Under Blair, articulate citizens no longer take civic responsibility and the social obligations that go with it. They are not trusted to do so. Instead they are reduced to complaining and whingeing when things go wrong. But these communities are not historical abstractions. Blair's speechwriter quoted Hobbes, Tawney and Richard Sennett in implausible defence of his centralism. He should read De Tocqueville, who described a similarly atomised democracy in postrevolutionary France as one in which "each citizen stands apart, like a stranger to the destiny of others. His children and personal friends form for him the entire human race ... while above them rises an immense and tutelary power, that of the state".
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
All this drivel does is bring Basra to our doorsteps
Simon Jenkins does not think much of Blair's latest "respect" proposals (aaaaaaaaaiiih!):