‘The challenge with setting ambitious targets is that parliament can be judged, not just on whether or not it is meeting these targets, but on the effectiveness of the reforms they are implementing.’
In his short story, The Nummer 14 Bus, James Robertson evokes the daily struggle played out on a bus ride through Scotland’s affluent capital. It could be a bus ride in any UK city.
Inequality in Scotland is on the rise. “It seems likely that more radical changes, such as significant redistribution of income, labour market reforms and major investment in deprived areas, would be needed to bring Scottish inequality close to Nordic levels.”
‘Marx therefore helps us make sense of modern power relations after all. Then, as now, there is no contradiction between capitalism and crisis: it is a process of historical development and economic transition within the system.’
‘When the UK government reneged on the Child Poverty Act 2010 with its goal of eradicating child poverty in the UK by 2020, Scotland dissented and set about introducing an equivalent goal for Scotland.’
‘(McGarvey’s) aware that many on the left will see this as a cop out but he’s ready with his reply. Of course, the left must continue to argue and campaign for structural change, he tells us, but no real change can happen unless poor people begin to feel powerful in their own lives.
‘Carol Craig has seen and shown how the child is father to the adult, identifying the childhood stresses that result in lifelong damage. But without substantial easing of the economic tensions that strain a household to breaking point, the requisite change isn’t coming any day soon’.
Scaling up successful interventions absorbs time and energy – and money – we can ill afford. Is there a way of making social and public policy more efficient as well as more effective?” In the second extract from Working for Equality Helen Chambers urges a different, more effective approach to policy.
“It’s not an English problem any more than it’s a Scottish one, it’s a problem for us all.” Alan Milburn’s research report The Elite of Scotland revealed some uncomfortable facts of life in a nation that prides itself on fairness.
‘Required reading for all those engaged in the fight against poverty’, Gordon Munro reviews Darren McGarvey’s book, Poverty Safari.