Skip to main content

The politics of poverty

How can we sleep at night when all around us are vulnerable people going hungry? What kind of greedy people are we that would not wish to stop this madness of food shortage amidst food plenty? How can we approach Christmas with 'goodwill to all' whilst we give little goodwill to those who have born the brunt of cuts. Our greed, or at least the bankers greed, brought this about, and yet the government is busy stoking up the same uncontrolled, housing led boom that became unsustainable.

We need a social contract that says that people should not be forced to work for poverty wages. We need a living wage. We need education policies that give realistic opportuities to our children and young people to acquire the skills they need for skilled jobs. We need a housing strategy that provides decent homes for people at affordable rents. We need a decent transport system that enables hard working people to get to work without spending thousand in fares. We need a government that will be bold enough to off the country a real choice.

In this season of goodwill, let us not let our 'charity' be dictated by a silly song for band aid. Let not the poor be dependent on charity. Let it be a matter of political choice that people should not be poor in our country. When we come to the election next May I can guarantee that no party will put the poor at the heart of our economic policy. All parties will dance on the pin head of the 'squeazed middle'.  The poorest won't matter if you want to get the middle income voters. I am afraid the poor will go on relying on charity. Jingle bells and all that fun. Let them know its Christmas nonsense. Please Lord don't let me feel guilty about it all.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Ian Duncan-Smith says he wants to make those on benefits 'better people'!

By any account, the government's austerity strategy is utilitarian. It justifies its approach by the presumed potential ends. It's objective is to cut the deficit, but it has also adopted another objective which is specifically targeted. It seeks to drive people off benefits and 'back to work'.  The two together are toxic to the poorest in society. Those least able to cope are the most affected by the cuts in benefits and the loss of services. It is the coupling of these two strategic aims that make their policies ethically questionable. For, by combining the two, slashing the value of benefits to make budget savings while also changing the benefits system, the highest burden falls on a specific group, those dependent on benefits. For the greater good of the majority, a minority group, those on benefits, are being sacrificed; sacrificed on the altar of austerity. And they are being sacrificed in part so that others may be spared. Utilitarian ethics considers the ba

Keir Starmer has a lot to offer

The Labour Party is in the process of making a decision that will decide whether it can recover from the defeat in 2019 General Election.  All the candidates have much to offer and are making their case well. No doubt for some the decision will be difficult.  Others may well have made up their minds on the simple binary of Left-wing-Right-wing. The choice should be whoever is best placed to pull the party together.  Someone who can form a front bench of all talents and across the spectrum in the party. That is what Harold Wilson did in the 1960s.  His government included Roy Jenkins on the right and Barbar Castle on the left; it included Crossman and Crossland, and Tony Benn with Jim Callaghan.  It presented a formidable team. Keir Starmer brings to the top table a formidable career outside politics, having been a human rights lawyer and then Director of Public Prosecutions.   He is a man of integrity and commitment who believes in a fairer society where opportunities are more

The lion and the wildebeest

Birds flock, fish school, bees swarm, but social being is more than simply sticking together.  Social groups enable specialisation and a sharing of abilities, and enhances ability, learning and creating new tricks. The more a group works together, the more effective they become as a team.  Chimpanzees learn from each other how to use stones to crack nuts, or sticks to get termites.  All around us we see cooperation and learning in nature.  Nature is inherently creative.  Pulling together becomes a rallying cry during a crisis.  We have heard it throughout the coronavirus pandemic.  "We are all in this together", a mantra that encourages people to adopt a common strategy. In an era of 'self-interest' and 'survival of the fittest,'  and 'selfish gene', we lose sight of the obvious conclusion from the evidence all around us.   Sticking together is more often the better approach.  This is valid for the lion as it is also for the wildebeest.   We don't