Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Tory welfare proposals would tackle the wrong problem

The latest Tory proposals on welfare reform (based on the Wiscnonsin model) would not solve the problem of long-term unemployment. What the Tories have failed to understand is that the issue facing Britain today is not a lack of jobs it is a skill deficit which means that many who want to work cannot get any because they do not have the right skill set needed.

Any reform of the welfare system must be accompanied by plans that will give the unemployed the skills to find a job; give the single mother the childcare she needs to go out and work; give the middle-aged man or woman on a disability benefit the support and confidence to go back into the workplace. Cameron's proposals are light on vision. There is no mention of how we transform the unemployed person's horizons, aspirations and hopes- through helping he/she get the skills they need for better jobs.


Susan Harwood said...

Dear Mike

I left a comment yesterday about my new blog, SHOUTING AT THE RADIO.


Which, after moderation, came up on your blog this morning.

However, it was then taken away almost immediately.

If you had not put it there at all, I wouldn't have read anything into it - but putting it there and taking it away so quickly suggests there is a problem which I can't guess at.

If you were able to let me know, I would appreciate it.

Perhaps you would email?


Yours sincerely

Susan Harwood

Mike Ion said...


Apologies - it was simple incompetence on my part - you may have noticed that the posting on which you commented was simply the word 'Can' and nothing else - it was the draft of something else and hit the publish button!


Anonymous said...

That's a relief!

I'm interested that you have an Oscar Romero quote at the top of your blog. I'm impressed.

Archbishop Romero isn't often to the fore of many people's thinking - but he was a fascinating and influential example of how the responsibilities of office can actually force someone on the right to take up quite a radical stance when they find it is part of their job description to do something about the realities of poverty and oppression.

And a particularly encouraging thing is that that transformation was helped, in part, by a steadfast group of people who were not daunted by the politics he began with but helped him, gently, to change. I think this is enormously encouraging for those of us who don't live very dramatic lives but chip away here and there in the background.

It's also interesting that you chose to put these particular words at the top of a Labour - leaning blog.

Although it fits very neatly with what you are saying about Tory welfare reform proposals, it is still startling to see it at the top because left wing politics are usually associated (perfectly sensibly because they are intended to reflect the needs of the poor) with 'having' more rather than 'being' more.

Anyway, there I was, being interested in your blog . . . when, suddenly, I seemed to have been purged.

Very glad it turns out that wasn't so!