muses on misleading titles

The Centre for Social Justice  makes out it’s for the benefit of society but whose society is it benefiting?

On the title alone, it sounds like my kind of organisation. Focus on social exclusion and favouring collectivism over an ‘each to their own I’m all right’ politics.  But titles can be so misleading. There’s something not ‘I’m all right’ here. For starters, it was founded during the time of ‘Margaret – there is no such thing as society – Thatcher’. It alleges independence but what does that mean? Everything is political. We’re all political. It’s impossible not to be. Informed and framed by social location, we reflect past and present environments. I prefer to think I’m capable of independent and critical thought but I accept the influence of cultural expectation. It’s recognising it that counts.  For me social justice has two strands; identifying and changing the structures that lead to social exclusion and using education to promote acceptance of diversity.  

The Centre for Social Justice is a government ThinkTank so any talk of independence is an anomaly. Their position,  left or right of centre,  contains inherent political bias and they would do better just admitting it rather than disguising their intentions in false consciousness. The thinkers in the tank are products of their own environment so the chances are high that recommendations will have individualist or collectivist roots – never the twain shall meet. This bloggolage has come about through media coverage of Phillipa Stroud,  Executive Director of the Centre for Social Justice. Even allowing for media bias, there is something uncomfortable about social justice being headed up by anyone with extreme views. In this case homophobia to a degree that shouts Clause 28  all over again.

The Observer article  attracted a range of media responses; here’s a selection from the The Guardian,  The Telegraph and The New Statesman. Couldnt find anything from The Times.

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