‘Big Society?’

Orwellian prediction turning true or brilliant reformative idea? David Cameron attempted to launch The Big Society for the fourth time on Monday 23rd May, describing it as his ‘mission in politics’. Having heard little to nothing about this initiative, instantly this does not sit right with me. Maybe I am not open to change, new ideas or maybe i’m just jumping on some vaguely left-wing slightly anarchistic anti-government bandwagon.

Briefly, the main points of The Big Society are: 

  • Community empowerment
  • Opening up public services
  • Social Action
Followed by
  • The Big Society Bank, National Citizen Service pilots, Community organisers and Community first

On the surface The Big Society appears relatively appealing; communities are brought together and empowered with greater local say and opinion. Unemployment and state welfare abuse will be cut and National Citizen Service will target Year 11 school leavers to – in Mr Cameron’s words –  ‘inspire you to realise what you can achieve‘. Hang on. ‘Inspire you to realise what you can achieve’? So Cameron is going to allow and presumably provide school leavers with this opportunity for realisation? God complex much. He proposes to do this by sending 11,000 young people off on three-week placement’s (two of which are away from home) to be followed by an additional 30 hours of voluntary work. This is due to increase to 30,000 in 2012. Cameron states:

“I want National Citizen Service to inspire you to realise what you can achieve. This summer you will be able to spend two months mixing with other young people, learning new skills, and putting something back into your community.”

So why does the idea of all this just not sit right with me? Call me paranoid but the whole concept of this seems suspiciously like the first steps in bringing back an extremely regulated social system and the potentially the first steps in bringing back compulsory national service. The groundworks for later developments towards a very strict way of living, indoctrinating people from the moment they leave school into Cameron’s ideals.

As cliché as it is to bring Orwell references into this, why are there so many 1984 connotations and ideas flicking into my head on reading about The Big Society? Everything I have read about the scheme screams dumbing down, the assumption of low intellect for its audience and lack of peoples ability to understand much. There is an underlying ideology of a supreme, better and organised society. It’s not the 1950’s, we do not have close-knit communities where everyone looks out for each other.

There is no greatly detailed information or mission ideas without searching at more than a casual level, the language used to put The Big Society across is simplistic, Facebook is the first means of advertising National Citizens Service. Maybe I biased and social networking sites are the way forwards for government campaigns. This just doesn’t seem very professional for a GOVERNMENT initiative. Anyone can set up a Facebook page and publish whatever they wish. Everything today is about social networking, blogging, online media. Still, I thought an official government site would be the first means of getting information, before Facebook.

‘Empowering people to improve their lives’ and ‘putting power in peoples hands’ seems to be a catchphrase. Community focus and community empowerment with local idea’s is all part of this too. In some aspects this is great. Yet I can’t help being aware of the growing pockets of extreme right-wing areas that actively support organisations such as the BNP, EDL and UKIP. Is handing empowerment to very ‘local’ and sometimes naive area’s really a good idea? Creating local ‘leaders’ is slightly worrying.

This does not really draw much of a conclusion towards my own viewpoint, apart from unease. There are many more points I haven’t even started to cover or come towards any opinion. What do you think?

Summerwine

Summertime means summer wine, musky sticky goose-bump evenings, barbecues and sunburn. Dawn keeps breaking just before I wake up after passing in  and out of too-hot half sleep. I keep hoping things’ll become fun; life focused and ready to pounce on every little bit of it I can. Thats  not so when there is no-where to go, no reason or want to fight on.

I keep trying to find a life direction, plan an adventure that is not just a few months floating about, return to Uni or find an internship. Do something with a little meaning and use to myself and the/my world.

There is not enough concentration in me to complete and organise any of the above. This really bothers me. Failure is currently the situation.

For someone that always tells other people to stop talking about there ideas, and start doing them, I am a massive raging hypocrite… Writing this just adds to this some more.

There were so many ideas, ambitions in me. I was on track to getting some of them off the ground and floating into reality. Moving to Southampton was never intended as a permanent thing. It was a transition into the future. I had forgotten this.

Then last year happened. I’m still a tad stuck.


Спасение

I have been back from a 48hour escape, for roughly 13 hours and 18 minutes.

There is an overwhelming urge to escape.

I  must get out.

I have to move around: see places, dirt, people, things.

I am trapped.

I am not unhappy. Just so trapped in what I know and do every single day. No variety, nothing new, not me.

Searching for the unreachable, unobtainable, something. What the unreachable is, I don’t know.  I know it is there, it’s always there – right behind my eyes, itching the back of my brain, scrabbling to escape. It’s in the sky, in the stars, in my feet and shin muscles, fingertips, on the stairs over the railway, it’s around the corner you saw a fraction too late.

It’s down the alley with the broken windows and peeling paint you walked past everyday for months and only just saw. Behind a door that’s not yet been opened. It’s in everything – utterly everything – the bitter taste of life, the swirl of conversation over Polish beer, the pain of dry broken and stamped on chances, the gulp of coffee that burnt the roof of your mouth and then your stomach, the dreary moments that drag at work, the glance out the window, the mental kicking you give yourself for not taking a chance, bumping into someone you rarely see as you walked the long way back.

If there was a conclusion, a direction, sense of ease; this would not be here.

To step out of the body would be nice, fresh. Leaving behind a skin as reptiles do, regenerating into a new, better, stronger, quicker, more efficient self. To step out of the mind would be, unfathomably good. A sterile slate of emptiness.

Questions with no answers. Although I appreciate answers

Sometimes  you see someone, with life bursting out there eyes like they are trying to commit eye-suicide and jump right out of their face.

These are the people that seem alive. These are the people that have not lost the childlike curiosity that gets squashed and squashed and squashed away, the older you get as if some greasy belly-button fluff.

Why do people lose this spark and curiosity? How can life be so uneventful and unexciting and dreary that morbid existence takes over and that spark is gone. Then suddenly they are in their forties, fifties, sixites saying Fuck. What the hell have I done with my life.

My questions…..

What makes you feel alive, truly alive?

What do you want to do before you die?

(which is something you should do now, today, if feasible. Who know’s whats outside right now. Endless chaotic possibilities and scenarios)

The White Rose and Wandervogel

Yesterday I stumbled across Hienz Ruther – an influential if somewhat unknown German architect, politician and active amongst the Wandervogel, creating his own sub-group, Jungenschaft. Rutha, Wandervogel, same-sex German youth camps and homosexual influence is fascinating. I have discovered The White Rose – an anti-nazi student political group. This is a tiny short post as i’v been awake on and off all night after a fuckin brilliant surprise gig (Devin Fuckin Townsend!:D) with this going round and round my head. so this possibly isnt the clearest post ever… However I am going to research Rutha, homosexual influence in German Youth groups and The White Rose – THIS IS FASCINATING! I need to know more. And more. If anyone has any good books/research/info about any of these – please let me know..

I want sleep

Beautiful, gorgeous, dead sleep/.

Ha. Work. Unlucky.

Just her

So she got up one day, just her and herself, she awoke to the world, she awoke to the day

She didn’t know where or what she was; nothing she wanted, nothing she missed


Just her and her and her head and her thoughts, her life stretching up like a tongue licking corners of the sky

Her eyeballs bubbled, her eyes so wide the corners split

She lost the memories, she lost the heartstrings, she lost it all

 

Just her and her and her head and her thoughts

Team her

Just her

Only her

Some things you stumble across and remember.

This is one of them.

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