I have always been a little cynical of the phrase "broken society"; because much of society isn't broken and there are a great number of people who care for their families, their neighbours and act in a decent way. However clearly there are great challenges which need to be addressed in this area. I have said for a long time that we as a party need to "seal the deal" with voters and we could do this with some flesh on the bones of our ideas. I am glad that in recent days we have started to see this. Even if the following isn't made into policy (yet) the speech by Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling about youth crime is a very good set of principles to start from. We should be shouting about these from the rooftops.
1 There have to be consequences for every act of antisocial behaviour;
2 Parents must not be allowed to abdicate responsibility for their children's behaviour;
3 A tougher approach to bad behaviour in schools must teach children the difference between right and wrong;
4 Adults encouraging children to be irresponsible - by selling them drugs or alcohol for example - must be dealt with effectively; and
5 Youth engagement in society must be ensured, not least through support for the voluntary sector groups delivering that process of engagement.
I am fairly sure that even our friends on the left couldn't disagree with most of those.
From a soundbite to principle and now onto policy...