Monday, June 28, 2010

Tory Minister Iain Duncan Smith angers 'East Coast Weasel' Labour MSP Iain Gray by putting forward idea to increase social mobility for the poor

Dear All

The Labour Party has attacked the UK Government plans to relocate people from unemployment blackspots to places where there are jobs.

This is a good idea which could help the poorest in society achieve the type of social mobility which has effectively been curtailed under previous governments.

However, if the Tory/Lib Dem scheme is to be successful it must not be compulsory but should form part of a raft of measures that widen opportunities.

To no great surprise the Labour Party who has created gerrymandered welfare ghettos are opposed to anything which will break up their entrenched vote.

To simply move to another part of the country isn’t enough, people need training to acquire the skills and also more importantly they need access to housing.

Prior to the UK Westminster election, I said that the Work and Pensions Secretary should be Iain Duncan Smith.

He is a man with ideas and some understanding of the plight of the poor. In some respects some of what he is advocating is very good but he needs to take it further.

The Labour Party has said his idea smacks of Tebbit and a return to “get on your bike” policies of the Thatcher government.

Tebbit wasn’t known for his concern about the poor.

Duncan Smith said millions of people are effectively trapped in housing schemes where there is no work and are unable to move because they would lose their homes.

This is fact; his scheme allows people to go to the top of the housing list in another area hundreds of miles away, rather than giving up their right to a home.

Under the Labour Government, the lack of social mobility among the poorest in society like wealth was a stumbling block.

Duncan Smith acknowledges that Britain has one of the most static workforces in the western world.

He said:

“Often they are trapped in estates where there is no work near there and, because they have a lifetime tenure of that house, to go to work from east London to west London, or Bristol, or whatever is too much of a risk because if you upsticks and go you will have lost your right to your house.”

For the poor who have very little, fear of losing your home, the only thing you have left is very real indeed.

He added:

“The local council is going to tell you that you don’t have a right to a house there. The housing association is not going to give you one. We have to look at how we get that portability so that people can be more flexible, can look for work, can take the risk to do it.”

In 2002 as Tory Party leader, he visited Easterhouse in Glasgow which showed him how far Thatcherism got it wrong.

In a speech at the time to Tory conference, he said:

“If politicians cannot help the millions of people on estates like Easterhouse then ­politics has failed.”

‘East Coast Weasel’ Labour MSP Iain Gray rather than back hope and opportunity said the Tories didn’t understand the reality of life for those seeking work or living on low incomes.

Trying telling that to the people employed at the Glasgow Labour Council of shame who are facing being made redundant.

As usual ‘East Coast Weasel’ Labour MSP Iain Gray gets it completely wrong.

The idea by Iain Duncan Smith has merit and if it is done right with safeguards could be ‘not just a handout but a hand up’.

Anyone not backing this initiative is a fool.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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