Thursday, September 06, 2007

Citizen Dave

David Cameron has provided some details regarding his 'national citizen service' proposals.

1.It is the modern equivalent of national service - but it will not be compulsory, will last for just 6 weeks and will only be available during the summer.

2. It will help mend a broken society - by taking kids off the streets for 6 weeks. Will it? My guess is that (as it will not be compulsory) most of the young people who actually end up taking part in these 'events' will be the children of the middle-classes. The kids who already go on foreign school trips, have private music lessons and whose parents will seize any opportunity that the state offers them.

3. The money will come from? Mr Cameron could not provide the exact details of either how much the scheme would cost or where the money would come from.

I know that the Tories are going through a 'wobbly' period at present but schemes like this need to thought through in much more detail and not simply announced in the despetate hope of gaining a few tabloid headlines.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think it could be a good idea. Needs to be properly costed and maybe even extended (six weeks seems hardly worth the hassle). It would also need active intervention in underprivileged communities to make sure those from poor and minority ethnic backgrounds can benefit. But I like it. It's voter friendly and we should adopt something like it ourselves.

Chris Paul said...

Blogged here.

More like Outward Bound than National Service and guaranteed to upset lots of veterans, inc WWII and Korea by being dubbed in this way by the most accident prone marketing man in the history of marketing.

Outward Bound is Great

Alumnus, Devon, 1975

Chris Paul said...

PS At the same link is a chance to list some Tory policies we could unite behind.

Daniel Cremin said...

Interestingly George Bush Senior tried to do this sort of thing when he realised voters were increasingly tweaked to his lack of any real substantive domestic policy programme - made a volunteerism speech about the need for a national civic action programme to encourage communitarianism that ended up not ammounting to much more than a scheme to give public awards to the usual suspects amongst local activists in mainly Republican states.

In terms of the UK as a communitarian progressive I'd be all in favour of a national volunteer programme with real, serious funding to help drive through big community projects - the problem is that like with many other initatives, what sounds great in a think-tank discussion often doesn't pan out in day to day reality. If Labour came out with its own plan for such an executive agency or Quango then it would need to have clear parameters and realistic goals.

Mike Ion said...

The idea does have merit but... as it will not be compulsory it will smack of being a gimmick. He als needs to be clear about the funding - when Brown announced the New Deal for youg people back in 1996 it was costed and it was clear where the funds were coming from (privatised utility companies).

Nicole said...

I remember putting forward a similar proposal, for a 6 month compulsory scheme, for those 16yr olds that are not in full-time education!
It's the kids that have so far failed, that need the help. Not the ones with a 'rich' Mummy and Daddy!

Luke Young said...

It is a gimmick, if Cameron were serious he'd have made it compulsory. It offers nothing new to School Leavers who already have such opportunities (in my area at least)

Anonymous said...

Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."
Bernard Woolley: "Is that really what they do?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."
Bernard Woolley: "How?"
Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."

Anonymous said...

Sir Humphrey: "You know what happens: nice young lady comes up to you. Obviously you want to create a good impression, you don't want to look a fool, do you? So she starts asking you some questions: Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the rise in crime among teenagers?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a lack of discipline in our Comprehensive schools?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think young people welcome some authority and leadership in their lives?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think they respond to a challenge?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you be in favour of reintroducing National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Oh...well, I suppose I might be."
Sir Humphrey: "Yes or no?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Of course you would, Bernard. After all you told you can't say no to that. So they don't mention the first five questions and they publish the last one."
Bernard Woolley: "Is that really what they do?"
Sir Humphrey: "Well, not the reputable ones no, but there aren't many of those. So alternatively the young lady can get the opposite result."
Bernard Woolley: "How?"
Sir Humphrey: "Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the danger of war?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Are you worried about the growth of armaments?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think there is a danger in giving young people guns and teaching them how to kill?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Do you think it is wrong to force people to take up arms against their will?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "Would you oppose the reintroduction of National Service?"
Bernard Woolley: "Yes"
Sir Humphrey: "There you are, you see Bernard. The perfect balanced sample."

Yasmin said...

The scheme is not long enough to instill discipline, some self worth, learn skills like making your own bed, cleaning, cooking, sewing, repairing things,team work, responsibility and doing regular exercise. It aught to be compulsory for all school leavers aged 16-18, for privately educated pupils as well as state educated pupils and could be in lieu of a gap year.
There aught to be absolutley zero tolerance for cannabis smokers and drug users. You could also teach first aid.