I thought it was better delivered than the Prime Minister’s, although that was to be expected. The rhetoric flowed more easily too, and several of the passages could resonate with undecideds, despite being deceptions:
For Labour there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in.
This looks like nonsense to me: Labour politicians know that neighbourhoods and communities and families are important – they are where much of the state intervention is directly targeted, and the place where state agencies deliver the rest. Regardless, the Big State meme will take hold, especially with ‘Brown-the-Control-Freak’ at the helm.
The passage where he attributes “there’s no such thing as society” to the current Government was a brave gamble, but one that I suspect will fail. In reminding the voters of one of Thatcher’s most offensive quips, he also plants the idea that the current societal problems are the result of her destructive policies. It is tightrope rhetoric.
However, it was here that he lost me:
This attitude, this whole health and safety, human rights act culture, has infected every part of our life. If you’re a police officer you now cannot pursue an armed criminal without first filling out a risk assessment form. Teachers can’t put a plaster on a child’s grazed knee without calling a first aid officer.
Health and Safety Culture is surely inspired by Litigation Culture. When a child comes home with a plaster on its knee, angry parents are going to ask, not unreasonably, for a full account. Likewise, who would not want a police-officer to consult with his superiors, before accosting someone who may be armed? I’ve listened to several exchanges on police frequencies, where officers were considering approaching such suspects. It takes time, but its safe and sensible.
Such legislation, however inconvenient, is inspired by an actual concern for the Health and Safety of our children, and our police officers, &ct. I seriously doubt the Conservatives would change these laws substantially. Its a populist platitude.
Oh yeah, and attacking the Human Rights Act is a deal breaker for this blogger.