“…poverty isn’t just an issue of money”

The Conservatives have released their policy analysis of poverty, main report here (pdf file). . It argues that in 21st century UK there are five “routes” to poverty: economic dependence and worklessness; family breakdown; addictions; educational failure and debt. (Note all are pdf files)

It concludes that:

“we need a system that understands that while material deprivation must continue to be dealt with, poverty isn’t just an issue of money; while money is important, so is the quality of the social structure of our lives. To improve the wellbeing of this country it is necessary that we help the people of Britain improve the quality of their lives or we will all become poorer.”

  • willis

    Oh Dear Oh Dear!

    “It is now clear that New Labour’s strategy has not
    addressed the problems facing many disadvantaged children
    in society. The failure to address these problems has
    led to persistent and deep- rooted educational inequality
    in the UK. As a result, the UK has very low social mobility
    and one of the highest levels of educational inequality
    in the Western World.”

    Memo to Tories:

    New Labour have been in power for nine years. I’m afraid you will have to find a better scapegoat than that to explain deep-rooted failure and inequality.

  • Mickhall

    And a society which is both based on exploitation and is hierarchical, thus giving those with the most wealth the real power to defend their ill gotten gains at the expense of those at the bottom of the economic heap, has nothing to do with it according to Cameron. [and his heros Blair/Thatcher]

    Thus all five of the examples they give basically blame the economically poor for their situation. We are back to the undeserving poor. Welcome to the re-run of the 19th century.

  • Reader

    Mickhall: Thus all five of the examples they give basically blame the economically poor for their situation.
    Well, you can at least turn each of the five routes into a narrative, then into a 30 minute TV drama. That gives them an edge over, say, blaming Capitalism itself. Especially since the poor generally aspire to the fruits of capitalism, anyway.

  • Rory

    “….it is necessary that we help the people of Britain improve the quality of their lives or we will all become poorer.”

    I don’t expect many of us would be surprised if, when the electorate were foolish enough to empower the Tories, they firstly decided that the quality of life of the rich was decidedly impoverished by taxation and then take immediate steps in their newfound compassion to reduce that burden. Then they would argue that everyone else will benefit through “trickle down”. I can already feel the first tears trickle down my cheeks as I contemplate it.


    I think that it is their fair share of the fruits of their labour, which capitalism appropriates to itself, to which the poor mostly, and rightly, aspires. It is the growing sense of injustice at the ever expanding gap between the incomes of the very rich and the rest of humanity that festers deepest resentment.
    Unfortunately that heartening sound of the approaching creak of the tumbril’s wheels is yet a way off.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    It is strange when the Tories come out with a well thought out and meaningful document … that they get attacked as capitalists and on their past.

    Why can’t we have some comments on the content of the document instead of knee jerk reactions?

    I for one can see what they are saying makes sense and yes, that Labour despite all their claims have made a mess of poverty the same as everthing else.

  • topdeckomnibus

    There we were in the mines back when the strategy was that economic healing would result from closing the pits and making us poor for Britain.

    Ours was just one of the quarter of a million families made homeless under Thatcher’s centrally planned forced mobility of skilled labour.

    After a period of fighting bailliffs and the coppers who turned up to protect the bailliffs .. we began to rethink matters like the routes to our impending poverty.

    One lad was sat in a pub over half a pint and looking sad. A bloke in the pub asked what his trouble was. “Unemployed mate … ruddy Thatcher”.

    But the stranger said “You know the answer .. become a Thatcherite as your route out of poverty”

    So it was agreed that the stranger would show him how to fast track his way into being an owner driver of a minicab.

    The investment required was the cost of the local paper. So my mate stumped up just to see what happened next.

    Geezer went straight to the deaths column and made a phone call. Then he takes my mate to a garage. Salesman and geezer well know each other.

    Tells my mate to choose a car. Mate chooses cheap one. Feezer bollocks him “Wot sort of mota is that to be carrying kids in for hite and reward … choose an expensive one and don;t compromise on health and safety”

    So he chooses an expensive motor. HP is obtained in a revently dead man’s name and the car overpriced to absorb the non existent depo.

    They five him a cash receipt signed in the dead man’s name.

    “Drive off mate and get earning … you have now practiced getting on yer bike and finding work. If the Old Bill give you a tug describe some bloke who don’t look like us and say you bought the mota for cash. Show them the receipt and OLd Bill get overtime and expenses looking for a con man that don’t exist. The HP company will claim tax relief on the bad debt. And you will end up taking less that way from public funds than if you draw dole for years. Be lucky”

    Well, after a foreclosure party (you could only get in on production of CCJs and enter the prize draw for the most CCJs) … another scheme was born. the doppleganger enterprise.

    That is where about half a dozen all work in the same name. Five keep drawing dole. But work in the name of the 6th.

    Tax man eventually phones the 6th man (who has had his kickback out of the other 5s dole) and asks where he has been working … moaning that he has PAYE or SC60 or 715 SC returns for 6 people all in his name.

    “Which one earnt least ?”

    Tax man tells him.

    “That musta been me then”

    Laugh. Thatcher’s poverty plans for us had us rolling in the aisles.

    Now there are plans to build three new coal power stations and the workers buy out pit Tower in wales is at the forefront of clean coal and biomass fuel technology and has full order books.

    Did anyone notice Blair slip in to his final conference speech “Clean coal technology” as part of a strategy to tackle global warming.

    And on 28th Nov a CND group lobbied commons with an argument which cited the unprecedented number of nuclear power stations which closed down this summer unable to cope with the climate change denying them sufficient cool cooling water.

    Funny really. Tories planning a way out of poverty. It is a lot more fun to think og your own ……

  • Reader

    Rory: Unfortunately that heartening sound of the approaching creak of the tumbril’s wheels is yet a way off.
    However, in global terms, locally we are all rich, and have an easy life. I bet you’re dressed in clothes made by people worse off than yourself, for instance. Is the tumbril going to carry us all? Or are you going to say ‘No – take my neighbour first, not me.’?