Note: Before people jump to the conclusion that I am writing about Cameron’s actual marriage, read on – I am talking about the coalition.
It couldn’t be better timed, as most of the national press and MPs illustrate how little they know re the strong anarchist tradition and denounce yesterday’s protests with no empathy and understanding (especially their nauseating focus on Charles and Camilla), with David Cameron speaking today about the importance of increasing State personal intervention in family life. As the government enacts £81bn worth of cuts, it wants to intensify its intervention in ‘problem’ families and relationships from £5m to £7.5m. This after a series of protests that are symbolic of the growing disaffection people are developing in relation to the State and the power it inflicts upon these countervailing forces once they arise. Not to mention Cameron’s reasserted commitment to the controversial marriage tax break, which if the LibDems are still around, will cause serious problems for the newly weds. Maybe Cameron should sort out his own ‘marriage’ before dealing with other people’s.
Cameron’s logic is as followed:
All the evidence suggests that it’s no use offering a range of different services to these families – the help they’re offered just falls through the cracks of their chaotic lifestyles. What works is focused, personalised support – someone the family trusts coming into their home to help them improve their lives step-by-step, month-by-month.
This is key to why Cameron and this government are failing. Consider, a summary of Cameron’s speech:
The Government believes about 120,000 struggling families need help with problems such as poor health, drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment and difficulties controlling their children.
Yes, they do. But Cameron’s logic, explained above, actually makes these issues worse. He talks about drug addictions, but then the government wants to abolish scientific advice re drugs, whilst changing their drugs strategy so that people who use drugs can lose their benefits if they don’t stop taking drugs completely. There is no consideration of individual experiences (yo-yo etc.) and how people will be less likely to use the services they are providing if they feel they will lose the important financial support they need if they don’t comply to inflexible and illogical State conditions. When will government’s realise that criminalisation of areas such as this only makes things worse?
This is not only true when we are addressing drugs, it is also important when assessing other policies such as those that surround the sex trade. The government has increasingly moved towards an abolitionist approach (central to New Labour), which is strongly associated with Sweden. They drive sex workers more and more under-ground, instead of respecting their right to work. They conflate choice and force whilst ignoring the impacts that their policies, such as the recent cut package, will have on areas such as drugs, alcohol and sex work in general (which is not to say that sex work is always a negative choice, nor is drug use for that matter).
This relates to a general problem with Cameron’s approach. If he actually wants to help the people he says he does, he needs to stop his shock doctrine policies. I have seen several people already saying that their relatives or friends wont be going to university now because of the higher education policies. Now that is destroying the future for many, especially the poorer sectors of society and no amount of ‘nannying’ will help that. Also, if we were to have some actual logic in policy areas such as drug use and sex work then we would see alleviations of many problems that people often face due to the ‘morally’ framed media friendly policies.
As the government sets out privatising more and more key aspects of our society whilst maintaining the cheek to claim it has a ‘moral’ responsibility to interfere in people’s lives; it is ignoring the structural causes that itself is making worse. We need to continue to build the anti-government movement that has its seeds in the student movement. As I have said before, traditional means are being increasingly shot down by the State; the sheer ignorance of MPs yesterday illustrates how much this system is failing. We need to work towards fighting for justice and freedom, and for a society that is truly based on equality, instead of using these words as means to stigmatise the people who are so often prevented from having a voice.