The Labour Party Conference began this week and I was interested to see that Joel Edwards, leader of the Micah Challenge anti-poverty movement, will challenge Labour MPs and conference delegates to commit to ending poverty.
Why poverty still exists, is a question that has been raised repeatedly in recent year. Here for example by Jay Naidoo.
Some congruent thinking may be found below:
“The anti-values of greed, individualism and exclusion should be replaced by solidarity, common good and inclusion. The objective of our economic and social activity should not be the limitless, endless, mindless accumulation of wealth in a profit-centred economy but rather a people-centred economy that guarantees human needs, human rights, and human security, as well as conserves life on earth. These should be universal values that underpin our ethical and moral responsibility.”
Miguel D’Escoto Brockmann, the President of the United Nations General Assembly from a 2009 speech.:
Dealing with poverty is nothing new. The question became ‘how does poverty still exist in a world with sufficient resources for a decent quality of life for everyone?’ The answer was that we have yet to develop any economic system capable redistributing finite resources in a way that everyone has at minimum enough for a decent life: food, decent housing, transportation, clothing, health care, and education. The problem has not been lack of resources, but adequate distribution of resources. Capitalism is the most powerful economic engine ever devised, yet it came up short with its classical, inherent profit-motive as being presumed to be the driving force. Under that presumption, all is good in the name of profit became the prevailing winds of international economies — thereby giving carte blanche to the notion that greed is good because it is what has driven capitalism. The 1996 paper merely took exception with the assumption that personal profit, greed, and the desire to amass as much money and property on a personal level as possible are inherent and therefore necessary aspects of any capitalist endeavour. While it is in fact very normal for that to be the case, it simply does not follow that it must be the case.
Terry Hallman – People-Centered Economic Development 2004
Today at conference , Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls asked – ‘What kind of government is it that makes pensioners pay for millionaires to have tax cuts?
As a lifelong Labour voter, I had an inconvenient truth to offer. It was the Labour Party who were called on in 2004 for business for social purpose to be “recognized and supported at government policy level as a badly needed, essential, and entirely legitimate enterprise activity.”
They were called on later to support our international development efforts and we found our proposal for social enterprise development. served up by a government funded development agency.
It was perhaps ironic, that the man who made social enterprise UK government policy, Tony Blair and the man who chaired the 2009 social enterprise summit, Lord Mandelson should turn up later in Ukraine, where we’d been challenging greed. They’d come in support of those so greedy, they’d been dubbed Ukraine’s Scrooges by the Kyiv Post. The same moguls identified in our Death Camps for Children article, as the root cause for Ukraine’s social woes, especially the plight of children.
While these millionaire “socialists” gained, what we ‘d invested in the future of humanity was lost.
This week we can expect to hear Ed Milband make the call for reforming capitalism, we’d asked New Labour to support 8 years ago. His building reputation on the efforts of others, speaks for itself.
So to the question ‘what kind of government?” I can answer without hesitation, a Labour Government.