Wednesday, April 14, 2010

No Dave required

I don't know if you saw BBC Breakfast this morning, but they featured an item about a small village in Rutland who, fed up of slow speed Internet connections, decided to band together to get high speed broadband access. They got together with a local telecoms company and now have the fastest rural broadband access in the country.

Good for them.

I really hope Dave was watching too - because it demonstrates two very important points. The first being that his "new idea" for "big society" isn't anything new and doesn't need to be big. It also demonstrates that it doesn't need a Tory government either - but that's by the by.

The second and more important thing that this demonstrates is that this was achieved without any intervention from the state whatsoever. There was no need for any "development agency" or fake charity to get involved - indeed, it is quite likely that it only became possible because the scenario was such that the state wasn't involved at all.

And that is the important point - the state does not need to be involved.

The biggest obstacle to society in a democracy is the state - and the more the state gets involved the less democratic that society becomes. Because the state decides what a society will and will not be allowed the society becomes competitive rather than collaborative. Rather than having communities agreeing on what is required you end up with factions fighting against each other for the cash the government will hand out.

And the way this state interference manifests itself is through the myriad of quangos and agencies that proliferate up and down the country and if the were really serious about enabling people to take control than the only thing they need to do is dismantle this quangocracy and the Tories have no intention of changing that.

I know they have no intention of doing so because the reason most of these things exist is our membership of the European Union - and the Tories have no intention of doing anything about that.

We don't need a big state or a big society - we just need to get out democracy back.

And the only way we can do that is by leaving the EU.


Richard Matthews said...

People old enough to remember tell me they remember exactly where they were when JFK was shot. I remember exactly where I was when Thatcher resigned (I was a fourteen year-old schoolkid at the time).

The reason Thatcher was hounded out was because she realised (far too late) what the real goals of the European project were and still are.

I have never been so unexcited about a General Election as I am about this one. The sad fact is that the House of Commons is completely irrelevant: all they do is rubber-stamp the plethora of diktats sent down by the European Commission.

I really can't see a way out of it. I know some very intelligent people who consider the EU to be a force for the good. Most people don't care one way or the other - the EU seems harmless enough to many.

The huge stumbling block, though, is the career politicians. The EU's existence provides enormous positive benefits for those in the world of politics. You can get voted out by the people but it doesn't matter - there's a nice cosy job in the European Commission for you. It's all about jobs for the boys and these turkeys won't be voting for Christmas.

We'll all find ourselves in a real-life version of George Orwell's 1984. The silent, politically apathetic majority will have woken up too late.

Antisthenes said...

I agree with you big state has managed to first destroy the family unit and then the community spirit. Urbanisation, immigration and the EU are now pushing the process further along. A civil war between Libertarians and Authoritarians has been raging for the last 30 to 40 years and the battle is being won by the Authoritarian forces they have had the bigger guns (voices) and best tactics (scare). The last battle has not yet been fought and the Authoritarian lines of communication are over extended and they face a break down of supply (money). So the outcome is no means certain it will probably end up in total mutual destruction but an outright winner is also possible my betting would be the Libertarians as Authoritarians will have exhausted all their supplies. However the tragedy is that the war will have impoverished everyone.