Martin Orton on: London Materialympics 2011

People were forced to leap from the upstairs windows of a burning building in Croydon last night as rioting spread across London and beyond. (Image: The Telegraph)

Everyone this morning is asking the same question, why? How can our young people do this to us? Where is the political agenda? Oh please…we’re focusing on mindless thuggish behaviour: the result, not the cause. It’s a tiresome perspective – as if we, the society that is responsible for raising them, are blameless.


“We have to go back to the child…”

“All children should enjoy the right to survival, to liberty and the right to education”, says writer Michael Morpurgo in this impassioned speech. But how can we achieve this in the age of the Big Society…?


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Big society…or big dream?

Image from Jan Gavin’s post, ‘Support for the coalition crumbling’

David Cameron’s speech has left a lot of listeners starving for substance. Reiterating his pledge to this “different way of governing”, the Prime Minister gave a confident speech, calling the coalition’s much-hyped Big Society slogan his “absolute passion”.

However, the web was ablaze with listeners who had little reverence for the Prime Minister’s big idea. One Tweeter commented: “Tories stress that bigsociety and cuts are separate issues. Yes, but refusing to acknowledge that latter undermines former is just stupid”, whilst another pointed out the uncomfortable fact that “20 out of 43 libraries in David Cameron’s own county face axe”. Tweeter Barc_alpha summed up the dissatisfaction across the web, saying: “The problem with the BigSociety is the belief that communities can be created – they already exist but need enabling with support, not cuts”. The most popular response has been the circulation of Guardian political cartoonist Steve Bell’s comic take on the Big Society Bank.


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A mind once stretched by a new

idea never regains its original



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