Judging more, understanding less
Yesterday, David Cameron claimed that, "We, as a society, have been far too sensitive. In order to avoid injury to people's feelings, to avoid appearing judgmental, we have failed to say what needs to be said. We have seen a decades-long erosion of responsibility, of social virtue, of self-discipline, respect for others, of deferring gratification instead of instant gratification."
When I heard this, I was immediately reminded of another Tory politician who believed exactly the same. The way John Major put it was a bit more succinct, though - 'we need to understand a little less and condemn a little more.'
Cameron is saying is that what John Major, Michael Howard, Norman Tebbit, Maggie Thatcher and the rest of them got wrong was that they were too sensitive, too inclined to avoid appearing judgmental and didn't want to injure people's feelings.
Fifteen years ago, John Major summed up the Tory Party of the time - nasty, bigoted, narrow-minded and not interested in helping people sort out problems. The newspapers might report all this stuff about the 'broken society' as some new thing. But all the slick marketing in the world can't change the fact that the Tories haven't changed, nor that social policies based on being insensitive and condemning more represent an approach which has failed utterly whenever and wherever they have been tried.