It really is the case that anything the Tories do Labour does better, well tries to. It’s called poor political posturing and triangulation which Labour knows only too well.
Liam Byrne did it before Rachel Reeves as Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary and both are singing from the same Tory-style hymn sheet or to be more specific Anything the Tories Do We Do Better… And hey, Labour has the “One Nation” approach. One meaningless gimmick and sound bite.
What Reeves is proposing has discrimination all over it. What is will this basic skill test involve? It’s not about supporting people it’s about them highlighting individual failure. It’s about pointing the finger as opposed to wondering why people have problems with maths and English.
the shocking levels of English and maths among too many jobseekers are holding them back from getting work, and trapping them in a vicious cycle between low paid work and benefits … And IT skills among jobseekers are even worse.
With the Basic Skills Test … a Labour government will make sure anyone claiming JSA undertakes the training they need within weeks of signing on.’
Poverty screws lives up. Inequalities screw lives up. The workings of capitalism screw you up. This particular example of political posturing will let the Tories say to people in the late teens and early twenties that “New Labour” education screwed you up. What is needed is a counter attack to George Osborne’s complaint that Europe accounts for over 50 % of global welfare spending as though this was a bad thing. The Labour Party should be leading a struggle for it to seen as part and parcel of an advanced economy that people in society are protected and supported: this is what everywhere else should “aspire” to achieve rather than the Tory aspiration for the poor which seems to be back to the workhouse along with blaming the unemployed for being unemployed.