Umm, Polly?

Whatever the state of marriage, family still ties; blood binds thicker than glue in all surveys. But do politicians really value those ties? Fate is all but sealed by birth, so politicians strive to make those at the bottom \”aspire\” out of the milieu of their closest bonds. All parties prefer \”social mobility\” to creating a society without great gulfs in living standards, where people need not abandon family background to succeed.

What? Now she\’s against social mobility?

Fascinating. So her long held and often expressed gripe about the low level of social mobility in the UK is now a benefit, not a curse?

3 thoughts on “Umm, Polly?”

  1. You’re right about that carcrash of a paragraph, but she seems to be right that both parties get policy wrong in this area, and that the Tories’ plan will be either unworkable or unaffordable, one or the other. Marriage – a civil formality – is a red herring in looking for happy families.

    But the carcrash para really is awful. It’s not money, which is what tax is about, that makes people suffer when they “move up”, it’s education. People who just get rich, like footballers, don’t feel the “painful wrench of those who leave beloved parents on lower rungs for high-flying lives” – they buy them houses and cars and declare themselves unchanged. The angst, that’s Educating Rita, that’s Growing Up in the Gorbals, neither of which are about money. The whole idea feels old-fashioned, from a time when getting educated and a successful job meant changing your voice and your clothes, which really isn’t the case for most people “moving up” these days. I suspect the bookshelf she refers to is stocked with seventies memoirs of winning scholarships in the thirties. And doesn’t Educating Rita – though I doubt anyone bothers – look clunky, silly and implausible these days?

    The article’s a party political squib, not a piece of political or social argument, not really, and only worth so much thinking on.


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