The resignation of Hazel Blears reminded me again that this nation’s government now has a “Department for Communities”. Letting that phrase pass my lips without implied quotation marks would be like vomiting into my mouth without washing it out.

Thanks to Kevin Harris’s “neighbourhoods” blog, I can sample a little of that department’s output, a review document called “Empowering communities to influence local decision making“. Brace yourself:

Local practitioners are a crucially important resource in developing this agenda [PDF, 571KB] and bringing it towards fruition.

It is important that government clarify the objectives of empowerment and give a sustained commitment to an agenda that may take a while to deliver notable successes.

These simple messages imply the need for developing accessible, inclusive and facilitated strategies for empowerment. The community and voluntary sector and specifically community development techniques have an important role to play here.

What in the name of Orwell is a “a facilitated strategy for empowerment”?

I’d resign too, rather than sign off on prose like that.

[UPDATE: via Andreas’ Blog, Gordon thanks Hazel for “driving forward the community empowerment agenda”.]