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Roy Hattersley believes that being a Conservative is about having respectability, and that this prohibits an empathy with the down and out:

"It is not possible to demonstrate conspicuous respectability if you
show sympathy and understanding for the sections of the community that
are unapologetically disreputable."

He goes on to say that unless Cameron appeals to the "nastiest (and most pathetic) instincts of the Tory faithful" he will lose some of his core vote. This narrow-mindedness may struggle to comprehend the following without brash dismissal.

Twenty Conservative MPs are each to spend a full working week immersed in the work of inner-city poverty fighting projects. In a joint Cameron-IDS initiative, they will experience the problems of broken communities, and some of the innovative ways they are being tackled. The MPs will continue liasing with their respective projects, including providing parliamentary internships to them.

The scheme is being facilitated by the Centre for Social Justice, which recently had its annual awards ceremony. The first tranche of five MPs, who are doing it this week, are:

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Iain Duncan Smith
MP

The Lighthouse Group, Bradford
Working with 200 excluded pupils a year, with
90% returning to mainstream
education
Nick Hurd
MP


The
Living Well Trust, Carlisle
Working to regenerate the notorious Raffles
Estate through a powerful
combination of youth outreach, health clinic, excluded pupils work and
extensive relationship building
Douglas Carswell
Thames Reach Bondway, Robertson Road Project,
Vauxhall
Support and safe quality housing for 42 elderly
former rough sleepers
many with poor physical and mental health and problems with alcohol misuse

Shailesh Vara
Kids Company, Brixton
Working with 6,000 profoundly disadvantaged
children a year, through
£2.6m worth of service and goods contributed voluntarily.
Ed Vaizey
The Kings Arms Project, Bedford
Last year, providing 6000 bed spaces for 400
individuals through it’s nightshelter and a residential hostel, this
project reaches out to Bedford’s
migrant and static homeless population.

Hattersley concluded his article with a warning about the consequences of a social justice agenda:

"Many Conservative members will not even try to counterfeit love for people they believe to be their social inferiors."

It can’t be long before
the Guardian will refuse to print such conspicuous rubbish.

Deputy Editor

28 comments for: The Inner City Challenge

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