Tuesday, 14 June 2011

A response to the Big Society and Overseas Aid

From someone who knew a thing or two about being a politician.
"Compassion is something individual and voluntary. You cannot compel somebody to be compassionate; nor can you be vicariously compassionate by compelling somebody else. The Good Samaritan would have lost all merit if a Roman soldier were standing by the road with a drawn sword, telling him to get on with it and look after the injured stranger. Because there can be no such thing as compulsory compassion or vicarious compassion, therefore it is a humbugging abuse of language, intended to deceive, to talk about a 'compassionate Government' or a 'compassionate party'—or even a 'compassionate society', unless one simply means by that a society which happens to contain a lot of compassionate individuals. Nor let anyone protest: 'Oh, but when I vote for a party which will "make provision on an unprecedented scale for those in need of help", it means I too shall have to pay my whack and so I am being compassionate after all'. Nonsense! The purpose of your vote is not to make yourself subscribe—that you can freely do at any time—but to compel others."
Enoch Powell - Speech to the Harborough Division Conservative Association Gala, Leicester (27 September, 1969), from Still to Decide (Elliot Right Way Books, 1972), pp. 22-3.


subrosa said...

Oh how I wish I had such a command of the English language.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

Join the queue SR! The man was a genius with our language. He could also be very very acerbic without being discourteous.....

Anonymous said...

While on the topic of the Good Samaritan. Let us look at another passage

"As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in her two mites. "Truly I tell you," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on." (Luke 21:1-4)

and Matthew 6-2

“Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Some things come of this parable

1. The super-rich made a great show of their charity. Bill Gates gave a billion dollars, and there were TV cameras to record and show it to the world. It was his money though, but still he has got his reward now, for he made a public show of it.

2. Our PM Cameron also gave a billion dollars or so. But it was not his money, and yet he publicly claims credit for it. These are the actions of a double hypocrite.

3. The widows in this case are us. It is the average and the poor, who gave billions of few mites to make up the billion that Cameron now takes credit for.

4. Worse still, this lazy and uneducated government, not only gave other people's money away, not only takes credit for it, but is now claiming itself to be the superpower of charitable nations. They are shouting from the rooftops how charitable they are.

What of us.

2 Corinthians 9-7

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully."

Many people give to charity, and they do so willingly and do not make a show of it. The actions of Cameron that gave away the money that was not his to give, has raised huge anger. He has made the nation therefore look like grudging and miserly donors. He has done harm to the country's reputation while still soaking it to the country.

The man cannot be evil, but pride and vanity is a fault that we each have to guard against.

English Pensioner said...

Once again I find that Enoch said what I have long believed.
I've always felt that when people say "The government should give more money towards XXXXX" what they really mean is that they support this particular cause, and that they believe every tax payer should also compulsorily contribute to the same cause.

Cameron is trying to have it both ways - He wants to spend the taxpayers' money on charity and also is trying to encourage us to be more charitable in his "Big Society". It just won't work, if the government is going to give some of my money to charity in the form of foreign aid, I don't feel any moral compulsion to supplement it further, and for that reason I've decided that any future charitable donations that I make will be confined to charities working in the UK or on medical research.

WitteringsfromWitney said...

DP: You make good points, unfortunately however I do believe Cameron is evil and will sell this country even further down the river!

EP: Could not agree more!