Holistic Deprivation Solutions

In 1975 Gordon Brown wrote that ‘a socialist society must be created within the womb of existing society and prefigured in the movements for democracy at the grassroots’. In 2024 he is celebrating Amazon donating to a ‘multibank’ that is the response to people’s experience of multiple deprivation in Britain. In 2014 he threatened workers and pensioners with the dire economic consequences of voting for independence, ten years later he’s offering free wet wipes.

The sense of triumph here is astonishing.

“We want to expand it to the whole of the United Kingdom”

In 1975 Gordon Brown talked about creating a socialist society, in 2024 he talks enthusiastically about taking donations from a business that has paid no corporation tax for two years. In 2009/10 when Gordon Brown was Prime Minister there were 61,468 foodbank parcels handed out. Figures from 2018 show 1,583,668 were handed out. That’s an explosion of poverty under the Union. Imagine his constituents in Fife looking at this after being hounded by Project Fear, how many thought that this is what Better Together would mean ten years on?

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  1. MacGilleRuadh says:

    I’ve always been curious how someone like the Broun is so unaware how despised he is by the British establishment while he runs around helping to shore up their very existence.

  2. SleepingDog says:

    ‘Holistic’ seems a bit of a boast, unless all of Beveridge’s five giants have been emplaced:
    “Beveridge had been drawn to the idea of remedying social inequality while working for the Toynbee Hall charitable organisation in East London. He saw that philanthropy was simply not sufficient in such circumstances and a coherent government plan would be the only sufficent action.”
    Give it another ten years under the Union, though. Transforming society, indeed.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      But then, arguments for The Union are like the Hydra, lopping off one head is answered by another cancerous growth. Heil Hydra! Or not.

  3. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    While all of the provisions listed by the Bodger are, indeed, required by people in poverty, most of whom are in work, too. For the foreseeable future, many and probably increasing numbers of our population, because of low pay, insecure employment reduced public services, lack of housing will require such services on a daily basis.

    I have no doubt of the sincerity of the people involved in such organisations. I know many and I, too, volunteer in various ways. What the volunteers and I want is for more people to have warm, dry, affordable housing or rented from a public body at a fair rent. We want people to have high quality health and social care provision as a right. We want people to have sufficient income to have agency in their lives.

    For much of the post war period we had that. It was not perfect and it was not as good as provision elsewhere, but it was there and it gave people like me, and my wife and our contemporaries much greater life chances than any previous generation. It was called the Welfare State and the Labour Party played a major role in providing that.

    To be fair the Governments of Blair and the Bodger were to a significant extent redistributive and credit to them for that.

    However, they had abandoned socialist and communitarian principles and explicitly accepted the Thatcherite economic hegemony. They failed to argue the case sufficiently for things like Sure Start and did not show there was a viable alternative. They accepted Mrs Thatcher’s dictum, “There is no alternative’.

    Essentially, what the Bodger is arguing here is that there is, indeed, no alternative but to accept the hegemony of companies like Amazon, which he has persuaded to show a bit of compassion. But, that compassion is conditional on most people ‘knowing their place’ accepting the charity of the obscenely wealthy and powerful. It is a return to feudalism and serfdom.

    He and the Labour Party have abandoned the concepts of society and empowerment of all people.

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