Tuesday 23 September 2008

Testing Cameron on child poverty and inequality

David Cameron’s whole argument is that he shared the ‘progressive ends’ and disagrees about the means.

So Gordon Brown's legislative commitment to end child poverty offers an important strategic challenge. The supposed consensus on the ‘end’ is what the government is asking the Conservatives to sign up for, mirroring the all-party consensus on the climate change bill.

But child poverty might be harder for the right. Whisper it, but this is an income inequality target. Will they want that on the statute book or not? If not, then they should not turn up to the End Child Poverty coalition's 'Keep the Promise' march in Trafalgar Square on October 4th, where the major children's charities will be trying to bring the cause to much greater public attention.

The new pledge answers the challenge set out in the Fabian Review editorial on this issue.

An Autumn fightback must involve popular, progressive policy tests of the warm words of political opponents, above all on finding the means to entrench the commitment to end child poverty as the progressive cause of this generation.

I will publish more later on how it could be done in practice.

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