what does everyone think of Peter Oborne's blog today?(23 Posts)
I can't help agreeing with a lot of it I'd be interested to hear if anyone disagrees. I can't imagine anyone will though.
Was quite refreshing to read although predictably spoilt by reading all the comments...
Trending on twitter so getting a wide reading.
i completely agree with oborne here. there's another angle that he doesn't mention, but i think is relevant, and that's that cameron, johnson and the bullingdon boys trashed and damaged pubs in oxford during university and weren't punished.
guessit's ok if you're a rich spoilt brat to destroy private property!
Spot on analysis!
Bornsickly, is there any evidence (preferably photographic) of DC and others vandalizing?,
I understand what he's saying and I'm well aware that there is no monopoly on rule-bending or ciminality in any strata of society.... but I really do wonder how much notice the 'feral youth of Tottenham' as he calls them take of politicians or big business. If I find a wallet in the street, I don't keep it for myself as some kind of acknowldgement of the expenses scandal or some tax exile and think 'they're all helping themselves, why don't I?'.... I hand it in to a police station because that's what my parents taught me was the right thing to do.
If anything's influencing our society at the moment it is the deadly sin of avarice. Subtly, all around us, the aspirational lifestyles, the advertising, the magazines pointing out what we haven't got but telling us that we deserve them anyway. The effects range from unmanageable credit card bills from buying desirable rubbish we can't afford... to robbery.
But I have great hope for our society as I don't think people are the morally bankrupt sheep Oborne writes them off as. I think they can look at bad behaviour at any point on the social spectrum and think ...'I'm better than that'. It's called personal integrity. I heard it in the remarks of grieving father Tariq Jahan and I saw it in the faces of the people helping their neighbours clean up after the violence. We're not finished by a long chalk
I totally agree with the article. It isn't a case that poor people or young people or unemployed people are the cause of society's ills. So many people at every level of society are now entrenched in a "dog eat dog" mentality where you're stupid if you pay all the taxes you should
stupid if you don't milk the system for a few extra benefits where you can
stupid if you don't claim expenses to ridiculous levels and pocket the difference
stupid if you don't fix you working hours or lie about where your partner lives to maximise benefits payments / childcare payments
stupid if you don't ask your employer to pay you with a new computer or cash in hand rather than an official salary increase so you can keep your child benefit and pay lower rates of tax
stupid if you don't hold your company to ransom for enormous bonsuses that you probably don't deserve every year
stupid if you don't put everything in your wife's name to protect your assets stupid if you don't sign your house over to avoid death duties and care costs
Basically there is a hard core at all levels of wealth and education and employment who are greedy / selfish and totally disengaged with what is good for society as opposed to what's good for them. You don't need to be a 17 year old living in Peckham to think that 'if everyone else does it why shouldn't I?'
And as Cognito says there are good people at all levels of society too of course.
Agree with just about all of it, but he could have gone a bit further. To say that the economic system we are all part of relies on greed, competition and dishonesty. Taking advantage when the opportunity arises is how we are conditioned.
The economic system doesn't recognise 'society' - it's a market made up of individual, short-term decisions wit hself-advamcement and greed as drivers.
Other systems have their own faults, but lets not pretend that ours provides any 'guide' as to how to morally behave, or acheive advancement.
Our economic system is entirely about 'society'. Our tax system, paid into by individuals and organisations means everyone benefit from education, healthcare and all the other things that make a civilised society function well. The stock market is the stock market and if you're trying to trace some straight line cause and effect between the 'feral youth of Tottenham' being so dismayed at shares being short sold on the Nasdaq I think you're very wide of the mark.
No I wasn't doing that Cogi. That would be silly and extreme.
'silly and extreme'.... is about right for that article as well.
Going on about the Mp's expenses is a distraction imo. I feel the expenses were something that, due to the low salary compared to what many could earn in the city, MP's were, with a nod and a wink, presumed to claim. Unfortunately some took great advantage of this ( and ended up in prison) others (v honest or not needing the extra money due to inherited wealth) didn't claim. They are the lucky ones who are left.
Youngsters have always got into trouble. When I was a teenager there was always a punch up at the Sat night dance. It added a bit of excitement to an otherwise tedious week (of 9-5 boring jobs). The riots are an extreme example of this. By all means treat this firmly with prison sentences - it needs to be curbed.
I feel the benefit system is to blame.
Single mums get a house or flat - WHO else gets a council house. Only people like my parents - both in their 80s, father dying of bowel cancer and mother with kidney failure.
If your son won't get out of bed to go to his work/ apprenticeship it's annoying but it would be much more annoying if you had to provide for him for the rest of you life ---- but you don't, the state kicks in, he'll probably move in with some girl who has a council property, or get a girl pregnant so they get a council property . By now he is on benefits. So no problem to you.
Save for your old age? No way - the state will take it.
Look after your health -- well why bother - everything's free.
Need I go on.....
The upshot is a dependant society with no interest in their community - the state will do the caring.
I agree with this article, as the attitude is what spreads from the top to the bottom of the society (and the opposite direction too).
when we realist that the lack of morals is so widespread it surprises us, however I do not know if us have much impact on how others do their business i.e. moving headquarters to tax heavens etc
Born, thanks. Big hypocrites, eh, our beloved leaders.
Cogito, not sure why you think the article is silly or extreme.
Josie, I do think the MP's expenses scandal matters, and it could well be that a good portion of the looters had followed the news. I mean, you just had to glance at the headlines or hear the news in passing to be aware that many MPs were feeding at the trough. It made me angry, and am sure most others felt the same.
If MPs think their pay is too low, they can bugger off and work in the city, where they will be under pressure to produce real results instead of pontificate in parliament. I had a bit of a sick taste in my mouth watching the parliamentary proceedings and the righteous rage from many overfed, pompous MPs who were ridiculously lenient with their own and fellow MPs theft of the tax payers.
Everything the article says is true. However, two wrongs don't make a right so the looters are accountable for their own actions.
Great article. Thanks for posting the link. I agree with a lot of it.
Excellent link, thank you. I totally agree.
JosieZ You have put it so well. Yes, you've got it in a nutshell.
My thought for the future is like this: imagine we as a nation are on a seesaw with the taxpaying workers on one end and the benefit receivers on the other end.
All will be ok (I hope) until the benefit receivers outweigh the taxpayers.
Now this is not a dig at anyone who is on the dole/housing benefit etc. Quite the reverse -but my thought is that with the ageing population we will have a huge number of pensioners who will outnumber the taxpayers very soon.
That day might be sooner than we think!
I agree with a lot of what Oborne wrote in this article (except that I don't for one minute think we are all morally bankrupt!) - but he wrote another one a couple of days later, which was very disappointing. It's on another thread, btw. He blames New Labour and Tony Blair personally for everything that has contributed to creating a 'sick' society - and how can something that simplistic be accurate?
Our current problems have lots of causes. If we want to solve them we have to understand them, not just rely on our fixed ideas and knee-jerk reactions, imo.
He has followed that piece up with a second, equally insightful article New Labour's Toxic Legacy which merits just as much attention.
I had a quick look at below as Osborn has suggested
" In a series of reports from the think tank Centre for Social Justice, Duncan Smith identified the factors that lead to social despair drugs, alcohol, debt, unemployment, family breakdown. He argued that the answer to social collapse does not just depend on the injection of large sums of money, which was Labours answer to any predicament. Far more important is the restoration of peoples independence, pride and self-respect."
it has got a lot of interesting research listed
However my question is - how much of that research is actually taken into creating new policies and changing existing ones.
How many politicians are really bold enough to be honest with the public.
I think that given the politicianc came with clean hands, proven morals and well researched points of actions the public would agree to take on sensible "austerity measures" - even bigger changes than we are experiencing now.
The problem however is that the current establishment lacks credibility.
Vide - now squabbling who said what to the police - that is ack of leadership and politicians wanting to get credit for something they didn't contribute towards.
That smells of desperation and lack o morals
Join the discussion
Please login first.