I’ve very mixed feelings about Pantomime Dame Louise Casey.
On the one hand she has, by all relative measures, balls of steel for what she’s written in her report about social cohesion – or lack thereof – and she’s done a top job of couching it in terms of modern feminism, giving her something of a cloak of invincibility in doing so.
On the other hand, she fails spectacularly. You see there’s a massive asymmetry about the ability of the government to make changes to society, and she doesn’t seem to grasp that.
While it’s very easy for the state to influence society negatively – intentionally or otherwise – it is nigh on impossible, as 50 years of social tinkering has demonstrated, for the state to influence or impose positive change in the face of thousands of years of human nature. It just cannot happen. Entropy always increases, quickly when the government is busy, slowly when it is inert..
“Aha!”, you might say, “what about the smoking ban? That was a positive change to society made by the government.”
Well, maybe it was for you. The way I see it, this clumsy and spiteful legislation reduced choice and, where society had previously arrived at its own compromises, fostered division, nurtured mutual animosity and, in an age where the state pension burden is already unbearable, the NHS is under crippling strain and private pensions are in a state of collapse, no-one is going to be able to afford (or bear) to live to the ripe old age such ham-fisted legislation was supposed to encourage.
“Umm.. okay.. the hunting ban?” – Nope. Spiteful ham-fisted legislation that drove a permanent wedge between urban and rural communities on the basis of urban bigotry, spite and misinformation.
“Gay marriage?” – Okay, I’ll give you that one… now gay people are legally allowed to be as stupid as to straights, and get into a contract to be miserable for a big chunk of their prime years and unexpectedly forfeit half their stuff in 5-10 years time.
“The Equality act?” – oh now you’re just taking the fucking piss.
Basically, the only answer is for government to get out of the way, wind its neck in and let society arrive at its own conclusions, which are usually equitable, however ugly the journey might be.
And if Louise Casey realises this and puts it in her next report, I promise I won’t open my commentary with a joke about how Eddie Izzard’s let himself go.