Yep, the press briefings in advance of tomorrow’s launch of Blair’s ‘Respect Agenda’ have started and already turned up this gem from the Grauniad.
Regular “face the people” sessions, which will be open to the media, will see police officers, council staff and other officials forced to detail what they are doing to tackle antisocial behaviour.
And if they think problems are being ignored, local people across England and Wales will be able to make an official “community call to action”. That will be backed up by a local committee, which would issue findings the police, and other agencies, would be obliged to address.
So Blair has absolutely no new ideas at all.
You can just imagine Blair presiding over the cabinet meeting where he floated this one in true Dr Evil fashion.
Gentlemen, let’s get down to business. I have a new plan. It’s called ‘Respect’ (makes wiggling motion with first and second fingers on both hands).
Yes, we will make the Police hold regular “face the people’ (wiggle) sessions and then if the people think they are being ignored they can issue a “community call to action” (wiggle again) which will be backed up by something I would like to call a “local committee” (more wiggling).
This “local committee” (wiggle, wiggle) would issue “findings” (another wiggle) to the Police, which they would have to address. I call this a “right to a response” (wiggle goes into overdrive)
Blair places outstretched pinkie to corner of mouth.
At this point I should imagine the thoughts of the rest of the cabinet are firmly focussed on the question of whether any of them could get away with breaking his fingers.
Let’s translate this proposal into English, shall we.
The “local committee” is what we call in the trade a community group or community action group, the “community call to action” is what we call a local campaign, the “findings” are things like petitions, letters, etc which are sent to the Police and to local councillors, the “right to a response” is what we call elected councillors doing the job that they were elected to do…
…and whoever thought all this up is a complete tosser.
If this really is the ‘Respect Agenda’ then what it is, is a GNVQ is community work.
What a crock of shit.
Update: Nosemonkey takes up cudgels on the same point and puts it very nicely indeed:
Well done, Tone – nice to see “the respect agenda”, largely forgotten about since May, back once again. Yet more meaningless flower arrangement around the ever-growing pile of dung that will be your political legacy.