Behind the concept of social mobility is the belief that poverty is OK as long as some people are given the opportunity to climb out of it, leaving the others behind.
I reject that completely, and want to see a society with higher living standards for everyone as well as one in which nobody lacks the means to survive or has to choose between life’s essentials.
A rejection of the belief that it’s OK if your local factory closes, as long as you have cash transfers from the finance sector in the south east or a new warehouse opening on the edge of town paying minimum wage on its zero hour contracts.
Ending poverty won’t just be done in the workplace: we need to make sure the essentials of life are never denied to people because of their circumstances.
So parents aren’t forced to choose between feeding themselves and feeding their children or the unemployed teenager doesn’t give up on job interviews because they cost £5 in bus fares each time.
Labour has already committed ourselves to ending sanctions and bringing work capability assessments in-house by medical professionals. But we also are asking ourselves more fundamental questions.
We need a structurally different economy, a social safety net of shared public service provision, and of course a financial safety net as well.
Without any one of these three elements, we will not be able to achieve the sustained eradication of poverty, the dramatic narrowing of inequality, and the transformation of people’s lives that will be the central purpose of the next Labour government.