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‘Best of England’

Following in the fine and long tradition of thicko U.S. presidents, I see Obama has managed to offend roughly eleven million people on the eve of his visit to the UK.

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So, How is the Big Society Doing?

Not very well it would seem. Not that many people have the faintest idea what it is mind you.

I think the skinny is that the government would like to increase charitable giving and volunteering amongst the population, thus “making families and communities stronger”. Obviously this will have the effect of reducing the welfare state and social services.

There’s to be a White Paper and a pledge of £40 million for the voluntary sector today in the latest re-launch.

It’s easy to scoff at Cameron and his gimmick government. I mean what about this? “Ministers will lead by example – committing themselves to undertaking a day of voluntary service over the course of the year with a charity or community group of their choice.”

And thus government descends into red nose territory.

This is from The Mirror

“In a keynote speech to mark the White Paper, Mr Cameron will declare his commitment to a Big Society – built on strong families, strong communities and strong relationships – which underpins his own personal political philosophy.

“These are the things that make life worth living and it’s about time we had a government and a Prime Minister that understands that,” he is expected to say.

“These are the things I’m most passionate about in public life. This is what is in my heart. It’s what fires me up in the morning.

“The Big Society is not some fluffy add-on to more gritty and more important subjects. This is about as gritty and important as it gets – giving everyone the chance to get on in life and making our country a better place to live.”

Right you are Dave.

Edited to include:

Cameron Claims Jesus as Founder of Big Society

Cool for Cats

From this mornings papers:

POLICE scrambled armed officers and a helicopter after an “escaped tiger” was spotted in a field – but it turned out to be a life-size cuddly toy.

The public were told to stay inside after reports of the animal on the loose in Hedge End, Hants. Trevor Haywood, who was at a cricket match, said: “We were told to go to our cars and stay there.

“I saw two officers go off on a golf buggy with a rifle. It looked like they were going on safari.”

Officers discovered it to be a stuffed toy after it rolled over in the down draft from the police helicopter.

“It is being treated as lost property but we don’t know how it came to be in the field and whether it may have been a hoax.”