Friday, May 08, 2009

Political scandal

Forget MPs' expenses. This is the real scandal.
Inequality at levels not seen under Macmillan, Heath, Thatcher or Major. Real cuts in the incomes for those at the bottom of the pile. No progress in reducing child or pensioner poverty. A record number of working-age adults without children living below the breadline. For the government, the release today of the annual Households Below Average Income data from the Department of Work and Pensions made desperately depressing reading.
Alienation? Are you surprised? Disillusion? What else would you expect? This is the true cost of Labour's slavish devotion to a conservative political economy, a cost borne by the poorest.


john problem said...

The government has failed us miserably - UK is still ahead of Ireland, Spain, Italy and Greece in the absolute poverty, European scale. What do they think they are doing? Aren't we supposed to be leading the world in every damn thing? This is another example of government incompetence. It's outrageous that we are not the most poor.

The Plump said...

John Problem. You misread the post and the article. This is not about the wealth of the country, nor about levels of absolute poverty. Britain is a wealthy nation. What the post questions is the distribution of wealth and does so especially in the context of a Labour government.

What is scandalous is not just that growing wealth has been shared so unequally, but that, for those at the bottom, there has been no growth at all - even worse, the poorest have seen their income shrink. (And do bear in mind that this includes the working poor, with some of the longest hours in Europe)

Labour have been the party of social justice and egalitarianism. I think it is a fair criticism of a Labour government that it has failed so spectacularly to reverse inequality. After all, what then is the point of having a Labour government at all?