As Politicians like Caroline Dinenage and Priti Patel are facing a General Election in the same way as animals on our roads face vehicles hurtling towards them with bright headlights shining, it is encouraging when they make statements that provide a basis for a new way of working. Sadly it is very unlikely that they will do anything more than dispense the words once the election is over. However they have both said things that if taken to their conclusion could turn our nation around in a radical way.
The comment by Patel was clearly an attempt to defend her party for its failure over the last 9 years in cutting the benefits to people in low income settings. However if one takes her argument that the Government is not the cause of poverty in a more isolated sense, then of course she is right. Poverty is caused by a wide number of factors and so just like the Government cannot be seen as the full cause of such a matter, then so to it cannot resolve such matters on their own, they need to work with others to solve the problem. She was at least in a setting where she could learn from one community what the causes are, if only she was willing to sit down and listen rather than use the visit to promote her own party. The same is true in the view from Dinenage that the government needs to come together in a cross-party discussion so social care can no longer be weaponised in campaigns. Indeed they need to not limit themselves to political parties but in fact they need professionals from the public, and charitable sectors to set out the solutions and then the politicians need to take these solutions on board as their way forward. Sadly it seems unlikely that this will happen once the election is over. However wouldn’t it be fantastic if these two Ministers could be held to account for what they have said and what the way forward would be.