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Clegg: Social mobility vital for UK economic growth

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posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:18 AM
The hypocrisy and double standards displayed by UK politicians seems to know no bounds.

Today we have Nick Clegg, the man who sold his soul and his party’s integrity for 30 pieces of silver, claiming that ‘wasted talent’ was both an ‘economic and moral crime’.

There was a lot in his speech which I could take issue with but one sentence in particular raised my hackles.
Apparently he called for

"a more dynamic society: one where what matters most is the person you become, not the person you were born".

Now that suggests to me that people born to a ‘lesser’ station in life are somewhat below those born of a higher social standing, but they can somehow become a better person by becoming a success – in effect success is a benchmark of how good a person is.

I can not begin to express just how arrogant these politicians are and how little regard they have for ordinary, working people.

He goes on to state that social mobility is ‘key for the economy’ .

Now that’s all well and good but this government, of which he is the Deputy Prime Minister, has substantially increased university fees and thus making it increasingly harder for people from working class backgrounds to attend any university let alone the top Russell Group of Universities.

It also seems that Cleggs only motivation for enabling improved social mobility is to increase the UK’s GDP.
Apparently the Sutton Trust

has suggested that boosting poor educational attainment up to the UK average would increase GDP by £140bn by 2050, and increase long-run trend growth by 0.4 percentage points. Social mobility is a long-term growth strategy."

Absolutely no mention of reducing the gap between the have’s and the have not’s which under successive governments has been widening.

Today we have a government that is introducing drastic cuts in social healthcare, policing, education and every other area of public spending yet we have seen a reduction in tax levels for the upper earners, (something that has been proven to have absolutely no positive impact whatsoever on the economy).

We then get the Labour Leader Of The Opposition seeking to gain political points by criticising this government for it’s policies by saying

life chances were "sliding backwards".


"Tackling social mobility is a huge mountain to climb and the last Labour government took some important steps.
"But... this government seems to think we can let those at the top take whatever rewards they think fit and somehow everyone else can just play catch-up."

Well sorry Mr Miliband I must have missed that one.

This from a Labour government that had more privately educated Public schoolboys in it’s ranks than any other government since the good old Victorian times.

Strange sort of social mobility that.

To be fair though, they were soon out done by Cameron as his administration has even more Oxbridge, Eton etc alumni than New Labour did.

People seem quite sceptical when I accuse this government of being intent on dragging us back to Victorian like times.
But let’s look at some facts;
1. Unemployment on the increase.
2. The ‘working classes’ earning less money in real terms year in year out.
3. The wealthier sections of society earning more.
4. Policies implemented to encourage the gap between the wealthy and the not so wealthy to continue growing.
5. Increased university fees limiting opportunity for poorer sections of society to attend university.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Only yesterday we had Vince Cable finally rediscovering his spine and morals speaking out about the governments apparent support for The Beecroft Report which recommends making it far easier to sack employees and other regressive policies which are heavily loaded in favour of employers and shows little regard for employee rights.

There is controversy over the content of this report with suggestions it has been ‘doctored’ by The Conservative Party to support their proposed policies.

It seems so obvious to me that despite all the political spin and the rhetorical sound bites Cameron and his buddies are hell bent on taking this country backwards.
They resent the advances in employment law, education, health care etc that have benefitted the working people of this country and helped improve their standard of living and quality of life.

Of course there are many problems that need addressing in British society and I recognise that I have given a very one sided perspective here – that was done deliberately in an attempt to redress the balance.

All we see and hear in MSM is the governments and Establishment view that things have gone too far and if ‘the glory days’ are to return then we need to undo some of these legislations and advancements.

I’m sorry, I don’t see moving backwards to some sort of Victorianeque society with all it’s injustices as progress – we need to be moving forwards in a positive progressive manner rather than regressing.

Whillst I recognise that social mobility is an integral part of society and that the lack of opportunity is a major problem we are still failing to address what for me is the bigger problem and the core issue; why there is such a gulf within society in the first place and why such social mobility is required.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:37 AM
This current crop of politicians on both sides of the aisle are the most out of touch with the British public in a long time. They have no idea what it is like for the vast majority of British people. I would love to see how they would get by on JSA for a few months.

They live in a bubble, educated at the best schools and universities then straight into politics as an advisor or some other position at the trof.

I imagine Cameron believes that he was born to rule. The worrying thing is the amount of saps that also believe such bunk.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:41 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

More of Clegg's BS.

When i'm having dinner with the Queen i might begin to believe it..until then.


posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:53 AM
Wow,I just wrote a thread on 'upward mobility'.

Thats freaky man.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:57 AM
People genuinely believe this nonsense and take everything in.

And between them the major parties discredit anyone who has the nerve to question the incestuous and exclusive nature of the current system and the vested interests of those who maintain it.

Labour and The Coalition will argue the toss over the merits of and opportunity for social mobility etc without actually doing much about it, but none will even attempt to address what for me is the core issue - why there is a need for such levels of social mobility in such a divided and uneven society.

And all their efforts are focussed on further entrenching that system.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 05:58 AM
I am usually the first one to say if a politician is talking bollocks. But let's take another look

"a more dynamic society: one where what matters most is the person you become, not the person you were born".

Is he not trying to say, that no matter who you are , everyone should try to better themselves? And forget about silly differences that we born into.?

id say that's pretty positive. Even for clegg. But I spose it's just the way you interpret that sentence.

Rest of the thread, thumbs up

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:06 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

Agreed. But things won't change until enough people stop voting for compromised policies. Note that compromised policies aim to get a party elected as a majority and as such are tailored to attract certain votes. So nothing will change until the voting core wakes up.

For example : did you know that the "core labour vote" ie one that would vote for traditional policies is too small for a majority so it has to appeal to the so called centre ground. This was particularly strong during the Blair years hence why he moved the labour party to the right. Likewise the traditional tory party has to move leftwards to attract that centre vote. Parties meander across that centre area compromising policies and never actually achieving anything since the core of UK PLC remains unchanged.

What we need is some kind of consensus politics. Those core beliefs that the vast majority of UK citizens hold. For example the NHS. Something we like to bitch and complain about (unless we have used it!) and yet we would never ever ever want to see it ditched in favour of US system.

Ironically enough it was believed that the liberals held those core beliefs but were too small and/or naive and/or lacking governmental experience to be voted for. Hmmmmm talk about shooting themselves in the foot with the biggest gun they could find! That belief has gone.

I don't know what will emerge over the next few years but one thing is for certain, the lib-dems have killed themselves off, the tories are showing their core beliefs (state-bad private-good), labour is still floundering to find the relevant ground. Politicians have to stop listening to rich powerful individuals as if they are economic gurus and we have to believe that that has happened. The world is waking up to the distortions of the late 20th century and it is getting angrier and those who have benefitted from those distortions are very worried but they will fight tooth and nail to keep the status quo.

Traditional tory = state-bad, private-good
Traditional labour = state-good,private-bad
pre 2010 lib-dem = state-mostly good, private-mostly good,

What we need is recognition of:
State - necessary in some areas, good in others, bad in some
Private - necessary in some areas, good in others, bad in some

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:19 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

The way to create a fairer society based on merit is not really that easy in the UK. Only 7% go to Private Schools in the UK, yet those 7% fill up the majority of professions, like Lawyers, Doctors, Bankers and Politicians. As long as this system is still in place there will always be a two tier system that separates us.

I'm not saying do away with private education, but we must raise the bar in state education, more "free" schools is a positive move in my opinion. The current state education system is out dated and was designed for the 20th century, not the 21st century. It is based on standardization and separates kids into academic and non academic, without considering the skills and talents of those deemed to be non academic. Through this process many lives are ruined.

If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth and have enjoyed these privileges, it's actually very difficult to put yourself in the position of someone who has not been so lucky in life and to understand the problems others face.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:35 AM
reply to post by yorkshirelad

I agree with a lot of what you said.

Personally I believe the whole party politics merry go-round has past it's sell by date.
It promotes adhesion to party line and political dogma above personal conviction and the interests of the electorate.

I am a passionate advocate of Direct Democracy but deliberately avoided any mention of that in my OP.

In this country we have become brainwashed into believing that there is no viable alternative to the current electoral and parliamentary systems and any attempt to enter into serious discussion about alternative systems are met with immediate ridicule and the party juggernauts and MSM, (are they the same thing?), devote every effort to stifle debate and to discredit.

One thing is certain, the current system has encouraged and fostered a form of government that is unrepresentative and dogmatic and is ran by self-centred, egotistical, elitist and corrupt politicians and civil servants whose sole interests are one's of self-interest and maintaining the gravy train.

Events like the conference that both Clegg and Miliband spoke may increase awareness a little bit but are seen more as an opportunity to saying the right thing but the reality tends to be very different.
Talk is's acts and deeds that count in my book and I'm afraid they all seem very good at talking and pretty damn useless at acting and doing.

And therein lies another big problem - limited accountability.
Who in two years time or whenever the next general election is will pull Clegg or Milliband up and question them on social mobility etc.
Very few.
And even if they did will anyone question why there is a need for social mobility?
By that I don't mean that everyone should be restricted to whatever social strata they were born into rather why are there such wide divisions between social strata?

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:36 AM
Hes a wasted talent. He should be shovelling horse chit from behind Camerons horse,
the one he borrowed from LOL Brookes.
They will never get into power ever again as hes destroyed the Liberal party. Just another twat from the same we are all in it togeather. Last night on the news people were saying that they the libs, might ditch the torys and go back to labour. He wont be welcome there either. Libs Torys Labour its about time we had a revolution an told them all to go sling their hook. George Galloway said it all up in Bradford on his last victory. Tory labour and libs are all the same party.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:43 AM
reply to post by woodwardjnr

The thing is though Labour started the run to the bottom on education with trying to do away with Grammar schools and then to fudge the unemployment figures with getting more pupils into uni, the result a load of worthless degrees and people now with debts as their mickey mouse degree means nothing in the real world.

People seem to forget about supply and demand, previously if you only had a handful of candidates, of course the pay will be higher, but now you have 10 times the grads going for the same jobs, so more competition and employers can offer less as they now someone will take the job.

It doesn't take a genius to realise if you flood an area with excessive anything, the net result is less

As poster above said, 7% privately educated in the UK, over 50% of medal winners in Beijing were privately educated

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:46 AM
reply to post by woodwardjnr

Absolutely woody.

Whilst probably not being much worse than most other 'western' education systems I must say that the UK Public Education System is a complete farce.

It is restrictive, dogmatic and very one dimensional.

There are a lot of passionate people employed in the education system and many feel hindered by the restrictions placed upon them by the National Curriculum.

We seem to be turning out year upon year of mediocre automatrons incapable of critical or independant thought.

The standard of private education is far superior and to be honest if I could have afforded to do so even though it goes against all my personal beliefs etc I would have sent my child to private education rather than suffer in a Comprehensive like I did.

But even if we raise the standard of education if we still have the current system then preference will always be given to the old schoolboy network and many capable individuals will fail to meet their full potential.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 06:49 AM
Don't get me going about Clegg, that man sold us down the river (and yes, I did vote Liberal in the last election) He got a whiff of the barmaids apron and off he went with 'Call me Dave'
I honestly think that my daughters who have had a University education (and a £25,000+ debt left around their necks) will be the last generation of ordinary 'working class' that will have that option.
One of the real problems we have with MP's today, is that the vast majority of them are career politicians, and have never had an ordinary job in their lives. They've no idea what it is like to be skint and have no hope. Especially this lot who are in now, I believe (and I'll stand corrected) that all the current front bench are millionaires!

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 07:11 AM

Originally posted by airliebird58
I believe (and I'll stand corrected) that all the current front bench are millionaires!

Yeh that sets a really good example, doesn't it ?

Get privately educated, know a few 'toffs' and get a career job in the government talking sh1t about everything important and your sorted for life.

Yet the rest of us work our back sides off just to stay afloat.

Talk about a system geared towards rich self serving bar-stewards !

We never really did move on from Victorian times.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 07:44 AM
reply to post by illuminnaughty

Tory labour and libs are all the same party.

There is certainly very little difference between them.....but they all have one thing in common - maintaining the status quo and the current system along with all it's injustices and inequalities.

reply to post by airliebird58

......and have never had an ordinary job in their lives. They've no idea what it is like to be skint and have no hope

Exactly.....they are so removed from the everyday reality of the ordinary people of this country - but they don't care - they pay public lip service safe in the knowledge that nothing will change and their ride on the gravy train will continue.

I believe (and I'll stand corrected) that all the current front bench are millionaires!

And Labour's is almost exactly the same....the party of the people,

reply to post by diddy1234

We never really did move on from Victorian times.

To be fair I think some progress was made - the NHS is a great thing and something we now take for granted, yes it should be even better but that is due to serial under funding, downright poor management and policy making and to be honest a certain amount of apathy and complacency, the education system did improve but again, it should be a lot better, employment law changed for the better - possibly too far in favour of employees at one point - but all in all the standard of living and quality of life did improve for us 'ordinary' people - but that is being addressed and we are slowly but surely heading backwards to those times, maybe not so slowly.

There is no reason why we as a nation can not continue improve our standard of living and quality of life but that requires progressive thinking and a degree of openness and honesty that it seems few have.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 07:50 AM
I think the term 'backwards social mobility' is what we will be hearing in say 5 or 10 years time.

This country is starting to go backwards not forwards and the trend is picking up pace.

Today's teenagers couldn't even write a proper job application yet can text their m8's (mates = friends) every second of the day talking nuttin (nothing).

wot u fink ?
edit on 22/5/2012 by diddy1234 because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 07:57 AM
reply to post by Freeborn

Spot on thread as usual mate. I thought class was a thing of the past, according to our beloved politicians (at any point over the last decade).

However, to give Clegg a bit of support (someone has to!) what he is saying makes sense in that the drive to succeed will diminish if people are held back due to their social standing. An individuals drive to succeed is a huge factor to what makes a person successful (or not). That said, that is only common sense and plainly didn't need saying!


I do take slight issue with the unemployment on the increase bit. Unfortunately, this will continue to be the case in the UK until the Eurozone comes out of recession. As the Eurozone is responsible for such a huge proportion of our daily trade it is inevitable that we will continue to struggle whilst that mess drags on.

Some non partisan economic reports have actually highlighted that Cameron's policies would be making Britain ultra competitive again - if Europe wasn't dragging us kicking and screaming down the abyss.......

Or, in other words, it doesn't matter what we do here, we are screwed along with Europe (but not quite as badly - just the shaft, not balls deep like the rest of Europe).

edit on 22-5-2012 by Flavian because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 08:29 AM
reply to post by Flavian

Spot on thread as usual mate.

Now that's a first!

However, to give Clegg a bit of support (someone has to!) what he is saying makes sense in that the drive to succeed will diminish if people are held back due to their social standing.

I understand that but he also inferred that if a person from a 'lower' social standing became a success and gained entry into a 'higher' social class then he would be a better person.
As if the level of a persons success is a measure of how good a person they are.

And perhaps my main point is the very fact that there is a need for social mobility is a recognition of how divided and unequal our society is and it is that which requires addressing rather than making it easier to move between the social stata's whilst maintaining the overall inequalities.

I hope that makes sense?

I do take slight issue with the unemployment on the increase bit.

I remember the old Tory 'Labour isn't working' advertisement campaign when unemployment reached 1million people.
After a few months in power they quitely altered the way unemployment figures worked and then broadcast how they had reduced unemployment levels when the reality was that if measured the same way as previously it would have increased.

Unemployment figures continued to increase, I remember it reaching 2.4million at one point - it may have hot higher.
That was despite numerous alterations to the measuring system.....a practice every single administration has followed.

The Tories survived the complete destruction of the UK manufacturing industry thanks to Saatchi and Saatchi and General Galtieri and the she-devil Thatcher somehow became a legend.

But I digress.

Some non partisan economic reports have actually highlighted that Cameron's policies would be making Britain ultra competitive again - if Europe wasn't dragging us kicking and screaming down the abyss.......

My feelings on the EU are pretty well known and I don't really want to go on one of my anti-EU rants, which I could quite easily do.

The thing is the majority of people who are in existing jobs are going without wage increases or are getting below inflation rises and have been doing so for a couple of years now.
So in effect people are working for less.

In addition new jobs pay a pittance.

I don't know anyone who can survive on minimum wage.
And why should they?

Every single person should be entitled to a decent day's wage for a decent day's work.

Again, it's a regressive policy that takes this country backwards and not forwards.

Or, in other words, it doesn't matter what we do here, we are screwed along with Europe (but not quite as badly - just the shaft, not balls deep like the rest of Europe).

That got a chuckle out of me....which is quite something when I'm stuck indoors dog and baby sitting when I should be at my allotment (that could shatter some illusions!) or better still in the pub!!

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 01:03 PM
Absolutely brilliant thread with great contributions.

Always enjoy reading your threads Freeborn, you read my frikkin mind.

S&F, thanks for sharing.

posted on May, 22 2012 @ 01:57 PM
reply to post by Freeborn

I've been living in the States now for five years.

One thing I have noticed is that there does not seem to be a "Working class". At least nobody admits to being a member of it. Everybody seems to be "Middle class".

Back home people are proud of the term as it means that everything they have, they have got from there own graft.

My father in law is a retired Cop who used to work two jobs to put his daughters through school. He believes that because he worked two jobs that he is Middle class. I have tried to explain, on numerous occasions that the fact he HAD to work two jobs just to put his kids through school makes him Working class.

On a side note, I was gobsmacked that Glegg agreed to a coalition with the Tories and thus guaranteeing the Lib Dems do not win an election for who knows how long.

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