Tuesday, July 10, 2007

'Breakthrough Britain' - the Tory report on social breakdown

The Conservatives 'Social Justice Policy Group', chaired by Ian Duncan Smith, has just published an enormous report into social breakdown, with 190 recommendations for the Conservative party to debate and turn into policy in the next few months. The report homepage is here , and it splits into 6 sections, Family Breakdown, poverty, education, addiction, debt and the 'third sector' (charities and faith organisations). The BBC summary of the key recommendations is here

On an initial scan it's very promising. At last a politician with the guts to say that marriage is the best family structure, and to offer the staggering price tag of £102bn which family breakdown carries in UK society. It would be very easy to dismiss it all as 'nanny state telling us how to live our lives', but to be honest many of us aren't doing that good a job of living our lives.

The phrase 'breakdown society' is one used in the report and the accompanying publicity. It's something that many Christians have been going on about for years. Pray God that we now have a proper debate, and a new political consensus to do something about it.

1 day later: Gordon Brown scraps the plan for the Manchester supercasino. Yes! Maybe this is how a government of all the talents works - the Tories produce a report identifying a problem, and the PM announces to Parliament the following day what he's going to do about it. There are various whinings about the 'loss' of 2700 jobs - jobs which currently don't exist anyway - more important are the individuals and families who are going to be saved from debt, family breakdown and addiction. There's no point having a job if you blow all the money on slot machines.

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