The most exciting part of political conferences is not the main conference hall but the fringe. It is here that people are much more likely to speak their mind and real issues are debated – not set piece presentations, writes David Hencke.
Angela Eagle, shadow leader of the Commons, chair of the conference and the national policy forum made a refreshingly off message analysis of present British society and where it is going.
Speaking at a Unite union fringe organised by Class (Centre for Labour and Social Studies)- analysing the rapidly widening gap between the mega elite and the ordinary worker – she actually described the present situation in society as ” immoral”.-pointing out that top directors now earn 130 times more than their workforce.
The second feisty contribution came from Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons public accounts committee. She was speaking on a different platform with the Policy Network. Here the issue was how Labour could make a difference by accepting the present economic situation and using public money more effectively.
Superficially you might think the two women were on different planets but actually they complimented each other.
Margaret Hodge, with enormous experience of investigating Whitehall scandals, tax avoidance and the dodgy behaviour of private companies providing public services, had a practical route map on how Labour could handle this.
Her solution including forcing the companies to become transparent with the way they spend or misspent our money, using public procurement to secure the living wage for all workers, clamping down far more effectively on tax avoidance including collecting the taxes, and looking at radical five-year plans to innovate public services, rather than the Treasury knee jerk reaction top impose cuts with three months notice.
Both women have enormous talents. Angela provides a moral compass, Margaret a practical route map out of an increasingly unfair society.
For the full article, please visit David Hencke’s blog.
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