Friday, December 24, 2010

Best of times are the worst for some,

by Stephen Lunn, The Australian December 24, 2010

In a piece on poverty, Steven Lunn quotes Dennis Glover, a Labor speechwriter and fellow at Per Capita, who says "Labor, in the public's mind at least, has lost the political high ground on this key social issue to the Greens and should be recasting itself in a bid to grab it back.

"Labor was founded to tackle poverty," Glover says. "But you have to remember that, 100 years ago, people, even with jobs, could spend their lives hungry, cold and with no education.

"That level of entrenched poverty is no longer with us. The grandparents of working people today wouldn't believe the lives of working-class people now. Their living standards have gone up more in the last few decades than in the last five centuries.

"This is an inescapable fact for people on the left of politics and only by accepting it can we do what we should be doing and zero in on those really in poverty: those who finished school early, the sick, the alcohol and drug-dependent, the homeless.

"People often think this is a marginal question for Labor but I think it's central. Much of the public now look to the Greens for this stuff, but it's where Labor can push into. Generally people want to help those worse off and it's a real political opportunity to impress Labor's base."

To read the whole article link here.

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