This is the 200th post to the Spleen and as a regular Pollyfisker (assuming that isn’t a sexual offence) you’ve got to appreciate days like today. Polly’s decided not to flesh out her article with a big dreamy introduction instead she’s going straight for David Cameron’s throat.
Now Mr. Cameron is used to dealing with incisive, intelligent media people so Polly should be no trouble at all.
Emoting over hoodies is no substitute for a policy:
Cameron's love-laced rhetoric on law and order makes no mention of prison, sentencing policy or funding
Well one would imagine not given that he was speaking to the Centre for Social Justice. They are a foundation that deals with the preventative work with children and the charity sector amongst many other things.
Talking about sending kids to prison or adding 5 years onto Borstals isn’t going to be relevant here. You wouldn’t go and talk to the CBI about Housing Benefit so why would you talk to the CSJ about prisons? You see Polly, Cameron’s job is to talk relevantly to the audience he has, this contrasts neatly with your job which seems to be to spout bollocks twice a week with scant regard for the people reading it.
It is delightfully funny to read the expostulations from the mighty organs of conservatism. "How much more can we take?" howled the Telegraph leader yesterday. "Barely a week goes by without David Cameron distancing himself from some elemental Tory beliefs." They warn him: "Don't lose sight of the doctrine pursued triumphantly by your immediate predecessor: prison works."
Hang on a minute Polly…. I haven’t actually seen David Cameron distance himself from any traditional Tory beliefs yet. Conservative policies and ideas are all about getting the state out of our lives, creating opportunity and rewarding hard work. Everything, and I mean everything that David Cameron has said since he took the leadership has been on this theme. Everything.
But while we’re on the subject of abandoning the party’s core values can I draw your attention to the following piece of elegant prose:
“‘The Labour Party is a democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few. Where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe. And where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.’
Recognise that? Yes Polly… it’s the Labour Party Clause 4. Oh how we forget the sweeping under the carpet of that cornerstone of traditional belief when Blair and your one-eyed Norse Warrior came in.
As for wellbeing and love, who could be against him?
Well apparently you and everyone who’s been in the press to criticise him.
The Home Office minister Tony McNulty called it "wash and go" policies. Cameron leaves not a drop of policy clinging to him as he dips in and out of the milk of human kindness. He says kids on estates without money for concerts or the seaside are "bored, bored, bored ... hoodies are more defensive than offensive ... putting things right is not just about law enforcement ... we have to show more love" to those who stay within the law while still ensuring "painful consequences" for those who don't.
And now we see the great Toynbee contradiction… it never fails does it? There’s always one, at least. How on earth can you be saying that he makes no mention of prisons, sentencing etc when you have quoted him as saying “ensuring painful consequences”? Much as you complain about the bloggers criticising your articles Pol at least we’re reading them… you clearly are not.
If someone in Blair's government used the words love, understanding and emotional development so often in a law and order speech they'd be on the fast track to the backbenches, propelled by the end of John Reid's steel-toed boot. What a bizarre political moment this is.
That’s because if someone in Blair’s government used the words love, understanding and emotional development nobody would believe them. I believe there are rules about deliberately misleading parliament.
Deconstruct most of Cameron's speech yesterday at Iain Duncan Smith's Centre for Social Justice to a congregation of charities and its key message is this section: "You, the social entrepreneurs, the voluntary organisations - the people doing the patient, painstaking work on the ground - if the police stand for sanctions and penalties, you stand for love." By implication, he contrasted them with the state where "when it comes to these difficult issues we're obsessed with measuring the quantity of inputs. How much money. How many more staff. Whether targets are met ... Our record is lousy; yours is great - so you should be in charge." As the word "charity" suggests, he seems to think it can all be done on love alone - never mind the money or the staff.
Oh for fucks sake Polly, even your visually challenged fecktard fantasy taxman is starting to see that nothing in the UK is underfunded it’s just vast quantities of money are being mis-spent. Increasing the money doesn’t improve the quality of the output as your last pay rise clearly demonstrates.
Cameron is right… the state’s record in this area is a resounding Class 1 fuck up. The charity sector’s record in this area is a stunning golden success. So why don’t we put them in charge? Although I suppose if jobs went to the people who could do them well you’d be working at Burger King wouldn’t you?
Talking to her yesterday [Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh], she said she had given up frontline work to raise money, working seven days a week to write applications, begging businesses for the £20,000 per child she needs. "I feel like a prostitute," she said. To build on what she knows, to train others to do it elsewhere, she needs stable funding from central government.
Actually Polly I would agree she needs stable funding but she will not care where it comes from. After all if you needed £3m would it matter whether it came from Blair or Branson? As for your insistence that she has to beg businesses for £20K per child this is what charities do, they raise funds by donation. What else do they do? Are we supposed to think “Look at the pitiful state we’re in when charities have to ask for money”? What are you thinking woman? At £20,000 a child I believe you could afford 7, so get donating!
Many of the state's youth crime prevention programmes are already delivered by charities. Crime Concern delivers many of those designed to draw in the children regarded as at highest risk of offending. On a Rochdale estate, it achieves a 70% fall in calls to the police complaining about young people. It cost £350,000 - but researchers estimate it saves £665,000.
Again she’s offer her own message here. This is provided by the charity sector, not the state and it works! Your own statistics show that it works. If it works Polly why oh why are you hell fecking bent on changing it to a system more like SureStart, which doesn’t fecking work? WHY? WHY? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD WHY?
The Audit Commission estimates that £42,000 on effective early interventions in children's lives from birth to adolescence spares £153,000 in incarceration.
Just to digress a minute I would like to refer you all to FactCheckingPollyAnna on this note, it’s good…. Very good!
Now I continue…
But Cameron's Love Actually is free. Charities do it, the state doesn't - and never mind the money.
Who said this was free? OK Polly who, other than you, said this was free? The government spends money on these programs already. The trouble is that the government dictates how their money is going to be spent and naturally as with all of OUR money that our cavalier feckwit chancellor spends it’s going in the wrong place. So why not put the charities in charge? Why not give them the freedom to decide how that money is spent? It works Polly, you said so yourself.