The ratchet effect on poverty
Tom from Newer Labour is worried by the Tories acknowledging that relative poverty exists. I think it is great news.
For years and years, we've seen examples of Labour conceding that the Tories were right - on privatisation, lower tax rates for the rich, the right to buy and loads more. It must surely, therefore, be a good thing when the Tories start conceding that they were wrong and we were right about whether relative poverty exists. I think this is called the ratchet effect, where a party is in power for long enough that they are able to shift the terms of the debate, and it is good to see it going our way for once.
It is an interesting calculation by the Tories that they have to admit that relative poverty exists (I don't for a minute believe that they genuinely believe this any more than they did when in power, particularly as their paper has nothing at all about what they would actually do to reduce poverty), as a lot of the research into public attitudes suggests that lots of people don't believe that poverty exists in Britain, or if it does then only amongst children and pensioners.
There has never been an election in Britain in which one of the main things that people are thinking about when going to vote is which party has the best ideas for reducing poverty. There is definitely an opportunity here, to convert from 'doing good by stealth' to making a big deal about what Labour's done, and also doing a lot more in the next three years. Warm words are easy, but forcing the Tories either to do a U-turn or to support significantly increasing spending on reducing poverty is an enticing prospect.
Bob Piper has more, including a song that I like a lot.