishing.

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  • dreamingspire  On July 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Now Anneka Rice used to be seen in Old Possum’s Wine bar in Redland, ‘cos her mother lived nearby. Nobody got excited, except the then landlord… Those were the days when I was seen in Redland.

  • Malcolm Armsteen  On July 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    That is a scary letter – so many preconceived ideas and untested assumptions. I believe we are entering into a very sinister phase in our political life, where disingenuity and propaganda are assuming ever greater importance in furthering the ‘small government’ agenda of the Tories and their LibDem orange-book cronies. With no exaggeration intended, this is class war.

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