The usual suspects on the left and their cheerleaders on the Labour benches are gleefully celebrating this PR stunt from Save the Children this morning:
“The international aid charity Save the Children – best known for its work with starving youngsters in Africa – has launched its first domestic fundraising appeal, asking the public to dip into their pockets to help UK families plunged into poverty by cuts and the recession.”
Cue mock outrage and hand-wringing about how this is the 21st Century and what a damning indictment of the government it is. There’s no denying it’s a good yarn, but it unravels pretty quickly.
So who is publicly facing this campaign on the airwaves? Step forward Justin Forsyth, recently appointed CEO of the charity and a former spin-doctor for Gordon Brown in Downing Street. Forsyth replaced Damian McBride as the Prime Mentalist’s Chief Spokesman in October 2008 in the wake of Peroni-gate. Remember that other voice on the infamous Bigot-gate tape? That was Justin trying to calm Brown down.
Lets have a look at Justin’s government’s own record on poverty. According to the IFS Brown’s tenure saw “a rise in income inequality, and a fall in the income of the poorest fifth of the population.” Here’s the Gini coefficient measure of inequality of the time that Justin was working for Labour:
A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, around the time Justin was in No.10 the GI increased from 0.34 to 0.36. And what’s the best this bunker boy can come up with? Apparently British kids are “missing out on school trips, toys and treats because their parents cannot afford the rising cost of living.” Save the Children used to be about kids missing out on clean water and dying of malnutrition, that’s gone down the drain for the sake of some cheap partisan headlines…