Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Polly Toynbee does the Lambeth walk (out of the door)

Everyone loves bashing the idea of the "Big Society" these days, personally, for me it's quite obvious what it means, and frankly, only a complete moron wouldn't be able to spot it. It's a two words catchphrase to encompass the bit in bold in the following quote that people all too often forget.
And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It's our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations.
Simples, no?

Anyhow, I digress. Those that like to bash the "Big Society" are, as you would expect, are Labour and its assorted supporters on the Left. Polly Toynbee being a case in point, calling it "magical thinking", a "big fat lie" and a "busted flush".

You see, Polly says its all about the middle-classes and simply ignores the needs of the people that really need help. Thus, when the Labour-controlled Lambeth Council launched its "John Lewis council" riposte to Cameron's Big Society, the erstwhile Ms Toynbee, a Lambeth resident, got herself appointed to what was eventually called the Lambeth Co-operative Council Citizens' Commission, which is,

Lambeth's big idea for local government.It's about giving people more involvement and control of the services they use and the places where they live by putting council resources in their hands.
Yes, who could possibly question Polly Toynbee's commitment to civic duty in the area that she lives?

You see, Polly was so concerned about her local community, and so committed to showing that the left had a much better answer to local problems she managed to give her all into these wonderful project..... oh... no... wait, I;m wrong, she didn't.

You see, a prole has had the temerity to ask Lambeth Council a question through the Freedom of Information Act. How many meetings - asked the cheeky commoner - of the Lambeth Co-op Citizen's Commission has the passionately caring Polly Toynbee actually attended since her appointment in July 2010? The answer?

One, and then she quit.

Yes, that's right, Polly Toynbee, who cares passionately for her local community and Labour project such as co-operative councils, decided to take on a role and managed to attend just one meeting before quitting saying she had much more important things to do than helping the proles. OK, that may be paraphrased, but this is the actual response from the Council.

"Polly Toynbee was originally part of the Co-operative Council Citizens' Commission and attended one meeting on the 13 October. However, given her work commitments Polly Toynbee was unable to attend other meetings and as a result stood down from the Commission."
Champagne Socialism! Don't you just love it?

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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