Same old Tories
Tory Chris Grayling is going to give a speech tomorrow claiming that the gulf between rich and poor is at its widest since Victorian times.
The Daily Telegraph reports, 'Describing the Toxteth area of Liverpool, he will say: "I can show you streets where no one works, street corners where drug dealing is the main business, children being brought up in squalor, a caged up pub with pitbulls as bouncers - gangs, knives and guns in abundance."'
Unemployment, crime and child poverty are all problems in Toxteth as in many other parts of the country. But all the people I talked to who live and work there say that things are so much better then they were ten or fifteen years ago. If he really cared about understanding what policies make a difference and what more needs to be done, Grayling could talk to people who lost their jobs in the 1980s and are now back in work, the dedicated community activists and local councillors who work to sort out the problems, and he could go and see the places where the drug dealers used to gather which have been reclaimed for the whole community.
But, of course, he won't. Because the Tories don't want to have an honest debate about reducing inequality and acknowledging that things are better now in Liverpool than under Maggie Thatcher or John Major, but more needs to be done. Instead, they want to stop the policies which have worked, and instead blame people in Liverpool to get votes in wealthier parts of the country.
Same old Tories, in other words.