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He is right but to fix it the sources of disciplne need to be replaced. We cannot have a society of 'victims' as we do now. The PC blame culture has to be replaced with 'responsibilities' not 'rights'. What Thatcher achieved in terms of motivation for teh economically/socially active has to be replicated for those who see no future.

As we all know a problem cannot be solved ubtil it is properly identified. The liberal policies of the past 10-15 years have clearly failed but I hear nobody saying this. Its no good defending the liberal status quo for fear of being classed 'reactionary or same old Tory" which is the current situation.

We need to return the school system to one that gives the best education to each child, not one that worries about equality to the detriment of the entire system.

Kids need ambition to perform, not told they must stay in a school system that has already failed them until 18.

The welfare state, the widening wealth gap and the lack of discipline in all aspects of public life must be reversed before those with the greatest propensity to 'fail" have any chance of being reformed.

This requires a wholesale rejection of current policy and direction and I do not see it from DC

Well done for trying with this highminded thread Tim but people would rather have tittle-tattle on blogs!

I know Danny Kruger and can testify to both his integrity and his seriousness of purpose.

Danny understands that the debased nature of many contemporary social relationships is a key driver of our decline.

Sometimes this takes the form of the state interfering in the private sphere and problematising previously healthy social interactions - as in the imposition of 'diversity awareness training' and other such horrors. On other occasions it is the state withdrawing its authority - as in headteachers not being backed when they discipline badly behaved pupils or policemen turning a blind eye to hoodie intimidation for fear of being penalised by their superiors for 'insensitivity'.

What Britain needs, above all else, is a determined reassertion of common sense, as understood by Conservatives. Some noses will be put out of joint in the process but progress will never be made until the selfish, anti-social, lowlife degenerates who make life a misery - and the perverse liberals who make excuses for them - are confronted, faced down and banished.

Danny gets it.

I used to enjoy Danny's pieces in The Telegraph. Mr Cameron is fortunate to have such a thoughtful adviser.

This guy is very, very promising. We need to identify what conservatism is. It can't just be a simple defence of the status quo; it needs real foundations.

I think - and these thoughts aren't properly developed - that conservatism should have three pillars: 1. the value of choice; 2. the importance of community; and 3. scepticism of the state.

1 would encompass support for the market, democracy, liberty and the individual. 2 would encompass nationhood, the rule of law, and, most importantly, social responsibility, which I think should be the Conservative answer to state control that is still key to the Labour Party. Localism could also come under this. 3 would tie in with the other two: a hostility to overbearing regulation and law, statism and centralisation, etc.

What must be made clear is that we are not a libertarian party: "two cheers for capitalism" and all that. Simple liberalism is not enough, it needs to be balanced with a sense of duty and community: social responsibility.

I think the real ideological problem is how we reconcile One Nation Conservatism with Liberal Conservatism: the idea that we a) have a duty to eachother and b) have the righ to be free. A sense of social responsibility, within the context of a liberal society, could quite possibly be the answer to the problem that has long vexed us.

Can I just say that all this stuff about Small high-street grocers and bakers disappearing is great if you don't mind paying for it.

You can't easily drive into most town centers and it's even more difficult to park for any length of time. It takes longer, it costs more, and the choice of products is more limited. Give me a super massive Tesco any day of the week. Going shopping at 10pm is also pretty cool if you don't like crowds.

Danny is right. The party needs to take localism much more seriously than it does.

It is engaging with localism in policing - elected sherrifs is a step in the right direction. It is failing to do so with health: we need either elected hospital boards or to bring local commissioning under the control of local government. That means that we will need to start being more grown-up about "postcode lotteries" or protesting that "politics should be kept out of the NHS". Local politicians should make local and accountable decisions about how best to apply finite resources in their area.

Encouraging stuff. I think Cameron's determination to back the Government's pro-homosexual regulations and to vote against the reform of the probation service was merely short-term politics (i.e. wanting to give the impression of "moderate" and "modern" tolerance) rather than any indication of long-term policy. At least I hope so.

There seems to be an asumption that people like local community arrangements. However, most statistics suggest otherwise as local community organisations steadily lose their membership;- churches, clubs, trade unions (even), W.I., political parties. I don't know why this is happening but it would be worth some research.

There is the old idea of carrot and stick to "encourage" people. For example, during the Tories 18 years there was a steady rise in exam pass rates. Diehard right wing papers refused to believe children were getting cleverer and blamed lower pass standards which at the time research indicated standards were not falling (apart from maths and calculators). I really liked our local Director of Education's explanation; he said that the onset of Thatcherism with its insistance on real jobs instead of so many union protected jobs meant children realised they had to pass exams if they wanted jobs in the future. Any ideas about local community activities needs a stick, i.e. if you don't join in you will lose out even on a national basis.

Good debate. I think there are only 2 pillars of Conservatism - Freedom and Responsibility. The two working together hold a healthy, growing society together. One without the other causes society to fall apart. That is why I am excited by the "social responsibility" agenda as it is the key issue the country needs to address to move forward again. As a party what we need to do is refine and exercise this approach so that people clearly understand what we stand for and what Conservatism is in the 21st Century. The state cannot direct these things, Conservatism can empoer communities to achieve these things for themsleves. That is why we are different and that is what the difference is that should matter for all voters today,


One reason David may be that so many people work far from where they live. Like so many others I commute to London from a distance 55 miles out.Having local interests is quite difficult if you don't get home after 7.30 pm particularly if you have a young family as I do.
I've huge admiration for those who get involved in local groups, charities and councils to improve their local areas. Hopefully after May 3rd I'll be able to join them.

Mr Kruger’s critique of our society and his vision of a better version are persuasive. Until we read the full article, we do not gather much idea of a practical solution to our problems. May I offer one ?

I suggest that we invent a freelance state contractor to do in social terms what the GP does in medical terms. I propose that responsible citizens take on the duties of a semi-official role-model, councillor or Critical Friend to everybody that is financially dependent on the state or is in trouble with the law. These volunteers should be paid ungenerously. They would be expected to cooperate with each other to strengthen the communal interest in the citizenship of the individuals they are working with.

If anyone is interested in this proposition, I could send them a bit of an essay on the subject.

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