That’s the issue to hand, isn’t it? How to empower the poor. The right obviously believe that what the poor really need is a good kick up the backside; and according to such theses, we need, as a society, to put the frighteners on them all so that – out of thin air – they will somehow manage to magic themselves better jobs, better schools, better housing and better lives.
On the other hand, the left are looking to implement ameliorative policies which, little by little, succeed in providing a better environment first – an environment which, so the argument goes, will lay the foundations for future success.
The left say that without the environment, everything is unfair. The right say that without the fear, nothing ever gets done.
But surely what we all need to do is sit down round that inevitable negotiating table – for a battle and war of sorts it has certainly been to date; and then proceed to ask the poor how they actually see the situation … how they would best like their lives to pan out.
Instead of grandly doing and undoing prejudiced generations of political guesswork, how about we truly empowered the very people at the centre of it all? Give them the control and hold over the very levers of power. Directly. Without prejudice.
Without political grandstanding.
Give them – for the first time ever, that is – both the right and holy duty to actually decide what gets down, how and why.
And in the process, remove both fear and amelioration from the equation that is poverty on this planet.