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July 04, 2005 || 2:47 pm
Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

It's very quiet here. Everyone's gone to the beach, or having a family reunion, or something. I'm on English schedule, so I'm working, answering emails, etc...

So from the world of English politics, two mini-rants.

How can Demos be so crass? Hoodie Two-shoes? do they know how patronising and naff that sounds? I'm afraid that, if you need to know why young people feel left out of political discourse, look no further. I've read the report, too...and I'm not overly impressed. It's a good start, but I feel that the fact they were funded by the Big Lottery Fund shows - there are masses of case studies out there that are more enlightening and interesting than the five they chose. Plus, some international context would have been interesting, especially of the USA where the culture of community groups/non-profits is so different. But I'm getting on my high horse as I've spent the last six months researching international precedents in this area and I live and work daily with US non-profits...

And it seems like John Prescott is an icon to American progressives. Scary. Makes us sound very 'old Europe' - massive public spending, etc. No mention of PPPs, PFIs and how Prescott is at the mercy of the mass homebuilders.

And here's a link to the Declaration of Independence itself - still, 229 years on, a magnificent piece of prose.

2 comments

2 Comments:

For what it's worth, yes I do.

But rant or no rant, a slightly more sophisticated critique of the pamphlet would be helpful rather than criticising it for not being internationally comparative when it never pretended to be otherwise. You're right the culture in the US and elsewhere is very different, as is the social/cultural/policy/political/funding environment. So what? Only a report of biblical length and detail is acceptable?

I find it a bit disappointing that as soon as you write something about "community", you get flamed by people desperate to prove that their "community" credentials are somehow better than yours, and that you have no right to be intruding on their turf.

By Anonymous Paul Skidmore, at 11:15 am  

I don't consider criticism as automatically flaming - and I'm sorry if it came across that way. But the high profile of Demos means that you should be prepared for criticism when you don't live up to the high standards that you set yourselves.

I know that there was no pretence to have an international context. I'm just saying that perhaps it might have been good, seeing as you were presenting recommendations for action, to think about some of the precedents in terms of what 'action' or changes to the sector might work or not by looking at the US. This would not necessarily involve a lengthy report - I appreciate the need for brevity and something attention-grabbing.

I would, for sure, like to present a 'more sophisticated critique' to you but I haven't had time, nor do I think for my blog that it is necessarily what I want to be doing. I think, if I may, that your comment is a little bit of an overreaction to what was clearly not posted as a sophisticated response. I welcome anybody talking about community and I don't in any way feel that you have intruded on my turf! The more people think about what happens in this area, the better. So don't 'flame' me for that, please!

I just feel, and a lot of the comment that I have read on your report seems to share this feeling, that perhaps a little wider consultation and a little more sophistication on your part, both in the report as a whole, and in the titling of your press release, would have resulted in it being a little bit more respected by the 'community' community. It is hard, and I appreciate the effort, but I would share Kevin Harris's feeling that, for those of us who do in some way work in the 'community' sector, it just wasn't that innovative or enlightening, when I had hoped for more.

By Blogger HL, at 4:04 pm  

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