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The astonishing RAF Benevolent Fund


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Back in November, I mentioned the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund in debate and I recently had the pleasure of meeting Paul Hewson, the Fund’s Regional Director for London, Home Counties and South England. As it says on the Fund’s site: We are the RAF’s leading welfare charity providing practical, financial and – in some cases – emotional support to all members of the RAF family, from childhood through to old age. We help with issues from childcare and relationship difficulties […]

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The Big Society: Social Power over State Power


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Via Cameron relaunches Big Society ‘with moral purpose’: The Big Society, which embraces hundreds of programmes which attempt to return power from the state to the people, has come under fire from some Tory MPs and activists, who claim it is virtually meaningless to voters. It has also met Opposition criticism, including claims that it is merely an attempt to hand state-financed services to the private sector and a cynical “cover” for spending cuts. Isn’t it tragic that we have become […]

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The Big Society is a threat to Labour | The Spectator


If you think there really is a big idea behind the Big Society, then you agree with the unlikely pairing of Jon Cruddas (Lab, Dagenham) and Jesse Norman (Con, Hereford). The latter’s new book, The Big Society: The Anatomy of the New Politics, attempts the seemingly impossible task of providing a grand philosophical narrative to underscore David Cameron’s often amorphous rhetoric. via The Big Society is a threat to Labour | The Spectator. See also my Surely the Big Society […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Postrel


Conserving only the underlying stable rules, while letting individual decision making drive change, is a concept that a century of technocracy has made foreign to most people. It does not fit neatly into the comfortable old left-right dichotomy and does not line up with technocratic assumptions about the powers and uses of government. It has a hard time making its case, because it promises only general patterns of improvement — spontaneous order and discovery — not specific results. — Postrel, […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Nock


It is unfortunately none too well understood that, just as the State has no money of its own, so it has no power of its own. All the power it has is what society gives it, plus what it confiscates from time to time on one pretext or another; there is no other source from which State power can be drawn. Therefore every assumption of State power, whether by gift or seizure, leaves society with so much less power; there […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Mises


But while the humanitarians indulged in depicting the blessings of this [classical] liberal utopia, they did not realize that new ideologies were on the way to supplant liberalism and to shape a new order arousing antagonisms for which no peaceful solution could be found. They did not see it because they viewed these new mentalities and policies as the continuation and fulfillment of the essential tenets of liberalism. Antiliberalism captured the popular mind disguised as true and genuine liberalism. Today […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Jesus Christ


My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Mises on socialism


The history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has discredited the hopes and the prognostications of the philosophers of the Enlightenment. The peoples did not proceed on the road toward freedom, constitutional government, civil rights, free trade, peace, and good will among nations. Instead the trend is toward totalitarianism, toward socialism. And once more there are people who assert that this trend is the ultimate phase of history and that it will never give way to another trend. — Ludwig […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Albert Jay Nock


If we look beneath the surface of our public affairs, we can discern one fundamental fact, namely: a great redistribution of power between society and the State. This is the fact that interests the student of civilization. He has only a secondary or derived interest in matters like price-fixing, wage-fixing, inflation, political banking, “agricultural adjustment,” and similar items of State policy that fill the pages of newspapers and the mouths of publicists and politicians. All these can be run up […]

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Big Society quote of the day – Mises, reprise


Economics is not about goods and services; it is about the actions of living men. — Mises, Human Action

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