Monday, 15 December 2008

Interesting report out tomorrow

Following is lifted from a media briefing, based on reports and an interview in today's Guardian...

A Cabinet Office report ... will identify a deep-seated problem of low aspiration in specific communities. It will say the govt has lacked a systematic ‘cultural or behavioural’ approach to raising horizons in these communities.

[Liam] Byrne: ‘In the medieval days we built communities around the manor house & then in the 19th century we built communities about the factory & in the 21st century we need to build communities around schools. This could well have big consequences for the way we take forward public service reform. There is a big opportunity. Over the years to come we’re spending £35bn on Building Schools for the Future & we are spending hundreds of millions on renewing the fabric of the health service so in many low-income communities we are revolutionising public institutions. We have to think afresh about how those institutions become the ‘power supply’ for aspiration in the communities they serve’.


Old Holborn said...

How about stop paying them to sit at home all day watching Trisha?

confusedcoalboy said...

If there are incentives to do nothing, people will do nothing and aspire to do nothing. It's as simple as that.

The easiest was to raise a horizon is to lower the viewing deck.

Benefits are set too high, and are too easy to abuse. People should have a warm home and enough food and clothing, but not much else. Giving people money is daft, and gets hosed against a wall all too aften.
There should be a weekly food delivery which delivers fresh, wholesome produce, ready to be cooked. A pass for free local transport and sports facility use should be also given, but nothing else.
Being on benefits should not pay as well as working full time, but it frequently does.
I've been unemployed for seven months, and I'm looking for work. I'm not looking for any benefits, (which is just as well because I'm not even classed as unemployed in the statistics, but that's another story of Govt. figure-massaging). There are shedloads of people in my town who 'earn' more than my partner who works hard to keep us both afloat while I find something else. We have cut our spending to the bone (sorry Mr. Darling) in an effort to stay ahead of the game, no X-mas pressies this year for anyone, house is largely unheated, value brands all over the cupboard. I don't resent making economies when needs must, but I do resent subsidising those who have absolutely no intention of lifting a finger, particularly when they often have (much) more disposable income than we do. Until the Labour party can be honest enough with itself to admit that it has helped foster a section of society with little intention of doing anything other than spending other people's money, it will never treat the problem effectively, irrespective of how much money you are piling into building schools for their children to truant from.

Anonymous said...

"We" also built communities around opposing the manor house and the factory.

Steven_L said...

Build communities around schools?

I don't know what to say, I really don't. I could bang on about the infantilisation of society, how we're getting to the point where kids and their advocates are telling adults how to behave..etc etc.

But I'm just going to go and smoke a fag instead.

Elby the Beserk said...


I lived in Easton until recently. Twenty years. A vibrant community, with its problems sure - inner city - but largely cheerful, busy and enterprising. A community that grew itself, and looked after itself, and grew with minimal Government intervention.

Now we have a government intent on forcing its own version of community - "community cohesion"; a policy that speaks volubly of New Labour's total lack of understanding of the nature of community.

Community is organic. It grows from within. It does not grow as a result of government directives and governmnent interference, and it certainly does not grow as a result of liberal dumping of the multiculti diversity bollocks spews out of your colleague Ms. Blears' mouth.

You were elected to manage, not to interfere, to assist, not to demand, to encourage, not to legislate.

You have fallen down on all these counts. Easton exists in all its splendour DESPITE New Labour, not because of it.

So please - leave us alone, eh?

Meanwhile, I'm off to get a shotgun license application form. I fear trouble not that far around the corner.

I loved Easton, loved our Muslim neighbours, who, whilst Oxfam were removing Xmas trees for fear of offending non-Christians (can't have people being offended, can we, not in the Brave New Labour World), they were wishing us Merry Christmas, but am very glad I am now living in the country.

God spare us.

Disclaimer. I voted Labour from my first vote in 1970 until Blair became a War Criminal. Never again, and the loathsome, bullying oaf that is Brown makes me ashamed I ever had any allegiance to Labour.

Shame on you all. Shame on you. Shame on you, for what you have done to this country.

PS. Can you enlighten me, pray. Living in the West Country as I do, I keep hearing about the "West Coast" Line. Even friends who live near the coast down here have never seen it. Any ideas? It would be quite good to have one; public transport in Bristol I remember as some sort of living hell, but there is at least some. Out her in the country, it's more of a concept than anything. But then New Labour don't like the West Country, do they - we don't vote Labour.

Kerry said...

It's licence!

Kerry said...

West Coast Main Line is kind of North west to London, isn't it? Whereas we fall within the Great Western franchise, which is gradually gettting better after Govt intervention almost a year ago... still much room for improvement though.

Kerry said...

'"We" also built communities around opposing the manor house and the factory.'

So what are you saying Blogger? We don't need no edukayshun?

Anonymous said...

"It's licence!"

With regard to shotguns, is it not, in fact, a certificate?

Anonymous said...

Liam Byrne seems to be missing the point, only to hammer a different nail in Britain's coffin.

The essential thing that manor houses and factories have in common is that they were centres of productive activity for the members of relatively cohesive communities, of all ages, where people had similar values, and whose functions made sense in relation to each other.

In complete contrast to modern Britain, where it's dog eat dog individualism, we have a morass of competing and contradictory value systems, nothing makes any sense and keeps changing every five minutes anyway.

What chance have poor children got trying to make head or tail of all this adult mess.

Anonymous said...

"So what are you saying Blogger? We don't need no edukayshun?"

No merely pointing out that meaningful communities aren't just constructed by the powerful providing the powerless with institutions.

Communities are also born out of resistance to these institutions. Where did the Labour Party come from?

Not from a government community cohesion initiative designed by a management consultant from McKinsey as far as I know.

Elby the Beserk said...

First Great Western getting better? Try living in Frome. Try living anywhere in rural Somerset. You'll soon change your mind on First Great Western. Indeed, people in Frome think they are a bus company.

Re my other post, your response reminds me of Tom Harris. Why answer a serious post, when you can post a snide answer?

You do yourself no credit. You of course, have never made a typo, and all children come out of primary education fully literate and numerate, yes?

Kerry said...

The 'it's licence!' is a running theme on here. None of my staff can get it right either. I'm mounting a one-woman campaign against the Americanisation of the English language. Thought you might approve of that!

As for FGW - I'm not saying they're good. I'm saying that they are getting better, which the official stats bear out. Long way to go.

Elby the Beserk said...

"[Liam] Byrne: ‘In the medieval days we built communities around the manor house & then in the 19th century we built communities about the factory & in the 21st century we need to build communities around schools."

WE? WE? Who is "we"? I've said this before here, you CANNOT "build" communities - communities build themselves. They grow from within. The government may help with money, else it is none of their business, interfering in communities.

But then New Labour like to interfere in people's lives. and tell us what to do and how to behave, don't they? Even though that was not what they were elected to do.


PS. FGW. We have a mate who drives for FGW. Says the management are utterly clueless. How long do they need to sort themselves out - remember, taxpayers contribute to their shareholder dividends - time their franchise was withdrawn.

Kerry said...

I think 'we' means 'we the people of Britain' rather than the Government, doesn't it?