I can’t help thinking that someone somewhere in the ‘new’ government has put a ‘facebook-style’ social policy making programme into place.
Cameron: ‘Yes, let’s make bit outrageous changes and put it to the people – if they hate it, we won’t let us do it – but if they love it, it’s their fault if it goes wrong! Haw haw haw haw haw, it’s so very now what we’re doing isn’t it chaps? Bleeding edge zeitgeisty – I’m loving it!’
Clegg: ‘Yeah – that guy, Zucker thingy – what a great risk taker, I reckon we could pull that off Cammypants!’
Cameron: ‘Yeah EggyCleggy – it rocks. Oh yeah, that sounds REALLY cool – way to go – we can cut loads of corners too! Meg-ah!’
This last 100 days or so of government has been a bit of a wake up and smell the Starbucks to say the least. The UK is not silicon valley – it’s a society, with massive issues which need to be debated, not ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ or ‘fanned’.
Some of you may have noticed that facebook makes changes and then awaits dissent before changing and evolving – most recently they’ve had to bow down to pressure on child safety online. It took pressure and opinion to make it happen. It’s ultimately a crowdsourced ‘outrage and commentary’ whenever they make a change, which helps them evolve as a business, but are we ready to be involved in this kind of democracy to run our country? Do we want our country to be run in this gung ho style?
For politics it’s a post 2.0 move too far. On a daily basis the public is being tested with new, and frightening, changes. You only need to look at articles like this from the BBC reviewing the first 100 days to see the depth of cuts which have been mooted. I’d like to see what actually makes it past the next 100 days – especially if we have a cold winter like the one we just had – OAPs can not be denied support for heating bills.
The government is acting swiftly to redress the balance of the Left and head it on quickly to the new Right of the political barometer, but I don’t see a constructed strategy and whatsmore, this new and very fast decision making process is far too based in opportunism by using the traditional silly season of July to August (the holiday season where news is thin on the ground) to put out these new concepts and ideas, there’s no time for the general public to gen up, or even be present to react.
I’m sure you’ve all read about the phantom school milk cuts. What was that all about?
In my mind it was a cynical move to remind us that we are now under the power of a ‘New Conservatism’ that would never re-ignite the flame of ‘Thatcher-the-milk-snatcher’ – even though all of us that are old enough to remember, would never forget how Maggie earned that moniker.
What a waste of energy – I’m not that young or naive to fall for this flotsam, yet the jetsam now follows and quickly too.
I’m talking about the new approach to benefit culls.
When it comes to Child Benefit or any other kind of family support I’m stunned to find this is now being firmly squared and pitched as a ‘Middle Classes’ and ‘OAPs’ benefit. Are they kidding?
I can only see pain and heart ache on the faces of families who have suffered enough from the credit crunch and managed to get by and do jobs they would not be able to do unless they had additional benefits. Are we all going to have to rely on charity?
Let me say, this was a global financial crisis and not a homegrown one. I’ve suffered as a result and so has my wider family. Since May I have seen every local school lose allocated funding – so that’s the future in jeopardy. My brother who is autistic may soon be experiencing a lack of care support which will impact the independent living which he treasures – why should he?
That aside, I am deeply concerned with this ‘Put it out in the media and let’s see what comes back from the people’ approach to politics. It’s a short term and desperate measure that doesn’t bode well for the long term.
For those of us who are pretty au fait with the style of crowd sourced social media – it’s pretty obvious – but it doesn’t work with democracy unless we are ALL educated, aware and involved in the process. This is being forced upon us.
For the masses, I think it’s a really rough ride.
Politics like health or education is based on fashion, trends and financial climates, I really want to be assured that social media will be used for the good of society and not the bad.
I’d like to be proved wrong but this satire springs to mind; The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer – I found it hilarious when I watched it, but for the here and now it’s comedy at it’s worst for us.
Watch it and you will see what I mean.