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Journal of nicholas (3034)

Sunday April 12, 2009
06:04 AM

new Labour, new Dictionary

[ #38798 ]

PM plan for compulsory volunteers report the BBC. This is the new meaning of "voluntary", as in "voluntary" ID cards?

So, on the surface, I'm being slightly unfair, as the headline's phrase is from the BBC, not the government. But the story seems to suggest that it is the government which is intending to make something compulsory, that hitherto is both described as, and in reality, voluntary (OED sense). And as a practical thought too, based on experience of volunteers and volunteering, I'm not convinced that forcing people to do something will instil in them a desire to do it again voluntarily, where one would not have existed anyway.

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  • Mr. Woolley, are you worried about the number of young people without jobs?
  • After all, they're planning the same 'voluntary' community service requirement for immigrants as part of 'probationary citizenship', and someone I know already refers to this as 'ASBO citizenship'. Given the typical perception that teenagers, like immigrants, are criminals, extending this to them makes perfect sense to me...