Writing in The Guardian Jonathan Freedland lists some objections to the Tory leader’s social responsibility mission.  Comparing Britain with America he worries that there is little culture of philanthropy or Christian-inspired volunteering that gives America’s social sector its strength.  Mr Freedland is undoubtedly right about the sources of America’s vigour but he betrays the leftish mindset that something has to be huge and comprehensive in order to be worthwhile.  It may be that the capacity of the social sector remains very limited
for a number of years but we should welcome the possibility that tens
of thousands of extra people might be freed from drugs, given basic
life skills or are helped from rough sleeping into work.  David Cameron is right to want to reward more voluntary sector activity because again and again it offers superior care and rehabilitation – particularly when offered by the community-rooted or faith-based groups that haven’t adopted the statist mentality that infects so many of Britain’s bigger voluntary sector organisations.  Voucherisation of funding and a new willingness by church and other leaders to remind people of their responsibilities to neighbours in need will both be essential underpinnings of a voluntary sector revival.

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