Politics and Progress: Renewing Democracy and Civil Society

Politics and Progress: Renewing Democracy and Civil Society

by David Blunkett


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Politics and Progress: Renewing Democracy and Civil Society by David Blunkett

Partly in response to the very low voter turnout for the 2001 general election, the Home Secretary for the current British Labour government suggests how to renew and strengthen democratic politics. He argues that government must retain democratic legitimacy, that prosperity must be balanced with social fairness and quality of life, and that a civic culture and sense of common identity must be sustained while recognizing diversity. He has not indexed his treatise. Distributed in the US by ISBS. Annotation c. Book News, Inc.,Portland, OR

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781842750247
Publisher: Politico's Publishing Limited
Publication date: 12/31/2001
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 3.54(w) x 5.91(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

1Setting the ideological scene14
2Education and learning throughout life40
3An active welfare state79
4Citizenship and community108
5Politics and progress147

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Politics and Progress: Renewing Democracy and Civil Society 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Blunkett presents the case for social democracy, and a very poor case it is too. His politics are most ethical, he keeps telling us, and are based on two convictions, that we should be valued as individuals, and that this value is realised through community membership, ideas so banal that every MP could endorse them. The whole social democratic tradition, from Tawney to Crosland to Raymond Williams, tells us to live with capitalism, because we can get all we need while leaving private ownership intact. Let capital do what it likes, and the community will save us by picking up the pieces. The whole book is shot through with wishful thinking, avoiding hard choices by using rhetoric. Private enterprise can secure full employment and egalitarian objectives, if we want it to. Labour is really `tackling gross inequalities of income¿, if we pretend hard enough. Blunkett embraces multiculturalism, defends `faith schools¿, argues for granting refuge to all (!) that want it, and opposes assimilation into our common working class culture. These policies all conflict with the common citizenship that he urges. He says that wrong ideas about aspirations and inequality, not the private sector and inadequate resources, undermine a decent education system. He advocates hiring foreign skilled workers on the cheap, ignoring that this robs other countries and undermines our efforts to improve skills and wages here. He notices that Labour¿s constitutional `reforms¿, devolution and proportional representation, failed to increase voting, but can¿t see that this is because the reforms were not generated by democracy. He writes that Regional Assemblies are supposed to `provide legitimacy for decisions taken¿, but doesn¿t ask who takes these decisions. Not the people! Not even the Assemblies, but the EU! Where did these Assemblies and Regional Development Agencies come from? Not from popular demand; the EU imposed them. He praises corporations, `whose contribution to social well-being through corporate social responsibility can be considerable¿, just after denying that governments defend big business! He warns us of a `global economic anarchy in which the powerful override the weak¿. Funny, don¿t we have that already?