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Zac Goldsmith on the Conservative agenda

“Politics is broken”, and how to fix it:

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Breakthrough Britain

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If anyone still doubts whether British society is broken, they should read the reports of the Centre for Social Justice. When we consider family breakdown, educational failure, economic dependence, indebtedness and addictions, the human and financial cost of decades of top-down bureaucratic control becomes heart-breaking. And let’s not forget that, these days, the poor pay tax to support the very services which fail them. The sheer scale and quality of the work of the Centre shines through their reports and […]

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Preston: summary fines for swearing and bad behaviour

Thanks to the Jeremy Vine Show over lunch: Spitting, swearing and aggressive behaviour will be BANNED from ‘Proud Preston’. … Anyone who flouts the tough new code could be arrested or fined by patrolling police officers or council enforcers. Council officers can fine people £75 for offences like littering, while police can give out fixed penalty notices of up to £80 for a range of offences. Of course the target behaviour is unacceptable, but do we really want to replace […]

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FT.com / World – No more red tape, pleads business

But it is not just business which is suffering from Government intervention: Gordon Brown on Tuesday set out a raft of measures designed to stop British society fracturing during the recession, ranging from curbs on immigration and a crackdown on benefit cheats to restrictions on betting and cheap alcohol, writes George Parker. The prime minister believes an agenda of “fair rules in a fair society” will help reassure people the government is on their side, even as they start to […]

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Social action: manning the local night shelter

I will be manning our local night shelter between January and March. Homelessness is a subject close to my heart. It is a scandal that — in this age and with such levels of spending on social security — people are forced to sleep rough. It is a scandal we should not tolerate.

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The Guardian on society: It’s broken. So let’s fix it

A Guardian journalist supports David Cameron: A few months ago I might have disagreed with [Cameron]; I might have argued that he was quite simply scaremongering, that the country is at heart, just as Gordon Brown has said, basically “decent and compassionate”. But that was before this week. A week when three separate events showed the depths to which this society has finally sunk. Again, I find I ask if it is time for a change of heart. Again, I […]

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Long hours and stress drive lawyers to drink and drugs

The survey, by the magazine Legal Business, also says that there is evidence of “cocaine clubs” in law firms’ basements and of partner-led games of poker and taking cocaine with clients. But it also finds that law firms are ignorant or indifferent to the problem. One lawyer is quoted: “I spanked £100,000 on cocaine in one year and no one noticed.” What they are not talking about though, is the endemic misery the drugs trade causes among the least privileged. […]

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