For those who weren't in the conference hall, like Mr Duncan, you can read every sizzling word of our Prime Minister's speech here. For reference I think the high point was was when he declared "I stand with the people who are sick and tired of others playing by different rules". Yeah, this free society thing is a real pain in the posterior isn't it?
What with their hockey-cokey music and their head scarves and their weird food that isn't mashed potato. Bugger 'em I say. Well, no, not b... let's move on...
Our beloved leader continues;
"Starting now and right across the next Parliament every one of the 50,000 most chaotic families will be part of a family intervention project – with clear rules, and clear punishments if they don’t stick to them.Family ASBOs. Joy. If your son is out of control you might lose your home - I bet that threat creates 50,000 loving family units. Tough on crime, tough on the parents of criminals. Oh hold on, not criminals, because they would be tried in a court of law and sentenced there, we're talking about ASBOs where councils make up arbitrary rules in order to by-pass judge, jury, the ability to mount a defence, all that nonsense.
"And we have said that every time a young person breaches an ASBO, there will be an order, not just on them but on their parents, and if that is broken they will pay the price. Because whenever and wherever there is antisocial behaviour, we will be there to fight it."
Brown Owl goes on;
"This is a new and more mobile world and so we have to step up the protection of our borders against terrorism and illegal immigration. And it means we must take a tough approach to who gets to come to our country and who gets to stay.The Daily Mail haven't disserted the Labour Party yet have they. They must lap this shit up.
"Tightening our points-based immigration system ensures that those who have the skills that can help Britain will be welcomed, and those who do not, will be refused. And the ID cards for foreign nationals are working."
And then we have this, truly awe inspriring;
"And I do think it’s time to address a problem that for too long has gone unspoken, the number of children having children. For it cannot be right, for a girl of sixteen, to get pregnant, be given the keys to a council flat and be left on her own.We've had these before when working class women had kids in ways that their 'moral superiors' disapproved of. I don't think going back to the beginning of the last century for moral guidance is a sign of a progressive party. Putting young mums in homes (there's no way you'll see Dad's in them) and then pretending that institutionalised care will teach them how to "raise their children properly". Pfft.
"From now on all 16 and 17 year old parents who get support from the taxpayer will be placed in a network of supervised homes. These shared homes will offer not just a roof over their heads, but a new start in life where they learn responsibility and how to raise their children properly. That’s better for them, better for their babies and better for us all in the long run."
Susan is unimpressed, as you might expect from a Labour Party member who actually believes in things like tackling inequality and poverty. Meanwhile Jennie feels it is feeding into a more general chauvinist mileau (can you believe that people actually defend Polanski! Jeez). I think I agree.
All in all Brown's speech was a mix of rubbish that will never happen, Daily Mail pleasing moralising and oddities like this little charmer which I'll end on;
"Because what let the world down last autumn was not just bankrupt institutions but a bankrupt ideology. What failed was the Conservative idea that markets always self-correct but never self-destruct. What failed was the right wing fundamentalism that says you just leave everything to the market and says that free markets should not just be free but values free."You were elected in 1997 Gordon, that was in the last century! I don't think the Tories can actually be held responsible for the entirity of the global financial crisis - and sadly that's the strongest part of his speech.