Inequality challenge must be fixed MP tells Ebor Lecture audience

Jon Cruddas has called for an ethical economy

Jon Cruddas has called for an ethical economy

First published in News
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BRITAIN must overcome a "twin crisis of inequality and identity" if it is to enjoy fair economic recovery, an MP told a York audience last night.

Jon Cruddas, a former aide to Tony Blair, spoke at York St John University last night in the latest Ebor Lecture.

His "Common Good in an Age of Austerity" talk gave an insight into Labour's plans for an "ethical economy" if it wins the next General Election.

The Dagenham and Rainham MP said: "Britain's fragmented identity threatens not only social cohesion. It now threatens our very political unity - reflected in recent elections and future referenda.

"For it appears we no longer know how to define who we are or what we stand for; we are losing our ability to live together, work together or help one another - and indeed to talk about this."

Mr Cruddas said the common good was "about treating people who they really are: as human beings who belong to families, localities and communities."

He called for a "pro business, pro worker and pro aspiration" and said: "the common good promotes the idea of an ethical economy as also the most plausibly successful economy.

"That means a model which combines private profit with public benefit by sharing reward, risk and responsibility amongst all stakeholders: owners, managers workers, consumers, suppliers and members of the local community."

He said putting workers on remuneration committees was one example of that and said: "Such a model requires a rise in productivity to guarantee also a rise in salaries or wages, encouraging a greater sense of pride, duty and genuine calling in every workforce."

Mr Cruddas has been an MP since 2001 and is a policy co-ordinator in the shadow cabinet.

He said furthering the common good requires three big changes, including having locally run and organised schools and hospitals, no more outsourcing of relational services to those parts of the private sector that are driven purely by corporate profit, and to give local authorities greater control over tax revenues to invest and grow their revenues.

This year's series of Ebor Lectures focus on the Morality of Austerity and are held at venues around the city, including York Minster and York Institute for Community Theology.

Comments (2)

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10:49am Thu 10 Jul 14

again says...

Of course Mr Cruddas is right but inequality and corruption are so embedded in British society that it is part of the culture.

Take education. One part of the population enjoys the best facilities and opportunities that money can buy. At the same time the environment ensures that they are kept away from the other part of the population who do not enjoy those privileges.

An aspect of WW2 was that it brought together people of different classes and backgrounds who otherwise would never have met. People from the wealthy parts of Britain at last saw the parts that wealth never reached.

The result was a post war government with a mandate to introduce a welfare system and later the one-nation Tories.

Now the segregation of the 1930's is returning where the wealthy and poor rarely meet. Disraeli's 'The Two Nations' are being recreated by our government.
Of course Mr Cruddas is right but inequality and corruption are so embedded in British society that it is part of the culture. Take education. One part of the population enjoys the best facilities and opportunities that money can buy. At the same time the environment ensures that they are kept away from the other part of the population who do not enjoy those privileges. An aspect of WW2 was that it brought together people of different classes and backgrounds who otherwise would never have met. People from the wealthy parts of Britain at last saw the parts that wealth never reached. The result was a post war government with a mandate to introduce a welfare system and later the one-nation Tories. Now the segregation of the 1930's is returning where the wealthy and poor rarely meet. Disraeli's 'The Two Nations' are being recreated by our government. again
  • Score: 4

11:17am Thu 10 Jul 14

Kevin Turvey says...

Or the un-politically correct way of looking at it is that life is unfair!
Get used to it, do something about it yourself as nobody else will do it for you!

The greasy pole IS available for all to climb irrespective of background, just be realistic about how far it can be climbed based upon your aptitude/efforts!

Yes, the establishment has a protective measure to protect its own but it can be overcome within limits.
Do not wait under that glass ceiling for any politician to provide a fairer country for all as you will be waiting a long time, do it yourself!

So does Labours ‘ethical economy’ involve ensuring that the taxpayer is landed with yet more debt again to bring about this uneconomically possible utopia?

I am no Tory but at least they are actually trying to get the debt down, yes some people suffer but people suffer all the time at least this way the country should be in a better position in the long term, something that the other main parties are in a state of Pollyania about in reality!
Or the un-politically correct way of looking at it is that life is unfair! Get used to it, do something about it yourself as nobody else will do it for you! The greasy pole IS available for all to climb irrespective of background, just be realistic about how far it can be climbed based upon your aptitude/efforts! Yes, the establishment has a protective measure to protect its own but it can be overcome within limits. Do not wait under that glass ceiling for any politician to provide a fairer country for all as you will be waiting a long time, do it yourself! So does Labours ‘ethical economy’ involve ensuring that the taxpayer is landed with yet more debt again to bring about this uneconomically possible utopia? I am no Tory but at least they are actually trying to get the debt down, yes some people suffer but people suffer all the time at least this way the country should be in a better position in the long term, something that the other main parties are in a state of Pollyania about in reality! Kevin Turvey
  • Score: 1

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