Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Quote of the Day -- from 7 months ago

Philip Stephens in the Financial Times, 27 November 2015 --

[UK] Local authorities have been the biggest losers from austerity. The IFS estimates that the big reductions in central government grants to councils during the last parliament will be followed by a further 50 per cent cut by 2020. Councils have also been told to raise additional local taxes to pay for social care and policing. The net effect is to force local politicians to scrap provision of anything much that falls outside their statutory responsibilities. This means closing libraries, swimming pools, parks, children’s centres and community meeting places for the elderly and infirm. These have become the meeting places of what the 18th-century statesman Edmund Burke referred to as the nation’s “little platoons”. They are vital threads in the warp and weft of local communities — in what Mr Cameron once called the Big Society. Now Mr Osborne’s small state is promising a rather smaller society. 

Worth bearing in mind with the inevitable intervention from smart conservative Yuval Levin at National Review The Corner claiming that Brexit shows the case for the return to the little platoons.

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