Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Fuck me: Dave said something good!

Dear god in heaven, has Dave Cameron actually got something right? Do you know, I think that he might have.
David Cameron declared yesterday that some people who are poor, fat or addicted to alcohol or drugs have only themselves to blame.

He said that society had been too sensitive in failing to judge the behaviour of others as good or bad, right or wrong, and that it was time for him to speak out against “moral neutrality”.

In a conscious shift of strategy, the Tory leader said he would not shirk from discussing public morality and claimed that social problems were often the consequence of individuals’ choices. “We talk about people being ‘at risk of obesity’ instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise,” he said. “We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it’s as if these things—obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction—are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.

“Of course, circumstances—where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school and the choices your parents make—have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices people make.”

Obviously, I do have some reservations and these are doubts that are shared by Timmy.
However, there’s a much greater problem with the idea of society (by which he means government of course) saying what was right and wrong: according to whom? It’s not all that long ago that homosexuality was agreed by society to be wrong and that thus it was a crime (one slightly odd factoid I’ve dug up. Between 1800 and 1827, some 40 people were hung for sodomy as against just under 400 for murder, umm, England and Wales figures I think, not GB). Iran apparently still operates on this basis. We can’t even use the straight Millian definitions of as long as it doesn’t harm others or their own rights: adultery certainly causes emotional pain, but does that mean we should adopt the Saudi approach to it of whippings and beheadings?

On the face of it telling everyone what is right and what is wrong is extremely attractive: the problem comes as above, in defining what it is that we are going to be telling people. We might indeed be more enlightened to be telling people that racism wrong, shagging not, but looking around at other human societies (both geographically and in time) shows that plenty of other not so enlightened ideas have been considered right and wrong, those latter something that society should righteously punish.

Not a can of worms I think we want to open, eh?

I tend to agree; if Dave were merely calling for people to take responsibility for their lives, rather than attempting to have society define right and wrong, then I would be totally behind him. Nevertheless, it is certainly the closest that I have come to agreeing with the massively-foreheaded tit, so congrats to him.

The superb Leg-iron, in a post that you should read the whole of, uses said speech as a springboard for a rant against the PC brigade.
You might be poor. You might be disabled. Do something about it. The PC buffoons don't want you to, naturally. They encourage you to play the victim. They encourage you to be dependent and weak and to bleat about how 'they' oppress you.

It's all lies. There is someone oppressing you but it's not who you think. It's the PC sods themselves. They want you dependent...on them.

See, the only way the PC parasites can survive is by having a host to sap life from. You—the poor, the minorities, the disabled—you are that host. if you become independent, if you think for yourself, if you get away from the handouts and the tidbits they tempt you with, they wither away.

They don't want you immigrants to learn English. They want to provide you with translations. Why? Because if you learn English, you don't need the succubus on your back any more. You can function perfectly well on your own.[*—DK]

They don't want you cripples getting out of those chairs. They want to get you benefits, they want to take you on trips, they want to have meetings to discuss your 'issues'. Why? Because once you realise that your brain was never in your legs, that the Internet means you can work without travelling, that many people with perfectly functional legs never bloody walk anywhere anyway, you won't need the Parasite Class any more. You can function perfectly well on your own.

They don't want you poor people getting ideas about working or (god forbid) starting up businesses. That's why benefits are so generous, and why the penalties for doing any kind of work or saving any money while on benefits are so dire. It's a trap that takes courage to break out of but believe me, it's well worth it. Not so much for the money, more for the freedom from those pompous, smug, self-important bastards who, like it or not, control your lives now. If you take that step, and I'm not going to pretend it'll be easy because they will place hurdles in your way, then you won't need the Pestilential Cretins any more.

This is, of course, absolutely true. These charities are an industry like any other and, whilst they may really want to help, they are, at the same time, entirely business-like in their determination to seek new markets and to keep themselves in business.

The difference is that, generally, they rely on large amounts of taxpayers' extorted money, rather than attempting to sell them goods that they might want to buy.

* I have told this story before, but when I worked in the medical centre, I had to accompany one of our patients to his father's funeral. The family were Turkish-Cypriots and had been living in Britain for some forty years.

Even so, the mother could speak barely any English whatsoever: "hello", "goodbye", "yes", "no", "please" and "thankyou" were the limits of her grasp of the language of the country that she had lived in for four decades.

Take from that what you will...


Anonymous said...

I have to say that I am much more circumspect about DC's motives than your good self.

Indeed morality and virtue are good traits in people. This is of course how the free market would flourish, through voluntary contracts and agreements, between hard working and honest individuals.

However, whenever the role of govt seeks to enforce morality on its populace, it invariably screws up. Totalitarian even.

Indeed the very moral nature of govt is questionable in its self.

I am less inclined to see this as a radical shift from the norm. More a thin veil of the excesses (of the right) to come, under state run conservatism.

Lets be frank about this DK, we are unlikely to see any real change in this world. Particularly while the majority insist on everything being centre left or centre right. It's mere posturing and showmanship.

My kind regards as always

Anonymous said...

Well, devils are easily fooled it seems. Don't be a fuckwit. Dave's just joining in the progressive war on fat people. And beer. And anything else that doesn't fit their miserablist moralitarianism.

If you think he's actually talking about individual responsibility in a libertarian sense you must need your fucking head examining. He's declaring the tories are good progressives who are going to be just as nasty to fat people as the rest of the progressive ruling class.

I can't believe you're applauding this. You ought to be saying that how fat people are is no fucking business of Dave, Gordon or any of the other arseholes we have to subsidise to spout this bilge.

Dave's a progressive. Wake up. We're not going to get anywhere (and I say "we" while proudly considering my shiny LPUK membership) if we're this easily fooled by the same old social engineering dressed in some slightly different platitudes. I bet next you're going to say you believe his "post bureaucratic society" schtick is libertarian as well, right?


Unknown said...

I take a similar line to you DK. Whilst some addicts need some help and assistance the main component is that you have to WANT to change rather than constantly blame it on society, external pressures, etc.

As someone who had a drink problem then quit that was the essential part of it. The problem wasn't going to magically disappear, I really wanted it to and stopped. No one forces or was forcing alcohol down my throat.

Taking responisibility for your life and your problems is key and not to mention pretty fucking satisfying.

Don't worry though, I'd still legalise all drugs, you know, with us being human beings capable of making our own decisions and all that!

Devil's Kitchen said...

Patrick and Ian B,

Had you read on, you would have seen that I harbour severe doubts.

The excerpt of Dave's speech that I quoted I do agree with, i.e. that people should take responsibility for their actions.

My caveat, as summed up by the piece that I quoted from Worstall, is that his solution is for politicians to tell us how we should live (again).

I am more than aware of Dave's motives, but at least he has come out and said something that I agree with, even if -- as I suspect -- our eventual conclusions are utterly different.


Old Holborn said...

Dave is just testing the water to see if he can slash benefits without an uprising from the mobility scootered, incapacity benefitted land whales that currently populate every town centre greasy spoon cafe during their waking hours.

Dave is a Politician. He WANTS power. Libertarians are ideologists who want power over their own lives.

Nothing to see here, move along now.....

Anonymous said...

I take your point DK.

I do recall and quote your words (in part)

The 'massively-foreheaded tit' bit...

Anonymous said...

Oldholborn is correct.The voting public are mesmerized with the two parties.Things are so desperate we hang on every word,praying for 'common sense'.It never happens.They always know what is best.Us and them..the State is the enemy. We must never forget.

Tim J said...

Well, DC doesn't actually say that the Government should 'enforce' morality, nor that being fat is Government's business. What he says is that being fat is a consequence of choices that an individual makes, rather than the abstract result of unidentified other forces.

In a way it's DC's equivalent of Thatcher's society speech - we are independent beings, and our actions have consequences. What happens to us is our responsibility, not the state's.

Old Holborn said...

"What happens to us is our responsibility, not the state's."

except it isn't and certainly won't be under Dave.

Has Dave assured me I can send my children to the school of my choice? Has Dave pledged to take down CCTV? Road pricing? Email monitoring? The right to demonstrate outside Parliament? Referendum on the EU?

Or (more likely) he is saying give us all your money, all your civil rights (you serfs) and look after your bloody selves coz we sure as fuck won't. That would be true blue, wouldn't it? It certainly was last time around

Tim J said...

On the schools point, the Tories have gone pretty far down the vouchers route - he pretty much has assured parents that they can send their kids where they want.

I'm unlikely to win many converts among libertarians, but there are areas of Tory policy (at the moment, a long way from power...) that do look good, even for libertarians.

Old Holborn said...

Not being a devotee of trawling through Dave's notes, could you let me know his position on:

42 days
Trial by Jury
ID cards
DNA database
Biometric passports
Income tax
Road pricing
Global Warming
the EU
Foreign Aid
Proportional Representation

I don't need details, just if he is different to the current idiot in charge of the crazy 646 and how.


Anonymous said...

All I have to say is type french military victories in google and click the I'm feeling lucky button.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget our new mantra: "Whatever happens to me it's all someone else's fault."

Thatcher's Child said...

I'm not impressed.

Dave says the same thing as the PC lot, but doesn't use the language of victim.

It is up to individuals how fat or unfit they want to be - nothing to do with Dave. The only thing Dave can do is to remove their ability to profit from their state for their condition - if he does that, then it was a good speech.

Somehow I doubt that is his intention.

Anonymous said...

He should no about drug takers then LOL.

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