Joining the big society: am I bothered?. Geoff Hayward Professor of Education University of Leeds g.f.hayward @ leeds.ox.ac.uk. The phenomenon of interest.
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Professor of Education
University of Leeds
David Cameron drew the attentions of a hoodie-wearing teenager yesterday who pretended to shoot the Conservative leader while he toured a crime-ridden council estate campaigning on gun crime.
The electronically tagged youth, Ryan Florence, 17, apparently made the gesture to impress other members of his gang who live on the Manchester estate, according to the Sun.
The newspaper reported that Florence thought it would be "fun to showboat for the lads" watching him and so ran up behind Cameron and mimicked firing a gun.
He had been tagged after spending four months in a young offenders' institute for burglary and street robbery.
Daily Telegraph, 23rd February 2007
However specious in theory the project might be of giving education to the labouring classes of the poor, it would, in effect, be found to be prejudicial to their morals and happiness; it would teach them to despise their lot in life, instead of making them good servants in agriculture and other laborious employments to which their rank in society had destined them; instead of teaching them the virtue of subordination, it would render them factious and refractory, as is evident in the manufacturing counties; it would enable them to read seditious pamphlets, vicious books and publications against Christianity; it would render them insolent to their superiors; and, in a few years, the result would be that the legislature would find it necessary to direct the strong arm of power towards them and to furnish the executive magistrates with more vigorous powers than are now in force. Besides, if this Bill were to pass into law, it would go to burthen the country with a most enormous and incalculable expense, and to load the industrious orders with still heavier imposts. (Derek Gillard MP, Hansard, House of Commons, Vol. 9, Col. 798, 13 July 1807, quoted in Chitty 2007:15-16)
What all this means is not that the role of Government, of the collective, of the services of the State is redundant; but changed. The rule now is not to interfere with the necessary flexibility an employer requires to operate successfully in a highly fluid changing economic market. It is to equip the employee to survive, prosper and develop in such a market, to give them the flexibility to be able to choose a wide range of jobs and to fit family and work/life together. ( Tony Blair, 2007)
‘Bell and his associates maintained that if a high degree of equality of opportunity could be established, and especially of educational
opportunity, and if social selection became based primarily on educational
attainment, then a wide range of inequalities of outcome, in incomes, wealth and
status etc., could be defended. These inequalities of outcome would reflect the
differing levels of reward that individuals obtained - and indeed deserved or
‘merited’ - in return for their efforts in securing educational qualifications and
applying these productively in their working lives’ (Bukodi & Goldthorpe, 2008)