Saturday, June 5, 2010

Labour MP Frank Field to head poverty review for David Cameron but will Field deliver real change, people need turned into 'society stakeholders'

Dear All

Things go from bad to worse for the Labour Party.

Labour MP Frank Field is to head up an independent review into UK poverty for the Tory/Lib Dem Government.

What this appointment shows is that the Tories and Labour are so close politically that their MP’s are interchangeable.

Field was briefly welfare reform minister under Blair but arguments with Gordon Brown and Harriet Harman saw him return to the backbenches.

He is the first Labour MP to accept a job with the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition government but I suspect he will not be the last or this will solely be restricted to the Labour Party.

It seems that despite the David Laws hiccup the Tory/Lib Dem Government might be around for some time.

Field is famous for leading Labour's backbench revolt against Mr Brown's abolition of the 10p tax rate in 2008.

This done tremendous damage to the Labour Party as the public row was firmly a nail in the coffin of the Brown Premiership.

Cameron has been quite clever in offering him a job as an anti-poverty "tsar" because it is an attempt to shake off the nasty Tory image.

It could also be a genuine attempt to improve the lives of the least advantaged people in our society.

Cameron and others have realised that the gap between rich and poor is far more than just money.

The Review on Poverty and Life Chances will look at whether measures need to be reformed to enable a more level playing field.

The test however will also be whether Cameron can rein in the the unelected shadow government of quangos and alike that impact so much to the determent of people.

Cameron needs to fix causes before tackling symptoms.

Field said;

"I don't think we need lots of brilliant new ideas, lots of people have done work, we now need to bring that together and shape it in a way which leads to action."

Prime Minister David Cameron said he was "pleased" that Frank Field had agreed to carry out the review, adding he hoped he would help find out what "keeps people trapped in poverty".

Corrupt Britain keeps people trapped in poverty.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said;

"Tackling poverty is a key priority for this coalition government and we warmly welcome the expertise Frank will bring to the table. I look forward to receiving his report and working with him over the next six months. In order to effectively address deep seated poverty and its associated problems we will need cross-party support. Despite the vast amounts of money that has been thrown at the problem, the numbers in poverty remain worryingly high and we now have a unique opportunity to give people back the dignity and independence they need and deserve."

I think the poor have a pretty good grasp of what traps people in poverty, however this is one voice that won’t be sitting around the table discussing the proposals to make their lives better.

Perhaps Cameron should think the 'unthinkable' and put someone on the review that hasn’t benefited, life experiences bring much more to the table than subjective opinion.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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