Tories discover society

In last week’s Community Care Conservative party leader
Iain Duncan Smith told about his road-to-Damascus-style conversion
while visiting the deprived Easterhouse estate in Glasgow.

He told us he was impressed by the resilience of local people. But
he discovered that they “distrusted social workers and
officialdom”. No kidding, Iain? How about telling us something we
don’t know? This week, at his party’s conference in Bournemouth, he
outlined his mission to decentralise services and empower local
communities by offering charities a greater role in providing
social services. Under a Conservative administration, the voluntary
sector would be encouraged to run initiatives such as drug projects
and women’s refuges. But aren’t they doing that already?

You have to feel a bit sorry for the Conservatives, casting around
for ways to shake off the “no such thing as society” tag. But IDS
will have to come up with something with more substance if the
public, never mind those involved in social care, are to take him
and his party’s policies seriously.

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