07 August 2007

More ideology about "cohesion"

Further to this, more from the Commission on Integration and Cohesion:

Integration and cohesion depend both on coming to terms with our different histories — including the legacies of Empire and the deep social memories of different parts of the country — and tackling negative aspects of these directly in the course of developing a shared vision in regions, localities and neighbourhoods.
Prima facie content: none.
Subliminal message: "legacies of Empire ... negative"

There is much talk of "identity" (popular sociological buzzword) in the Commission's report Our Shared Future, but only certain restricted kinds of identity appear to pass the ideological acceptability test:
We sense that this may be our chance to step back from the trend towards a society defined strongly in terms of competing separate group identities, and instead to move in the direction of a much greater sense of shared futures and mutual interdependence ...

As part of its ‘We all belong to Blackburn with Darwen’ campaign the council introduced an ‘All Belonging’ charter which uses champions and role models; Kirklees has facilitated the ‘We all Belong to Dewsbury’ civic pride programme; Chesterfield Borough Councils Equality strategy promotes ‘Courteous Chesterfield’ — which means that everyone using the boroughs [sic] services and working for the borough can expect to be treated respectfully and courteously....
All together now: "we all belong to Dewsbury" (or) "we all belong to Blackburn with Darwen". But such civic programmes of belonging-awareness will apparently not be enough in themselves, in the grand process of recreating Britain in the image of the mediocratic elite.
Our second proposal is that Government openly make a case for the sort of society we want to be in the face of the change outlined in Chapter 2 ... We therefore recommend Government invest in a national shared futures programme from 2008 to 2012, leading from the European Year of Intercultural Education up to the Olympics and using the themes of both to underpin key messages. This would be a chance to deepen a sense of our shared futures, reflecting positively on the diversity of experience in Britain, and learning from the success of similar campaigns in London and in Scotland. Our vision would be a positive campaign about what it means to belong productively to local areas, and how difference has inspired creativity and innovation. [my emphasis]
The government will, it seems, give us back our sense of identity, suitably remodelled. And there will be room for collectivist corporatism at the local level as well:
Hounslow is developing a sophisticated delivery model at local and subregional level for cohesion, extremism, tension monitoring, contingency planning and performance management. The model with its vision of a stronger and united community includes a way of working that mainstreams cohesion into all its policy and service delivery areas. This underpinned by a strategic communications plan to promote cohesion and rebut myths; and training and development on cohesion for elected members, senior manager and officers across the authority.
Someone has obviously been on all the latest management courses. "Sophisticated delivery model for contingency planning and performance management." What more can we possibly need. Unless it be a new verb, "to mainstream". (Hmm, I like it; it's even better than "to architect".)


The Cynical Libertarian said...

Very worrying. Id you'd replaced the place names with German areas I'd have thought it a translation of some Nazi memo.

Shades said...

These schemes are remarkably vacuous.

Steve Hayes said...

Is this for real?

I looked at the web page you linked to and there was nothing to say what it was about, what they were reporting on, or their "remit", as it seems fashionable to say in Brit politics these days.

Or is it a case of life imitating art? Some body trying to live up to a satire of itself?

Saltburn subversives said...

I thought you might find this of interest


Fabian Tassano said...

CynLib, I agree - read a certain way on, this stuff sounds pretty fascistic.

Ian, vacuous yes, but it's surreptitious propaganda.

Peter, thanks for the reference to Jamie Whyte. Watch this space ...

Steve, yes it is for real. The Commission on Integration and Cohesion was established by Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly on 24 August 2006. The Commission ...

"considered how local areas can make the most of diversity while being able to respond to the tensions it may cause. Following an extensive consultation process, regional outreach visits, engagement of key stakeholders and local communities and research"

... the Commission published its final report "Our Shared Future" on 14 June 2007.