Oliver Letwin: inner-city youth ‘more alien than the serfs’

Oliver Letwin’s memo borders on criminality, said Darcus Howe [Image: REX/Getty Images].


Oliver Letwin is in a hole. Typically of his kind of politician (consider Lucy Allan), he is still digging.

But his apparent belief that his discussion of an “underclass”, in his until-now-unseen book The Purpose of Politics, shows his long-held belief in “equality of opportunity” suggests that either he is delusional, or he thinks we are.

As shown below, his words relate to “a drugged adolescent in a modern inner city” whose loyalties lie only in “his gang”.

How many of these individuals existed in 1999, when he wrote the book? How many exist now?

Not many at all.

But this Tory wanted people to think that the UK was riddled with them, in the same way Tories have been making extravagant claims ever since they returned to office in 2010. The most obvious are the claims that Labour wrecked the economy, that austerity was necessary, and ‘There Is No Alternative’.

Letwin says his words demonstrate his dedication to social reform.

In fact, they show that he is a fantasist and a bigot.

Oliver Letwin insisted on Saturday that his political career had been driven by a quest to achieve equality of opportunity for the most needy, after more evidence emerged of his thinking about people living in impoverished urban communities.

The cabinet member and confidant of David Cameron has come under scrutiny after the release of a memo he wrote for Margaret Thatcher in 1985 that expressed controversial opinions about black communities in London.

Research by the Observer has shown that in a 1999 book, Letwin identified an “underclass” who he said represented “an extreme failure to contribute to the advance of beauty, truth and prosperity”.

In The Purpose of Politics, a book of political philosophy published two years after he became an MP and a year before he joined the shadow cabinet, Letwin made comparisons between “a drugged adolescent in a modern inner city” and a medieval serf.

Letwin argued that the former “shares only the values of his gang or if, as sometimes, deprived even of that solicitude, no identifiable values at all”.

Source: Oliver Letwin: inner-city youth ‘more alien than the serfs’ | Politics | The Guardian

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5 thoughts on “Oliver Letwin: inner-city youth ‘more alien than the serfs’

  1. Florence

    Letwin has always been the cancer in the heart of Cameron’s gang of chancers, druggies, drunks, thieves and thugs running the UK, “fencing” others assets stolen for their own enrichment, while freely taking “other peoples money” to pay for their 2 houses and all food and drink. (One could even make some tasteless remarks dressed in Dickensian allegory, matching his own style, about Fagin being the criminal mind behind the scenes.)

    His “book” was published only 2 years after Thatcher and her gang had been wrecking the UK for near on a couple of decades. So who did he hold responsible for this alleged under-class of unemployed & hopeless worse-than-serfs? Strangely silent there.

  2. NMac

    Letwin is the character who casually threw private correspondence from his constituents into a public park litter bin. If he holds his own constituents in such contempt, what chance the rest of us? A loathsome individual.

  3. casalealex

    In 2003, Letwin risked the Tories’ attempts to rebrand themselves as the party for ordinary working families when he claimed he would rather beg on the street than send his children to the local state school in south London. The Eton and Cambridge-educated politician conceded that he “wouldn’t mind” using a state school in his West Dorset constituency, but added that he aimed to get his 10-year-old daughter into “a particular public school in London”.

    In 2004 Letwin told a private meeting that the “NHS will not exist” within five years of a Conservative election victory. Paul Boateng, then chief secretary of the Treasury, seized on the gaffe, claiming it revealed the Tories’ true intentions “to abolish the NHS as we know it”.
    Mr Letwin, who is independently affluent; continued working part-time for a top City investment bank despite being a member of the shadow cabinet. Between 2004 and 2009, he claimed more than £80,000 of expenses for a cottage in Somerset close to his Dorset constituency. The property is in an isolated area and Mr Letwin claims for the cost of heating fuel and emptying the septic tank. (£4000 p.a.)

    During the summer of 2005, records showed that Mr Letwin took out a second mortgage for £100,000 on his cottage. Parliamentary records also showed that he charged the taxpayer more than £1,000 in mortgage interest for the property.
    Dorset Eye

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