Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Bogg Society

Cameron is asking for a slap. Fancy saying Umbrellabuilders is poorly run. On the same day that an independent report said it wasn't. So there.

Still, enough about pots and kettles as there was more rather exciting news from Cameron's big speech today. It looks like my brown-nosing with the Tories and quiet chats over the cheese counter in Lidl with Dave has paid dividends with the announcement of the Bogg Society, a series of initiatives aimed at empowering communities. Basically this is a highly patronising attempt to impose a top down approach to achieving bottom up activism. Or forcing people to volunteer.

Neighbourhood leaders will go around bullying people into baking cakes for local fetes and attendance will be compulsory even if it rains. These leaders will be entrusted to making sure people go out and have fun even if they're miserable. To counter bad weather, the aim is that every adult will have a brolly and thus have no excuse to not attend any tinpot gathering of old ladies flogging off jam on the village green to raise tuppence for the local cats ballet school.

The Tories have sensibly ignored the fact that there is already a healthy grassroots, community culture in this country and want to bureaucratically impose their own to avoid further bureaucracy. Or to put it another way, let people sort out problems for themselves as the State sure ain't going to pay for it. If Britain really is broken this is Dave basically passing over the gaffer tape (along with the buck) and asking people to apply it how they see fit.

Ironically, the last time communities organised themselves and got active under Tory rule the government sent the police in with batons. And this from a party whose leader once claimed that there was no such thing as society.

The other big announcement was the Big Brolly Bank, based on the model of the Brolly Investment Bank that we have been banging on about for ages. This will utilise the millions of unclaimed umbrellas left lying around for the good of society. Calling it Big is very much in keeping with current thinking that sticking Big in front of things automatically makes them better. Which is clearly a big pile of shite.

However, one thing that might be problematic is that the Tories aren't actually offering any new cash to fund this big bag of nonsense that puts the Tory into contradictory. Instead they are diverting cash away from an existing "poorly run" government pot. Umbrellabuilders. This election campaign has already degenerated into playground politics (my initiative with big prefixing it is bigger than yours). And this is the swings and roundabouts.

Though as long as I stay on as Umbrellabuilders chair I don't mind.

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