PMQs verdict: David Cameron kills off the Big Society

19th December, 2012 1:40 pm

Well that wasn’t quite the pre-Christmas knockabout PMQs we were all expecting. In fact, it was largely on the sober side, perhaps as a by-product of Ed Miliband leading off with questions on Afghanistan.

The mood was hardly lightened or the pace quickened by his second topic – food banks. It’s a scandal that one of the richest nations on earth in 2012 cannot adequately feed its people. The growth of food banks under this government should be a source of constant shame for the Prime Minister, but the fact that they exist at all should shame our society, and politicians from all parties.

But what was noteworthy in an otherwise sedate PMQs was just how badly Cameron handled the food banks issue. He could have swatted it away, and that would have been callous, but at least intellectually coherent. He could have expressed his sorrow, and that would have been contrite but meaningless. But instead he chose to link the Big Society to the provision of food banks.

That’s what the Big Society is these days, feeding starving children when the rest of society has failed. Or as Ed Miliband put it:

“I never thought that the big society was about feeding hungry children in Britain”

If the Big Society was hobbled before, it is surely stone cold dead now. If it were seen as a cover for cuts before, it’s seen as the back up plan when the safety net is cut now. The Big Society is dead, and David Cameron has killed it. The journey from Steve Hilton to Lynton Crosby is complete.

And so brazen is the PM nowadays, that he didn’t even bother to deny that he’d been socialising with Rebekah Brooks recently. The lines at the food banks may be getting longer, but friends in Chipping Norton are staying as close as ever.

Merry Christmas Britain. It’s cold outside.

To report anything from the comment section, please e-mail [email protected]

  • Good article – for once Mark

  • Monkey_Bach

    Cameron is a classic bully at once boorish, disdainful, mawkish, and sentimental. He applauds men and women who, out of the goodness of their hearts, donate time or money or food to such good causes, while simultaneously pouring vitriol on the heads of legions of poverty struck, suffering individuals and families that these good causes serve.

    What a despicable heartless charlatan.

    Eeek.

  • Gabrielle

    That was a real ‘WTF’ moment when Cameron came out with his pious pronouncement about the so-called Big Society running food banks. Nothing highlights the failure of this government’s policies than food banks. These are springing up everywhere, even in supposedly affluent areas, and it’s both employed and unemployed people and their children who are having to rely on them.

    Ed really nailed it when he responded with “I never thought that the big society was about feeding hungry children in Britain.”

    Well said, Ed.

    It’s also worth noting that this time last year, all the political pundits were saying Ed was hopeless and probably washed up, after Cameron made a cheap and nasty jibe about he and Clegg not being brothers (ie a dig at Ed’s supposed rivalry with his brother). This snide jibe was hyped up by Newsnight, Nick Robinson and many other hacks as the most devastating witticism in the history of PMQs and Ed was duly written off. Bit premature wasn’t it?

  • markfergusonuk

    Thanks for your faint praise

Latest

  • Featured Local Government News Scotland Uncategorized Britain decides: liveblog 2016

    Britain decides: liveblog 2016

      We want to hear from Labour activists and supporters today so please send us your stories and pictures [email protected] The pick of the submissions will be added to the liveblog. 16.55 – Just spotted this from @ChukaUmunna: “Every senior Lib Dem I speak to is giving their second preference to @SadiqKhan today. Greens too. All appalled by the negative Tory campaign”. 16.40 – Readers are getting in touch to ask about the Police and Crime Commissioner elections which suffered […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Featured Local Government Uncategorized Green voters must give Sadiq their second preference, says Christian Wolmar

    Green voters must give Sadiq their second preference, says Christian Wolmar

    The Greens did not recommend to their supporters any particular candidate for their second preference votes in the London Mayoral election. This is odd since there are very good reasons why Sadiq Khan deserves their support, given both his policies and those of his main opponent, Zac Goldsmith. At the first hustings for the Labour nomination, I mentioned my long campaign to pedestrianise Oxford Street and Sadiq was very quick to endorse it, saying he thought it was a great […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News Voters turned away from London polling station

    Voters turned away from London polling station

    Labour MPs and activists have voiced concerns about voters being turned away from polling stations in North London today.  Dozens of people who presented their polling cards were told they were not on the register. Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis was among those reportedly unable to vote, along with Conservative councillor Dean Cohen. Barnet council has now said they have now resolved the problem and have advised those who were turned away to return before 10pm. They have also advised those who cannot […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News New twist in junior doctors’ dispute as Hunt agrees to “pause” new contracts

    New twist in junior doctors’ dispute as Hunt agrees to “pause” new contracts

    Ministers have has said they will “pause” the introduction of the junior doctors contracts for five days – which had been due to begin on Monday – in an attempt to resolve the junior doctors’ dispute. The Government have said they are willing to accept a proposal from the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges which will see the BMA postpone further strikes on the condition they can re-open conversations over Saturday working. The chairwoman of the Academy said a delay is […]

    Read more →
  • News Alan Johnson: Labour must be anti-racist in everything it does

    Alan Johnson: Labour must be anti-racist in everything it does

    Alan Johnson has told Labour members to be “anti-racist in everything we do” as he backed party officials to kick out prejudiced “infiltrators”. Johnson issued a call for Labour to draw on its long history of fighting prejudice as it deals with the fall-out from the anti-Semitism row. He also condemned the “crazy” intervention of Ken Livingstone, who has been suspended after mounting a botched defence of Naz Shah last week. The former Home Secretary invoked the Battle of Cable […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit