Sunday, June 24, 2012

Archbishop of Canterbury blasts Cameron's Big Society as ‘aspirational waffle’



The outgoing Archbishop of Canterbury has launched another broadside against the overarching theme of David Cameron’s premiership. In a section of his soon-to-be-released book Faith in the Public Square (which has conveniently been released sooner than expected exclusively to The Observer), Dr Williams dismisses the ‘Big Society’ as ‘aspirational waffle’, explaining:
'...if the big society is anything better than a slogan looking increasingly threadbare as we look at our society reeling under the impact of public spending cuts, then discussion on this subject has got to take on board some of those issues about what it is to be a citizen and where it is that we most deeply and helpfully acquire the resources of civic identity and dignity.'
Now, some might think it a bit rich of an archbishop who has defined his entire occupancy of the See of Canterbury by dense and inaccessible verbiage to criticise the Prime Minister for spouting ‘waffle’ – aspirational or otherwise. And you can expect to read such painfully obvious swipes at Dr Williams upon the Blogosphere and in the pages of The Daily Mail. But, the incontrovertible fact is that the Archbishop has a point.

The concept of the ‘Big Society’ was widely trailed before the 2010 General Election: it was bold, visionary, even revolutionary in its principal objectives. The central thesis was a demand for ‘a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power’. This, Mr Cameron said, had to be:
‘From the state to citizens; from the government to parliament; from Whitehall to communities. From Brussels to Britain; from judges to the people; from bureaucracy to democracy. Through decentralisation, transparency and accountability we must take power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street.’
It was all about the restoration of civil society: in the Big Society, we glimpsed David Cameron’s core philosophy. It was a wholly necessary political pursuit to fix ‘Broken Britain’, and the policy by which his premiership may be judged to have succeeded or failed. So important was the vision that he appointed a dedicated Big Society adviser in the House of Lords: Lord Wei was based at the Office for Civil Society in the Cabinet Office, advising the Government on all aspects of Big Society thinking.

Sadly, the Prime Minister permitted the vision to be relentlessly buffeted by bureaucrats and hijacked by the ‘cuts’ narrative, or, as Dr Williams puts it, the ‘deeply damaging withdrawal of the state from its responsibilities to the most vulnerable’. Interminable delays and Whitehall inaction frustrated one of its principal architects – Steve Hilton – to the extent that he went off ‘on sabbatical’. Lord Wei subsequently resigned, citing ‘work-life balance’ as the principal reason.

The fault lies squarely with David Cameron: he never effectively articulated the meaning of the Big Society: he never expounded it for popular consumption. When Tony Blair spoke of ‘Education, education, education’, everyone knew that it was about schools and students and raising standards. Forget that he failed: that is peripheral to the issue raised by Dr Williams. The fact is that the Big Society remains undefined, nebulous and opaque. As the Archbishop says: “The big society, introduced in the run-up to the last election as a major political idea for the coming generation, has suffered from a lack of definition about the means by which such ideals can be realised.”

The 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 fundamentally 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?

Some of these policies never came to fruition; some have been U-turned. Cameron permitted his Conservative-led Government to be tarnished with the primacy of economics: Mammon, materialism and the market are perceived to be his primary concerns, such that any and every policy is perceived to be about money rather than the size of the state.

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 churning out ‘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 Big Society 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.

So, it’s two cheers for the Archbishop of Canterbury from this blog. It would have been three, but instead of using his Office to assist the Prime Minister in defining what he means by the Big Society, or advising on how its ideals might be realised, Dr Williams is heading off to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to inculcate the next generation with his own aspirational waffle.

86 Comments:

Blogger Rebel Saint said...

Article with ABC in title = safe to ignore. Presumably the accussation of waffle was made with his tongue very firmly in his cheek.

24 June 2012 at 09:46  
Blogger Tony B said...

The Big Society has never been anything but an attempt to put a positive spin on cuts.

24 June 2012 at 10:28  
Blogger Tony B said...

Oh sorry. I just read this again and realised it's not about The Big Society but just a general attack on all things non-Conservative, and thus safe to ignore.

24 June 2012 at 10:45  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

...'we must take power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street'...

What's more elitist than Bishops in the House of Lords?

Sounds more like Marx than Cameron
and he still didn't get enough votes to take over the reins of government with any degree of confidence.

Now he's lecturing on the morality or lack of, in Jimmy Carr's tax avoidance scam yet say nothing about Phillip Green. Anyway - Why hasn't Williams or Cameron for that matter, focused on that part of the 'Big Society' the real power-brokers, who actually run Britain like its one of their private Lear Jet, who would run for cover like cockroaches under a light.

Is it any wonder a significant proportion of the general public have lost faith in the integrity of British politics, they are just not believable. Politicians of any colour are no longer trusted because as soon as they come up against the Civil Service fat-cats they fold like a house of cards to the extent that a shyster like George Galloway can get back on the public payroll because he sounds at least passionate if not genuinely false.

24 June 2012 at 11:43  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

We all knew David Cameron is and never will be a leader and this is another example of his inability, so I agree the ABC does have a point.

I would say Call me Dave, a nice man, is out of his depth, as well as gutless and ineffectual against the overpaid civil servants and corporate bullies like Philip Green.

Anyway isn't it conservative policy to devolve power down to the organisations that run things so they can take responsibility of their own areas by interacting with and giving more responsibility to the people further down the line? Didn't that happen a lot under Lady T? Then Labour comes along snatches it all back again by centralising everything and creating the tick box mania.

24 June 2012 at 14:01  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Dreadnaught said; 'the general public have lost faith in the integrity of British politics'.
Yes Your Grace, that's what we need, 'Integrity' in British Politics. There is hardly an MP that has not been part of a conspiracy to deceive the public. Least ways they talk about things they don't understand.
As to the 'Big Society', volunteers wanted to keep open a public library that was being closed as part of cost savings. Were they allowed to? Absolutely not.

24 June 2012 at 14:06  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 June 2012 at 14:06  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

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

It is the weakness of the Church that has produced the cultural revolution. Its designation as immoral is entirely dependent upon the moral framework of the Christian faith. As various atheist & agnostic commenters on this weblog demonstrate, the revolution from their perspective is not immoral at all, but the establishment of human autonomy over against the dead hand of religion. Like the 'Old Bolsheviks' they do not comprehend what they have wrought. They expect to create a secular paradise, but they will inevitably produce Stalin. Even so, you can't 'roll back' something when the foundation for rolling it back has been all but discarded. Nor can you establish it as immoral when your opponents reject the very basis of your moral judgment.

The lawlessness and immorality of the West is derivative. To fix it, you must address the epistemological crisis at its root. It is the collapse of Truth, and above all Revealed Truth that has led us to this place. In the resulting rubble there remains nothing but human autonomy. That is the problem. We have declared "There is no God. There is no Truth. There is only me. I shall place a crown on my head and rule my life as I see fit, for who is there to countermand me." That is the moral chaos at the center of the West today. You can't fix it with politics.

carl

24 June 2012 at 14:08  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Let me please define what is IMO really meant by the Big Society, and in doing so hope to show how it might not be anything in any way good.

In many ways we already have this Big Society in the form of tax free, indeed tax subsidized Charitable Foundations set up and financed by large multi-national corporations like for example The RRC, CofE, Ford, and Rockafella Foundations, among literally hundreds of others which in reality effectively run this country, and control the ever more belittled minds of its inhabitants.

Cameron wants more of this kind of thing, which is hardly surprising because these corporatist banksters finance his own party, and that of the official opposition.

It is useful to understand that although central banks are generally considered to be an indispensable aspect of our supposedly free-market capitalist system in reality the exact opposite is the truth in many important ways.

Possibly the best way to understand this is to know that to this extremely small group of private individuals MONOPOLY is the only worthwhile game in town. That real competition to their interests is a sin, and that by the Darwinian Principle they have a divine right to rule over the destiny of the masses.

Therefore the best way to know these greedily murderous psychopaths is to call them by their real name, which is MARXIST COMMUNISTS, although FABIAN or FASCIST BASTARDS will do almost as well.

As I have stated on a previous thread.

We must know these well established trees by the rancid fruits they always bare, not by their mighty trunks, or well dilated branches.

This excuse for a human being known as the current ABofC is as much of a MARXIST COMMUNIST as the rest of these establishment indoctrinated maniacs, and he is so whether he fully knows it to be the case or not.

Family is the bedrock of a properly educated, prosperous, free, cohesive, caring and loving society, which in practice this Big Society nonsense will either virtually ignore or positively act to further denigrate into effective non existence.

24 June 2012 at 14:25  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Your Grace, Cameron: Through decentralisation, transparency and accountability we must take power away from the political elite and hand it to the man and woman in the street.’

Reform begins at home, and there is no better way to proceed than to allow local Conservative associations to select their own Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, rather than the patronage of head office. That way, we can be sure the conservative message the successful will bring across is that truly of the grassroots, and not of a metropolitan elite to whom the MP owes their allegiance lest they be ousted by them at the next election...

Cameron, you are a manipulative fraud Sir. Your shallowness and insincerity light up the night sky...

24 June 2012 at 14:40  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

From the previous thread

Dear Preacher

I am much comforted to see that you have fully understood my last post on the previous thread.

You also rightly identify the paradox of our common situation.

This being that although salvation can only be found by the individual discovering his own relationship with the whole, some guidance in this pursuit is undoubtedly needed.

This is why I try to allow people to find truth for themselves, however the effort is often frustrating, to say the least.

This not because he can not find it on his own, but because ordinary mankind has had so many mighty obstacles placed in his way, almost exclusively by religious institutions in the past, and now increasingly by political and financial ones.

I also take your point concerning the weather, and the natural need or desire for the like minded to congregate together.

A paradox indeed, and a square that is often difficult but not impossible to circle.

24 June 2012 at 14:51  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

Your Grace,
Whilst reading various tweets and blogs, it just occurred to me that the problem with the Church of England is just that. It is the Church of ENGLAND and not the Church of Jesus Christ. (I don’t mean those chapels for our African brethren). Jesus has been left out of the equation.

24 June 2012 at 15:10  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Dear Inspector

It is good to see that we have found yet more grounds of absolute agreement.

These double speakers talk right, but always move left. They talk decentralization power, but always act to centralize it.

They are indeed snakes, or serpents, metaphorically speaking or otherwise, and a seemingly never ending curse on our lives.

24 June 2012 at 15:14  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Atlas, It chills the Inspector to find we have so much common ground :->

24 June 2012 at 15:26  
Blogger Atlas Shrugged said...

Office of Inspector General said...
Atlas, It chills the Inspector to find we have so much common ground :->

Ok, admittedly it gives me the odd shivers too, however surely there is always far more that unites ordinary people then ever should divide them.

We do of course disagree as to the precise reason why we are divided, and who, or what has long since been doing it to us, however the truth will out, for the truth always does in the end.

24 June 2012 at 16:54  
Blogger Peter Denshaw said...

This belief that society has to thank the Church for its ‘centuries of experience in educating children, feeding the poor, housing the homeless and ensuring justice for the oppressed’ is the REAL spin. If the church was so wonderful at doing these things, why did we NEED a welfare state in the first place? Moreover, the greater part of ‘educating children, feeding the poor, housing the homeless and ensuring justice for the oppressed’ was accomplished by Non-Conformists and humanists – while Anglicans sat on their backsides and did little – the Shaftsburys and the Wilberforces the exception rather than the rule. His Grace should remember that when the churches were fuller and the Bible better known, the lot of most people in British society was far worse than it is now.

‘Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not inquire wisely concerning this.’ Ecclesiastes 7:10 KJV

A little more acquaintance with social history and less hankering after a past that didn’t exist is what is needed when discussing the Church’s role in British history.

24 June 2012 at 19:19  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Peter Denster said ...
"His Grace should remember that when the churches were fuller and the Bible better known, the lot of most people in British society was far worse than it is now."

Now that all depends on the arrives at this assessment, doesn't it?

From where I'm standing, British society may well be wealthier materially - for now.

However, I would use a different set of meaures to judge the health and wellbeing of a nation.

24 June 2012 at 19:56  
Blogger non mouse said...

[...]we cannot know what manner of prime minister he was: a great reforming one or just another sophist and salesman. True, Your Grace. We can make an awfully well-informed guess, though. And that's no redundant 'awfully.'

24 June 2012 at 20:04  
Blogger non mouse said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

24 June 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger non mouse said...

Mr. Denshaw assumes that his view of history is fully informed, and that no one else has bothered to consider these things.

For starters, then, I would put it to him that, had the Church not developed early versions of such services in its monasteries, we might never have got around to the idea at all. Good Christians have ever tried to follow Christ's teaching about care for the sick or disadvantaged; they even offered sanctuary to those harrassed by the State.

Now this is not to deny imperfections in the monastic set-up. Nor would any educated person claim that the 'Church' was never corrupted: but then, neither is a scientifically 'advanced' NHS that murders several thousand people every year.

The point I would make about the 'Church,' therefore, is that it set the precedent for organising social services, and it has managed to uphold them to some extent--for a good 1500 years, in this country. The reformers etc. were just that: they were largely informed by Christian ideals.

Similarly with education: please note how many (real) university colleges, or even schools, were founded by Christians and use the names of saints.

Then again, we've had a huge population explosion since the days of Church hegemony. Nowadays, even a State-managed system operating a State-sized insurance scheme ...can't handle the volume. Mind you, the State would do better by us if it didn't appropriate our taxes for the benefit of foreigners (within and without).

I also wonder whether Mr. Denshaw is old enough to remember the time when the Welfare State was introduced. I recall only the comments of my parents' generation: I understand there was no consensus that the Socialist agenda was right or necessary.

24 June 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

non mouse
You might also want to comment on the differances between Catholic and Protestent social ethics in this exposition of Christianity's contributions to alleviating poverty.

In some respects, the growth of Fabian State solutions to social problems arose because of the strength of protestant ethic in Britain.

24 June 2012 at 20:47  
Blogger non mouse said...

cont'd:
Mr. Denshaw presumes further in saying: His Grace should remember that when the churches were fuller and the Bible better known, the lot of most people in British society was far worse than it is now.

What if His Grace remembers quite the opposite? I certainly do. Britain was wonderfully full of possibility and beauty; of family values; and of hope that we still could build on our former accomplishments. I loved it so much when I returned here from the 1st or the 3rd worlds. It is only in the last couple of decades that our country has descended to 5th-world status, with people begging in tubes, or sleeping in doorways, etc., etc.

Perhaps that's why the young have such a skewed view of history: the stinking miasma of the filthy place adds to the confusion engendered by communist-governed (anti-British) educators.

Oh -- and of course Shaftesbury and Wilberforce were exceptions. It takes exceptional people to fight against evil: nowadays, as ever. However, others had long recognised the situation that Wilberforce tackled; he didn't get struck by lightening and have a vision all by himself. He also had considerable support from public opinion, or he could never have succeeded.

None of this detracts from the accomplishment of a great man. However, what great man is the present generation nurturing, with all its "aspirational waffle" [aka commie claptrap]? Cammerclogs? Millipede? Puhleeze.

Fortunately, we have several 'noises off' in the wings --among the more mature. Christopher Hitchen is talking a lot of sense, and making it heard. Richard North, too.

His Grace isn't exactly 'behind the door,' either.

Deo Gratias

24 June 2012 at 21:11  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Mighty Mouse does us all a service by pointing out that the monasteries provided then a large proportion of what is provided now. Yet, the dissolution of the monasteries still went ahead. Now, the Archbishop in his corporeal state would have realised this, and perhaps advised the king accordingly. So, My Lord, can you enlighten us with your thoughts and actions on the matter at the time. One is sure that you would have held the health, education and providing of alms for, of the poor close to your heart...

24 June 2012 at 21:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Of course, one is entitled not to comment at all. But let us not forget that when the protesting ‘truth’ was thrust upon the people in a situation of ‘accept it, and you get to live’, sacrifices where made. We can perhaps be thankful that the sacrifices did not affect the well to do, who could make alternate plans as they did, but the ordinary people of this great nation...

24 June 2012 at 23:41  
Blogger len said...

The concept of the' big society' must surely be one of us all pulling together to get this country out of the mess it is presently in(not as big a mess as some of our European counterparts(yet)

The focus of our Government seems to be almost entirely on cutting expenditure and this seems to have been done mostly at the expense of the 'working class.Unless cuts are administered fairly across the board a lot of resentment will further push us into a' broken society' not a' big society'.

Much could be done to raise capital by cutting the tax 'loopholes' of the big Corporations and those wealthy individual' tax dodgers'( as featured in the news recently.)

We need to have a' two pronged' attack on the depressed state of our economy, cut needless waste and the mindless bureaucracy at one end of the scale and put investment into our industry and create some real jobs for the unemployed.

25 June 2012 at 00:29  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inpector said ...
"Of course, one is entitled not to comment at all."

A right exercised by quite a few Anglicans and other protestants when it comes to discussing their history and range of beliefs. So hard to ascertain what they think, let alone what they would do.

len
You do not fall into the above category!

So far as the Big Society goes it isn't so much an attack on the 'working class' as the welfare dependant 'unworking class'. The State has grown from meeting basic social need and a safety net into a straight-jacket.

It is sustaining people in situations it ought not and 'socialising' basic family responsibilities. Husbands, wifes and children, who look after one another and their elderly or disabled family members are now termed "unpaid carers".

The State used to alleviate poverty for those suffering real need in caring for their loved ones. Now it pays carers regardless of need. Grandparents, uncles and aunts also receive 'Kinship Payments', not based on need, to look after children whose parents cannot or will not do so.

I could go on.

In fact, I will!

Those dependant on alcohol or drink, women and men in violent relationships, those with mental health problems and others, rather than being encouraged to change their situations are demed "vulnerable adults" and agencies work "in partnership" to "protect" them - from the consequences of their own choices! Parents are ever more closely monitored and given "family support" to change their parenting styles to that of the modern liberal.

I say David Cameron must be supported in the Big Society initiative while we have any semblance of a society of self responsible and autonomous people left!

25 June 2012 at 02:07  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

nm: "I loved it so much when I returned here from the 1st or the 3rd worlds. It is only in the last couple of decades that our country has descended to 5th-world status, with people begging in tubes, or sleeping in doorways, etc., etc."

I absolutely love travelling but I'm always pleased to return even now. People often don't realise just how lucky we are to live here. It's very easy to complain about stuff but we live in comparative luxury and considerable security and stability.

Also, I remember people sleeping in doorways and begging in London in the 1980s during Mrs T's time in office. I vaguely remember sitting in the dark in the 1970s because of industrial disputes and the country going to the IMF. We're generally better off now even with the current crisis.

25 June 2012 at 06:10  
Blogger Tony B said...

Mr Integrity "It is the Church of ENGLAND and not the Church of Jesus Christ. (I don’t mean those chapels for our African brethren). Jesus has been left out of the equation."

It's the Church of Tory England.

I have a disabled wife and three disabled children. They get help from the state. Care to have a guess at how much help they get from charities/ voluntary groups/ churches/ the "big society"?

I'm sure you can guess. Zero.

25 June 2012 at 09:34  
Blogger Edward Spalton said...

I understand that 5,000 government agents are now being trained to "empower" people to join in the "Big Society" project. This gives me the creeps. What sort of people would apply for the jobs, what selection criteria apply and what will their training be?

It has more than a whiff of another "Big Society" idea where people were encouraged to feel that "we're all in this together". That was called the Volksgemeinschaft (People's Community) of Nazi Germany and there were lots of busy bees, paid and voluntary, to jolly folk along to join in.

That a supposedly Conservative prime minister is extending the power of the state in this insidious way is extremely odd. We must also beware of "fake charities" wholly or partially funded from government or EU sources. They too are part of the para-state. Ominously officialdom calls this area of activity "The Third Sector"
You have been warned!

25 June 2012 at 10:52  
Blogger Jon said...

Your Grace wrote: "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."

I'm curious - how must David Cameron tackle drug abuse by limiting monolithic state surveillance? By this stage of your post, you had a lovely rhythm going, Your Grace, but I fear that in your checklist of ills, you've picked on some that require more money and more government (at least in the short term) not less.

25 June 2012 at 11:38  
Blogger OneTimothyThreeFifteen said...

I presume the Church of England is spirational waffle, then?

25 June 2012 at 12:30  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Jon said ...
"Your Grace, but I fear that in your checklist of ills, you've picked on some that require more money and more government (at least in the short term) not less."

You really don't get it do you? The ills are generated by a society that has responsibility taken away from individuals, families and communities to look after themselves. How can money solve problems that are a manifestation of dependency?

Tony B said ...
"I have a disabled wife and three disabled children. They get help from the state. Care to have a guess at how much help they get from charities/ voluntary groups/ churches/ the "big society"?"

That's because the 'Big Society' doesn't exist. I don't know your situation but I know of many people in simialar situations through the work I do - both voluntary for my Church and professionally for the State. I would rate voluntary assistance far higher in quality than the services provided by localauthorities and the financial assistance from the benefits.

There was a time when family, friends and neighbours pulled together to help one another and voluntary organisations assisted. The State offered the safety net when all else failed. Now it is the first port of call.

The State is all encompassing and is destroying the basic structures of our communities. Most charities are labelled as part of the 'Third Sector' and in effect controlled by the State. The obscenity of our National Lottery took care of their independence.

I believe Cameron's idea is radical and the ABC does no one a service by labelling it as "waffle".

Shame on him.

25 June 2012 at 13:42  
Blogger Tony B said...

So the Big Society doesn't exist, but talking about it isn't waffling? Hmm..

25 June 2012 at 14:05  
Blogger David Lindsay said...

The last Budget attempted to bankrupt the Church of England.

The Coalition's two flagship legislative proposals are to force churches to perform same-sex "marriages" and to remove the Lords Spiritual from Parliament; such is the latter that no wonder the dear old C of E sees a better option in whatever will succeed the EU, already having very close relations with the historically state-sponsored Protestant churches in Northern Europe, and more than cordial ones with the Orthodox further east for whom it really did do a lot of work during the Cold War, as well as with the sort of people who become Catholic bishops on the Continent, exactly the sort of people who become Anglican bishops in England.

Imagining that it would support drafting in volunteers in place of paid workers with employment rights only serves to prove that David Cameron has never read a word of his church's extensive literature on these matters.

And then, there is the C of E's very heavy involvement in schools.

All in all, how nice was Rowan Williams expected to be about the Coalition? The wonder is that he has managed to be quite so restrained in his condemnation of it.

25 June 2012 at 14:17  
Blogger Jon said...

Dodo - no, I fear you didn't understand. My point was "I'm curious - how must David Cameron tackle drug abuse by limiting monolithic state surveillance?" i.e. how does removing CCTV cameras and ISP tapping reduce drug dependency or teenage pregnancy, directly?

Perhaps you have an answer?

25 June 2012 at 16:47  
Blogger Tommy said...

The bearded druid is funny if he thinks he can mock a shambolic government like this albeit not as shambolic as the last, but its pot kettle mr druid, you oversee a shambolic church with dwindling numbers, a departure from the gospel, arguments within and without over various issues such as masonry, gayness and women bishops to mention but a few, the words ichabod come to mind.

25 June 2012 at 17:26  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo.rather than being encouraged to change their situations are deemed "vulnerable adults" and agencies work "in partnership" to "protect" them

An insightful post and a sentiment dear to the Inspector. Our modern society is riddled with the self defeated and society condemned walking wounded of not just ‘vulnerable’ adults, but children with special needs or learning difficulties or attention deficiency: part of a myriad of explanations with inbuilt sympathy on why people can’t do any better. All absolute rot of course.

The Inspector’s investigations place the blame squarely on the shoulders of educated women taking positions of influence within the so called caring services. They didn’t even consider telling the so called victims they identified to pull their damn fingers out. Now, of course, it’s too late and to even suggest to these poor sods to change their ways or they will receive the back of someone’s hand is child abuse.

When the Inspector was a child, we didn’t have any of this bull. We did of course have thickoes who were coaxed into improving their behaviour by belittling them when necessary – and it worked !

25 June 2012 at 18:17  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

I am interested to see how many males will support you in this indictment of educated females in the social caring industries,attributing all blame to them ,presumably for being too soft.

I use to think you were just having a laugh when you expressed your extreme outrageous views but now I believe you are serious.How do you justify this claim Inspector?

25 June 2012 at 18:33  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida. Women are nurturing souls, whereas the man is more likely to be the disciplinarian. And that’s the word you’ll be hard put to find bandied about these days, discipline. Discipline is all about drinking moderately, getting a good nights sleep and getting up in the morning to go to work. Just getting on with it, if you will. Laxity is finding all sorts of reasons why you can’t do that, backed up with some so-called ‘condition’ an ologist told you you ‘suffered’ from as a child.

For God’s sake woman, some females are so lax they can’t even call it a day when it comes to eating, and go crawling (...or should that be waddling...) to the NHS for a gastric band !

The herd is indeed weak, thanks to years of ‘understanding’, and the Inspector repeats his assertion - It’s down to women being given top positions, and standards falling as a result of their ‘leadership’...

25 June 2012 at 19:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Jon asked ...

" ... how does removing CCTV cameras and ISP tapping reduce drug dependency or teenage pregnancy, directly?"

You'll have to make the argument that CCTV and ISP tapping actually helps reduce teenage pregnancy! Nobody ever became pregnant over the internet, though I suppose being watched might be off putting.

Same with drug dependency. You are supposing that removing the source of addiction will end drug misuse.

My point is that we need to equip people with a sense of individual, family and community worth. The State is a poor 'mummy' and 'daddy'.

25 June 2012 at 19:22  
Blogger Cressida de Nova said...

Inspector, I find your post so misogynistic and infantile thatI don't think it's worth the effort to reply to it.

I used to feel sorry for you being alone,doing the ironing and talking to yourself but I don't anymore. I think it's too late for you to be well adjusted and happy. If you don't like women and you don't like men..Why have you not become a priest? You could rage and rant at the congregation listen to confessions and terrify people and you don't have to do your own ironing.

25 June 2012 at 20:05  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Cressida, a rather disappointing post from you. The Inspector is not a misogynist, but a pragmatist. Armed with the results of policies that no one knew when these experiments in female emancipation were engaged. Why not just admit it. Women are not capable of high office, except in a few rare exceptions, when conditions are such that they are the best that can be had. It’s no shame on womankind. Far from it. In the family unit, a strong woman is such an advantage, turning out children worthy of their place in society.

A woman and deep thought are strange bedfellows. A site like this proves it. Here we have men engaged in mental chess. Where are the equivalent number of women ? “Doing something more useful” will be their reply. Yes, my loves, no doubt you believe you are. You keep an eye on Grant Mitchell girls, don’t want to lose the East Enders plot now do we...

25 June 2012 at 20:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Inspector

You do have Biblical backing.

"Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." (Ephesians 5:22-24)

"Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church." (I Corinthians 14:34-35)


"For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man."
(I Corinthians 11:8-9)

"Let the woman learn in silence, with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to use authority over the man: but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed; then Eve. And Adam was not seduced; but the woman being seduced, was in the transgression."
(I Timothy 2:11-14)

Now feminists corrupt the meaning and understanding of these words. They do suggest a God given order in relationships between men and women.

25 June 2012 at 20:49  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Dodo. The ancients knew what is was all about...

Cressida, well you’ve had 90 minutes. One can assume you’ve stormed off in a huff, and perhaps phoned a friend to tell her how beastly the Inspector was to you. You would have fitted in very well in ancient Republican Rome – a senator's wife.

It’s not good enough, you know. To waive the misogynist flag around and then to disappear to the coffee shop. Fight your corner old gal....

25 June 2012 at 21:58  
Blogger Oswin said...

Inspector: My family was stocked full of redoubtable, formidable females; many of whom would have agreed with at least part of your summation, re' laxity.

Mind, for other bits of your opinion, they'd have variously horse-whipped, shot or bludgeoned you to death; or thrown you under the King's horse! ;o) Actually, that goes rather more for Dodo's offering, than for your own.

26 June 2012 at 03:52  
Blogger Tony B said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 June 2012 at 09:48  
Blogger Tony B said...

I have unfortunately to lend my support to the Inspector on this: women in positions of authority are, in my experience, terrible. I've worked under a few female managers and they've all been absolute nincompoops. Having said that, 99.99% of the male managers I've worked under have also been complete ninnies, so I'm not sure what conclusion to draw, other than that if my experience is anything to go by, the vast majority of managers are an absolute shower.

26 June 2012 at 09:49  
Blogger Jon said...

Oh for goodness sake, Dodo. It's like you're wilfully stupid sometimes!

My point was that, whilst the post was well written, the logic of proposing the scrapping of surveillance powers to end teenage pregnancy was poetic but not logical - i.e. that if you're looking to deal with teenage pregnancy, there may be more effective measures than either the extension or removal of CCTV.

It was interesting to me that he decided to stick with "flow" over coherence. May I be so bold, Your Grace, as to suggest that this is consistent with official CoE policy across the board?! ;-)

26 June 2012 at 10:11  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector said "Women are not capable of high office, except in a few rare exceptions, when conditions are such that they are the best that can be had. It’s no shame on womankind."

I think I've figured you out Inspector - you're a masochist masquerading as an idiot, masquerading as a misogynist, racist homophobe. Really, you just want some attention, and you're prepared to say anything to get it!

26 June 2012 at 10:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin

All I did was quote Scripture. If your female relatives care to horsewhip the Author, so be it.

My 'offering', as you quaintly put it, is: "They" (the Scriptural passages) "do suggest a God given order in relationships between men and women."

Do you doubt this?

26 June 2012 at 15:58  
Blogger Oswin said...

Dodo: you are quite right, and I do apologise. I'm afraid I was guilty of hanging you for past crimes, rather than any of the present. I humbly retract my comment, and pass it back to the Inspector.

It's this damned awful weather, makes a bloke cranky...

26 June 2012 at 16:21  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Oswin.That’s how it was for the Inspector’s people on his Irish side. A formidable woman at home, who ruled the place and the children. For daughters, forever, for sons, at least until the age of fourteen when the father’s influence took over. Add a good providing man, and you had an unbeatable family arrangement.

Then along came examples like Germaine Greer who wrecked everything, though it’s understood she has now recanted much of the evil she preached in the 1970s.

Tony B. The few lady managers the Inspector has worked or have been very good. In fact, they have served as both manager and their own secretary. Superb muli-taskers. But that ability comes at a cost. An inability to concentrate at a deep level on a single issue, and this is where men win every time. Interestingly, none have been one of the girls, so to speak, and expect high standards from their sisters. Inevitably, resent sets in. Inspector merely nods head knowingly and sympathetically when briefed by the disaffected looking for sympathy…

Jon. A fellow must state his case irrespective of the consequences or criticism. As for attention seeking, you must understand the Inspector has nothing on male homosexuals who continually post in a futile hope that one or two straights indulge them with a little encouragement and understanding.

Don’t take this too hard Jon, but your opinion isn’t worth jack. You see, your thinking is so skewed by years of living in queer street, that much of what you post comes out with a tinge of pink to it. Added to which is, well, lets call it your predictability. So, can’t use it old fruit.

Toodle pip !

26 June 2012 at 17:33  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Oswin
Apology accepted.

You do seem to be somewhat out of sorts of late.

26 June 2012 at 19:02  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Jon
The Inspector has made an insightful observation. Comprehension is clearly not one of your strengths.

The point is that the State needs to shift from intrusion, symbolised by CCTV cameras, towards allowing people to live more autonomously.

26 June 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "The point is that the State needs to shift from intrusion, symbolised by CCTV cameras, towards allowing people to live more autonomously."

Just like it did with the Wolfenden Report in the 1960s over homosexuality and prostitution. You've suddenly become a libertarian/liberal, after your sojourn as an advocate of a paternalistic State.

26 June 2012 at 19:45  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0
Wolfenden assumed homosexuals would lead quiet, private lives once the practice was decriminalised.

I wouldn't disagree with the principle of the law as stated in Wolfenden Report:

" ... to preserve public order and decency, to protect the citizen from what is offensive or injurious, and to provide sufficient safeguards against exploitation and corruption of others ..."

Here's the tension. At the same time it declared:

"It is not, in our view, the function of the law to intervene in the private life of citizens, or to seek to enforce any particular pattern of behaviour."

Homosexual activity is harmful and injurious to society. And it's a big leap from decriminalising a private act to endorsing the activity as 'normal' and as 'equal' to heterosexuality.

Is there such as thing as "private immorality"?

26 June 2012 at 21:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Lord Arran:

"I ask those [homosexuals] to show their thanks by comporting themselves quietly and with dignity… any form of ostentatious behaviour now or in the future or any form of public flaunting would be utterly distasteful… [And] make the sponsors of this bill regret what they had done"

If only ...

26 June 2012 at 21:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo:"Wolfenden assumed homosexuals would lead quiet, private lives once the practice was decriminalised."

A product of his time, of course.

"Homosexual activity is harmful and injurious to society."

So is Catholicism.

"Is there such as thing as "private immorality"?"

You're the Catholic, surely you think so yourself. Obviously for others, it depends on the moral framework one adopts.

26 June 2012 at 22:18  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

DanJ0."Homosexual activity is harmful and injurious to society." So is Catholicism.

One believes that nature has, in her wisdom, a powerful ‘antidote’ to homosexuality: HIV / AIDS.

One is left wondering if one day she’ll do the same for Catholics. But then again, perhaps she won’t...

26 June 2012 at 22:36  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0
" ... it depends on the moral framework one adopts.

You do not have a moral framework as carl has repeatedly demonstrated. You just want to do what you want to do. Unforunately for the rest of us, you want to do it in the street, as it were.

Lord Arran was spot on in his warning. The homosexual agenda has become part of the wider attack on Christian morality. How can you claim Christian morality is harmful to society?

26 June 2012 at 22:39  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You do not have a moral framework as carl has repeatedly demonstrated. You just want to do what you want to do."

No, you're too thick to recognise the nature of it, as the last sentence there shows very well. Besides, you're simply sliding the point. Perhaps you don't actually understand it back there.

"Unforunately for the rest of us, you want to do it in the street, as it were."

Religionists want to do their stuff in the street, too, as it were. Well, I'm a liberal and that's fine. I expect the same back of course, though I realise that some religionists are illiberal and fascist as individuals.

"The homosexual agenda has become part of the wider attack on Christian morality."

There is no wider attack on Christian morality. Don't you get it? Lots of people simply don't give a shit about your religious constructions. It's becoming past stuff. An anachronism.

"How can you claim Christian morality is harmful to society?"

Slipping and sliding away again, I see. I said Catholicism. It's immoral, and dangerous, very political, and clearly self-serving.

26 June 2012 at 23:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Inspector: "One is left wondering if one day she’ll do the same for Catholics."

Cirrhosis of the liver might be nature's way of dealing with someone like you.

26 June 2012 at 23:12  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Just personal abuse; no serious argument to show how Catholic morality (it is Christian) is harmful to society.

How is: "Catholicism ... immoral, and dangerous, very political, and clearly self-serving."? I suppose you're hoping others will jump to this.

You want to have sex with other men. Fine; it's not illegal. Please do it behind closed doors and stop shouting about it being 'normal'. It self evidently isn't. Stop preaching for equivalence and stop corrupting the young with the idea sex is merely for pleasure.

And if you know your history, you'll know 'secularists' are inclined towards illiberalism and fascism - more so as they have no internal framework to stop them.

And as for this: "Lots of people simply don't give a shit about your religious constructions. It's becoming past stuff. An anachronism. Maybe. However, people do know what is rightand what 'works' for their children and for the greater good.

26 June 2012 at 23:36  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "You want to have sex with other men. Fine; it's not illegal. Please do it behind closed doors and stop shouting about it being 'normal'. It self evidently isn't."

You'd make it illegal as you have said in the past. Religious fascism, you see. Also, I've never had sex in public. It's all been done behind closed doors, like most other normal people do.

No doubt you'd have some people be second class citizens, hiding stuff which is otherwise normal in order to satisfy the controlling and messed-up urges of some religionists and their hangers on. Well, no. It's your internal problem, not our external one. Go to hell. Or maybe to a therapist.

"Stop preaching for equivalence and stop corrupting the young with the idea sex is merely for pleasure."

No. Luckily, I'm a liberal and an advocate of free speech so I won't demand you stop preaching your Catholic nonsense or even to stop corrupting the young with your dangerous and sinister and vicious religious patter. However, there's an obligation on the rest of us, gay or straight, and non-religious, to live our lives openly so that the young who have been polluted by your religion have the freedom, both positive and negative freedom, to choose a normal life instead of a Roman Catholic one if they choose.

I know lots of survivors of the Roman Catholic Church and, short of some residual guilt installed in childhood and therefore difficult to shake off, they live happy, productive lives in freedom, with their proper level of autonomy, and a normal level of personal responsibility.

27 June 2012 at 06:54  
Blogger Jon said...

Do you see, Inspector? You took a discussion about one thing and made it about homosexuality. You. Not me, not DanJ0. You. Why do you think you did that?

Here's my suggestions. You're a fan of personal responsibility, so take some. Look at the thread, then look at yourself in the mirror, and then say "I am what I am". You can even sing the song, if it helps. Your obsession is clearly derived from frustration on your own part - everyone else here can see it, even the extinct bird!

It's not too late though. All you need to do now is tell your nearest and dearest that this Catholic nonsense has all been a roundabout way of avoiding your sexuality for the last 92 years, throw out your nylon slacks and get your fabulous on. One of the nice young men in Abercrombie could certainly help you embrace your "disorder".

27 June 2012 at 12:42  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I have a picture which might help. :)

27 June 2012 at 16:50  
Blogger Jon said...

LOL!

27 June 2012 at 17:31  
Blogger Jon said...

Dan - do you think he's humming it to himself? More importantly, do you think he's doing the Gloria one or the Dame Shirley one?

I bet he's more of a Shirley kind of girl.

27 June 2012 at 17:42  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

Jon

All very mature and part of our forum chess player's tactics. Amidst 'serious' discussion drop the odd broad 'hint' and suggest a 'hidden' reason, build on it and provoke anger. That's what I've noticed. He accussed Albert of the same thing too and plays the same 'game' with Marie and myself.

And you? Well, you're just too stupid to see it.

27 June 2012 at 18:27  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon at 12:42

Calm down son. What are you babbling on about !

27 June 2012 at 18:37  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Actually you're sounding more and more like an ex-Catholic trying to convince yourself that his sin is acceptable. Standard method too. Deny God exists and claim it only feels 'wrong' because of religious guilt. Are you one? An ex-Catholic, that is?

28 June 2012 at 00:49  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

28 June 2012 at 07:26  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo, no.

Look, I appreciate that you've probably been socialised into thinking like a Catholic as a child and so some things feel normal. However, you simply can't extend that to everyone else. It doesn't follow.

I've never been socialised into thinking about right and wrong in terms of 'sin', and as an adult I think and feel that the approach is really rather creepy.

Moreover, I don't 'deny' the Catholic god any more than you 'deny' Visnu or Zeus. I've simply looked into a number of god hypotheses and decided they're nonsense and clearly man-made. They have no special place for me.

What I think you need to do is deliberately try to make a gestalt shift so that you consider what the thing looks like from the outside. If there is no god then there is no 'sin', and I'm an atheist i.e. without a belief in a god or gods.

Now, right and wrong. I toggle between thinking you're too thick to understand notions of morality when they're not a commercial, off-the-shelf one from your religious organisation, and between thinking you just caricature stuff in the simplest, stupidest terms to annoy people for your own weird idea of fun.

I'm most definitely not a sociopath or a psychopath. In fact, I think I over-empathise in real life. Right and wrong are immediate things to me. Furthermore, I can and do morally reason carefully from principles and derive personal and social ethics from the result.

The sexual morality you've bought packaged up from your religious organisation exists as a dependent component in that whole way of trying to understand reality. It relies on the notion of a divine design and purpose. It's a teleological thing.

For me, it's a very, very foreign way of viewing things. Sexual behaviour has right and wrong entwined through and around it but not for the reasons you claim. I arrive at often similar conclusions about it from a different place. It's most definitely not 'anything goes'.

I'm mostly setting that out for the silent reader, of course. Your trying to impose a Catholic-sexual view onto me and claiming I'm trying to slew off guilt is likely just a trivial mind game. However, I know from survivors of the Catholic Church that guilt trips are staple fayre to control people. They don't work on me though, I have never been damaged by that organisation as a child.

I'm neither proud nor ashamed of being gay or of having a sex life. It's just normal to me, and I'm not doing any wrong. There's nothing furtive about it, as I'm sure people must realise by the way I sometimes talk here. Also, I'm assertive enough and 'sorted' enough to just throw attempts at a guilt trip back in your face and laugh. It's your problem, sort yourself out.

You might think about throwing your commercial, off-the-shelf religious morality out and working through stuff from first principles. Listen to your conscience, if your one has not atrophied too much. Think about how love and sex can work together. Think about intimacy, in the mental sense. You can reason your way out of your religiously-coated homophobia, I'm sure.

28 June 2012 at 07:31  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector, I'm merely pointing out that, whatever the topic, you bring it around to homosexuality. I wonder why that could be? Hmmm. It's a toughie...

Dodo - I'm not part of the chess set thanks. You may be involved in a game (which I think most objective observers would agree, you've lost a few times already). For the rest of us, I'm guessing, life goes on outside the comments section of this blog, untroubled by your fetishisation of the sex lives of others, and the Inspector's curious obsession with gay people.

Anyway Inspector, have you looked in the mirror yet, old chap? Here's a little pic that might help...

http://lolgod.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/stop-using-jesus-as-excuse-for-being.html

28 June 2012 at 09:57  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Jon. Until he came to this site, the Inspector had as much opinion about homosexuality as the next man. In other words, barely acknowledging it’s existence. What has really intrigued him is how a vociferous tiny number of people, and most usually males, have managed to influence (…or should that be harass…) society into not only positively accepting the condition but even promoting it.

Now, if you fail to see how remarkable that is, you will also fail to understand how inquisitive types like the Inspector need, by their very nature, to know as much about the condition as is possible. Forewarned is fore-armed as they say.

Interestingly, the more he probes, the more you and DanJ0 assume he is making ‘contact’ with a view to ‘going over to the other side’. And it’s not just you two jollys. The same was experienced in his jaunts over at Pink News. Everybody suddenly became the Sirens of mythology, ready to dash their hoped for victim on the homosexual rocks of life.

It is indeed a fascinating research topic, but as for a hobby, definitely no thanks…

28 June 2012 at 17:52  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Let's try and work through this without the innuedos of stupidity and homophobia, shall we?

”I appreciate that you've probably been socialised into thinking like a Catholic as a child and so some things feel normal.”

Brought up with a belief in God and a set of moral principles based upon our revealed purpose as created beings charged with knowing, loving and understanding Him.

”I've never been socialised into thinking about right and wrong in terms of 'sin', and as an adult I think and feel that the approach is really rather creepy.”

”Creepy”? A strange word to use. All ‘sin’ consists of is ‘missing the mark’ in terms of ordered conduct. We all have consciences and a sense of right and wrong behaviour. We all feel guilt and shame - although these are now down played in our 'let it all hang out' culture.

”I've simply looked into a number of god hypotheses and decided they're nonsense and clearly man-made.”

"Nonsense"? "Clearly man made"? My, you are a liberated person. Again a rather aggressive and somewhat arrogant term to use considering the majority of people on this planet believe in a God.

”If there is no god then there is no 'sin', and I'm an atheist i.e. without a belief in a god or gods.”

A short step from the the Übermensch of Nietzsche.

” … you're too thick to understand notions of morality when they're not a commercial, off-the-shelf one from your religious organisation”

So you have no liberal reference points – Rawls for example? You’ve made up your own moral code allon your own?

”I can and do morally reason carefully from principles and derive personal and social ethics from the result.”

What are these principles? 'Do no harm'? The 'Golden Rule'? The application of these principles are contingent and personal to you. They may or may not be shared by others.

”The sexual morality you've bought packaged up from your religious organisation exists … relies on the notion of a divine design and purpose.”

In my opinion, it is also demonstrably better for society to follow the Christian moral code because it leads to healthier and better adjusted people. Whether based on Christianity or not, a man and a woman living together and raising children seems sensible to me.

”Sexual behaviour has right and wrong entwined through and around it but not for the reasons you claim.”

So what is your basis for right and wrong sexual behaviour and what do you base these on?

”I'm neither proud nor ashamed of being gay or of having a sex life. It's just normal to me, and I'm not doing any wrong.”

Fine, Carry on. Why try to impose your morality on the majority? Describing acts that Christians see as disordered and against God’s law as normal and then actively promoting them, is not an act of tolerance.

”You might think about throwing your commercial, off-the-shelf religious morality out and working through stuff from first principles … You can reason your way out of your religiously-coated homophobia, I'm sure.”

I think this sums you up. A religious objection is by definition ‘homophobic'!

28 June 2012 at 19:15  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

First Principle:

Q. Who made the world?
A. God made the world.

Q. Who is God?
A. God is the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all things.

Q. What is man?
A. Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven.

Q. What must we do to save our souls?
A. To save our souls, we must worship God by faith, hope, and charity; that is, we must believe in Him, hope in Him, and love Him with all our heart.

Q. How shall we know the things which we are to believe?
A. We shall know the things which we are to believe from the Catholic Church, through which God speaks to us.

Q. Where shall we find the chief truths which the Church teaches?
A. We shall find the chief truths which the Church teaches in the Apostles' Creed.

28 June 2012 at 20:29  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "Fine, Carry on. Why try to impose your morality on the majority?"

I'm not imposing it at all. You are entirely free to desist from homosexual actions if you wish. You're similarly free with respect to sex outside of marriage and divorce. You will not have to marry someone of the same sex. As far as I am concerned, you are free to practice your religion as you see fit, provided it does not harm others or significant intrude on their rights. I'm a liberal, this is all my bread and butter. Yet you'd criminalise homosexual behaviour if you had the power! Behold yourself.

"Describing acts that Christians see as disordered and against God’s law as normal and then actively promoting them, is not an act of tolerance."

I really think you need to read up on the nature of rights. You have such a confused notion of duties and the like, and a rather distorted notion of freedom by the look of it.

28 June 2012 at 20:52  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "I think this sums you up. A religious objection is by definition ‘homophobic'!"

As ever, I'll just say what I've said again and again and again: religious objections are not necessarily homophobic and are rarely so to my way of thinking. No, as I say again and again and again, you're homophobic as a person and it's because of your behaviour. I'm claiming you're just using your religious upbringing as an excuse, both to troll and to indulge your homophobia.

28 June 2012 at 20:56  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

There's just no consistency in your argument about 'rights' or' duties'. They have no foundation. I mean you haven't even stated them.

If you don't think religious objections to homosexuality are homophobic, then explain this:

”You might think about throwing your commercial, off-the-shelf religious morality out and working through stuff from first principles … You can reason your way out of your religiously-coated homophobia, I'm sure.”

Do explain your first principles and why you think Christians need to reason their way out of objections to homosexuality.

28 June 2012 at 22:27  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "There's just no consistency in your argument about 'rights' or' duties'. They have no foundation. I mean you haven't even stated them."

I don't need to. You seem to think I have some obligation towards Christian belief as far as homosexuality goes. On what basis does that obligation exist? I have no duty at all to live a quiet, private, marital life, hiding my sexual orientation, so that some Christians can feel comfortable in their religious beliefs. If heterosexuals can live life in the open then I don't see why I shouldn't too.

"If you don't think religious objections to homosexuality are homophobic, then explain this:"

Again? Dodo, I think you use the Roman Catholic view of homosexuality as a means to troll here, and to give you some sort of permission to express your homophobia openly.

The Roman Catholic view, in itself, and with all the provisos regarding homosexuals as people, and as part of a wider view on sexual morality, is a consistent and fairly coherent argument from Roman Catholic premises about its god. It's not inherently homophobic.

I'm inviting you to set aside the Roman Catholic view for the purposes of argument, use stuff like those things I've listed and speak to homosexuals about what being in love and living in a marital relationship is like, and reason your way out of your homophobia based on shared experiences.

Hopefully, you 'll feel ashamed of your trolling too as a result and we can all get a bit of peace there. Of course, you don't need to permanently ditch your Catholic upbringing or any Catholic beliefs you might actually hold in real life. This is about empathising; a core thing in real world morality, I'd say.

29 June 2012 at 07:28  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

No, at root you believe Christian objections to homosexuality are homophobic. Your comments demonstrate it.

"The Roman Catholic view, in itself, and with all the provisos regarding homosexuals as people, and as part of a wider view on sexual morality, is a consistent and fairly coherent argument from Roman Catholic premises about its god. It's not inherently homophobic."

Excellent. Then we get ....

"I'm inviting you to set aside the Roman Catholic view for the purposes of argument, use stuff like those things I've listed and speak to homosexuals about what being in love and living in a marital relationship is like, and reason your way out of your homophobia based on shared experiences."

To shift the discussion onto your secular territory and set aside Christian premises? I've witnessed carl and Albert do so without success. Hard it might be for two men in love with one another to accept it, I would, in the final analysis, have to fall back on the position that homosexuality is a disordered condition and no society should ever equate it with heterosexuality. How it deals with it, is another matter.

"Of course, you don't need to permanently ditch your Catholic upbringing or any Catholic beliefs you might actually hold in real life. This is about empathising; a core thing in real world morality, I'd say."

Empathy - the core thing in real world morality? You base this on what? One can empathise and understand your desire to have physically intimate relationships with men. Similarly, I can emphasis with others drawn to other behaviours I consider destructive and harmful to them as individuals and to the collective good. Empathy is not the same thing as endorsement or agreement.

29 June 2012 at 11:46  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "No, at root you believe Christian objections to homosexuality are homophobic. Your comments demonstrate it."

My comments here and in the past explicitly say otherwise. In black and white. Clear as day.

"To shift the discussion onto your secular territory and set aside Christian premises?"

I can easily argue like a Christian. Anyone with good debating skills can take an opposing argument and argue it. Afterall, arguments ought to stand on their own two feet. I'm inviting you to do so in the privacy of your own home for your own edification.

"Empathy - the core thing in real world morality? You base this on what?"

On personal experience and on observation. Sociopaths, for example, have very low levels of empathy. You won't seem much altruism or moral behaviour there. Similarly with psychopaths.

"Empathy is not the same thing as endorsement or agreement."

Of course not. But I haven't said that. It's a core driver in one's moral sense though, I'd say.

30 June 2012 at 07:07  
Blogger The Way of Dodo the Dude said...

DanJ0

Agreed empathy is an essential attribute of being human. However, understanding someone else's world and how they experience it, sometimes means offering an alternative way of being. The social constructs of people often cause pain and distress - and what I see as objectively immoral behaviour.

You understand my Christian views; I understand your atheist and secular views. In my world we cannot both be correct. In your world it doesn't seem to matter so long as we do no 'harm' and respect one another's 'rights'. I doubt this is possible as the anti-theists and secularists re pushing Christianity to the margins.

30 June 2012 at 19:11  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

Dodo: "In my world we cannot both be correct. In your world it doesn't seem to matter so long as we do no 'harm' and respect one another's 'rights'."

Correct. Afterall, I'm a liberal in the JS Mill tradition. I explicitly back Article 9 of the ECHR. The question is, what are you prepared to do if you don't accept my right to believe as I see fit? Well, you've already said you'd criminalise my sexual behaviour. Also, we have a long history of systematic abuse and evil perpetrated by your religious organisation to further its aims. Also, we have contemporary evidence of what Islamic militants are prepared to do to further their aims on the basis that they are correct and feel empowered to act on that belief.

1 July 2012 at 17:02  
Blogger Jon said...

Inspector - My point to you is that your interest in the subject transcends mine, and I have a dog in the fight. You seek to link absolutely everything to homosexuality (including this post). This is not the level of interest one would expect from enquiry, it's in the nature of an obsession.

The simple fact is that the extension of my rights to love and marry does not IN ANY WAY impinge on your rights. I do not wish to marry before a church congregation which doesn't accept me, and I wouldn't support the imposition of this on churches. Neither does the consultation which has just closed. Even if you were married, your marriage would be unchanged by my becoming so, just as it is unchanged by the state's recognition of Hindu or Jewish or polygamous Mormon marriage which are outside the purview of the Catholic Church.

Taking all this into account, it's only natural for people to wonder why it is that you are convinced that there is some kind of homosexual illuminati group with designs on world domination and the imposition of our moral framework! There is no moral consensus amongst homosexuals - we have no holy book or code of rules (apart from DanJ0's fabulous test which is less of a rule than an expectation!) let alone a political consensus. As Dodo amply demonstrates - the Catholic Church is a far more suitable vessel for your paranoid fantasies, enforcing as it does, doctrinal uniformity, and possessing both a tame state and uncounted billions of dollars to lobby for its causes.

Gay people are not a very good army - in general I would say that they're much more interested in enjoying their lives (which makes them the same as almost everyone else). What's more, you couldn't get a group of ten gays to agree on Gaga vs. Kylie vs Madonna, let alone march in line behind a universal moral agenda. Stop letting the Church frighten you - the bogey man doesn't exist.

2 July 2012 at 13:41  

Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older