Dr James Whelan | Online Opinion 22 June 2012

Little platoons and Australian government

James Whelan was invited by Online Opinion to contribute a piece in response to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Shadow Minister for Families, Housing and Human Services Kevin Andrews’s ‘landmark speeches’ on 8 and 15 June respectively. Whelan notes that both speeches, “celebrate the ‘little platoons’ or community groups and volunteers that comprise civil or ‘associative’ society.” He also hits a note of caution that while such ‘small government’ rhetoric is couched in terms of principles few people would dispute, those policies have had markedly different outcomes when implemented in the UK. Increased volunteerism and community activism are appealing notions, but the reality under David Cameron’s government has been substantial withdrawal of funding to public services, themselves an important source of support for those activities…

Access the full article on Online Opinion here


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