Thursday, November 23, 2006

Polly Toynbee and the Tories - Fisking required

Polly Toynbee has evidently enjoyed Greg Clark’s line on the need to embrace nuLabour as the source of all knowledge and the font of human progress.Polly writes gleefully:
It can only be good news if the Tories are serious about poverty...If David Cameron takes up the Clark report, this would mark a breakthrough.
Tories would stop pretending that wealth trickles down from the top. They would never again claim that a rising economic tide lifts all boats. They would have to confess that no crumbs fell from the rich man's table during the disastrous 1980s and 1990s…..By denying that this yawning gap mattered, the Thatcher governments sent a century of social progress into reverse.

Forgive me, but as ever, a spot of surgical fisking, is in order.I shall try to be brief.
After five and half years in power, Labour had made virtually no impact on poverty according to the New Policy Institute in late 2002.They noted that Approximately 13 million people are poor, the same number as 10 years ago and double the rate of 20 years ago.
Britain has the worst poverty record in the EU, except for Greece, with more than one in five people living on less than 60% of median earnings.

A report from the Office of National Statistics in 2003 showed that the "Gini coefficient", an international measure of inequality, had increased from an average of 29 points under Baroness Thatcher to 35 points under Blair. The figure for 2001-02 was 36 points.Income inequality in 2003/4 was around 40% higher by the the Gini coefficient than when Mrs Thatcher came to power.

What about the effect of Big Gordo's "redistributive" tax and benefit changes since 1997? Well, if you add in the effects of council tax increases, the average family is £150 per year worse off. A two-earner couple with no children is over £1,000 worse off.Poverty rates among pensioners have fallen particularly slowly, and they have not fallen at all among people of working age without children. Source

I could go on and on. But I won't. I shall simply note that Polly Toynbee often gets things badly wrong. It is incumbent on us all not to be deceived by the appearance of progress under NuLabour. The reality is far more complex. David Cameron should avoid attempts to draw up policies that could have been written by Bliar/Broon or Mandy,etc.Embracing flawed policies as our own can hardly be a recipe for success...


Anonymous said...

Agree totally- I have tagged you on the Ten Things I would not do meme- sorry !

Anonymous said...

Toynbee should be sent to the nut house!

istanbultory said...

Toynbee should be sent to the nut house!
Along with Michael White.

Anonymous said...

For a joke, this is dragging on and going to far.