Thursday, August 25, 2011
Where is your society Cameron?
Cameron expressed shock and anger at the riots, like us all. Unfortunately he has talked Britain and our sense of community down since. Now that the initial shock should have passed we need to focus on understanding what happened and why. Bringing back the cheap slogan of "Broken Britain" won't help that.
Tony Blair's response to the riots was right and highlighted where David Cameron has failed to understand British society. Blair highlighted that the reaction to rioting, with mass clean ups and funds to help victims tells us more about our society than the rioters do.
"Broken Britain" turns a society where community is valued to one where there is no community. Cameron's rhetoric has echoes of Margaret Thatcher's claim that "there is no such thing as society." Perhaps that is because Cameron and his millionaire cabinet colleagues have never lived in an ordinary community.
Cheap jibes at the expense of community from Cameron doesn't surprise me as he is a Thatcherite to the core but it goes against the compassionate Conservatism language he used a couple of years ago. This shows that to be acting and that he has now reverted to type.
What British society needs is a reaffirmation of community. Talking it down, denigrating the sense of togetherness that most people feel about where they live won't make things better. If we all bar our windows and stay at home every night for fear of a feral youth attacking us there will be no point in living in any of our cities.
If Cameron wants to lead he needs to show that he has moved on from the opportunist rhetoric of opposition drawn up by Andy Coulson and start to show he has a positive vision of the country. Panic and derision will only lead us into the gutter.