David Cameron is currently at the UN, and news is emerging that he plans to block the moves by a panel to include a commitment to reducing income inequality in the new targets set to replace the Millennium Development Goals.
So whilst wishing to eradicate world poverty, David Cameron is simultaneously blocking an initiative which would further this very goal.
Hmm, let us unpick this supposed paradox.
I propose it is precisely because this commitment would include moves to publish wealth statistics of developed nations that our premier is lobbying hard to ensure that it is removed.
Maybe then statistics such as the fact that the rich make up 8% of the world’s adult population and own 82% of its wealth would be included in the report, and measures would be put into place to begin tackling this obscenity.
In this case, obfuscating the fact that focusing on reducing income inequality is an integral part of tackling extreme poverty, without which no significant gains will be made.
Doing this would in reality produce the ‘measurable’ and concrete actions’ that No 10 is keen on seeing, and more tellingly would be the ‘something’ that people could easily judge was being delivered. The statistics on income inequality would be extremely clear and easily measurable, and maybe that’s the problem.
The reality is that the amassing of wealth is part and parcel of the neo liberal agenda to which most of our elected representatives ascribe and personally profit from. The fact that things such as extreme poverty and hunger exist at all in a world awash with riches in off shore bank accounts and military industrial complexes shows how venal and self-serving our ruling elite really are.
This is not about the politics of envy as some on the right purport, but the politics of morality and compassion which our ruling elite have worked hard to divorce from the political sphere.