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9781903386224

Civil Society & David Blunkett: Lawyers Vs. Politicians

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  • ISBN13:

    9781903386224

  • ISBN10:

    1903386225

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2002-10-01
  • Publisher: Coronet Books Inc
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List Price: $13.27

Summary

For hundreds of years civil society was "the arena of freedom," that network of free institutions made possible by the framework of law and order. As government grew, politicians took over many of the functions of those institutions. The state became the source of benefits, redistributing wealth and "crowding out" the institutions of civil society. However, when the state falters in its grand designs, politicians are quick to call upon the virtues of solid citizenship which the institutions of civil society nurture - or used to, before they were gutted by politicians. In this brilliant and witty essay, Kenneth Minogue examines the dilemma with special reference to the case of Home Secretary David Blunkett. Blunkett's working-class common sense places him closer to the aspirations of ordinary people than most members of parliament, but Professor Minogue argues that he has not escaped New Labour's "passion to regulate, codify, define and help us poor ordinary citizens to live better lives." He wants to call upon the virtues of a vigorous civil society, whilst declaring the Home Office the Department for the Citizen. Like other politicians, he wants the powers of the modern welfare state, coupled with an active citizenry. The two things are largely incompatible.

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