Drug Education News

News and views from the Drug Education Forum

David Cameron: Fixing our Broken Society

David Cameron launching his party’s by-election campaign in Glasgow yesterday made a speech in which he says:

“We talk about people being “at risk of obesity” instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise. We talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: it’s as if these things – obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction – are purely external events like a plague or bad weather.

“Of course, circumstances – where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school, and the choices your parents make – have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices that people make.

“There is a danger of becoming quite literally a de-moralised society, where nobody will tell the truth anymore about what is good and bad, right and wrong. That is why children are growing up without boundaries, thinking they can do as they please, and why no adult will intervene to stop them – including, often, their parents. If we are going to get any where near solving some of these problems, that has to stop.”

Mr Cameron argues that any government he leads will encourage personal and social responsibility for tackling these issues rather than what he calls taking a “morally neutral” tone.

What that’ll mean in terms of our field has probably been most thoroughly explored in the addictions paper of the Conservatives’ Social Justice Policy Group. They said:

Much government generated advice has been condemned as patronising, pointless and even as encouraging drug use in attempts to be ‘non judgemental’ and to key into perceptions of youth culture and values. [page 67]

In place of what they percieve to be current practice the commission called for:

Systematic carefully designed research to test the impact of different approaches [to what they call addictation education] – scientific, informational, experiential and personal, and peer led interactive – to be tested and compared across different school settings is required. Impact measures need to look at comprehension and retention in addition to longer term behaviour change. This requires a ‘capture and recapture’ method or other form of longitudinal, cohort study. [page 113]

Filed under: Conservatives

3 Responses

  1. […] doubt the Salvation Army see themselves as “morally neutral” but it seems to me that they take a rather different view of how the problems of social […]

  2. […] approach is different to the one David Cameron outlined recently (and which we covered here). Not every child is lucky enough to live in an environment that promotes good health. Not every […]

  3. […] then puts flesh on the bones of Conservative thinking about individual social responsibility, which he argues must become a […]

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