Here in the parish of Wood End, out of the population of about 8,000, 50 per cent are unemployed, 38 per cent are under 16. Parents, whether single or not, are struggling against the odds to provide for their children, whose job prospects are negligible. They need and deserve everyone's support and encouragement, and work.
Over the past decade, they have seen others conspicuously prosper. Meanwhile they suffer the results of crime and violence caused by a small but growing number who have become alienated, and see crime as a way out of poverty.
I have lived here less than three months, but it appears to me, viewed from my recent experience for eight years as associate director of Oxfam, that it is harder for many of the poor of this country to escape their poverty than it is for many of the poor of the developing world.
John Major should call off the appalling attacks of his ministers, and instead provide the most vulnerable with an increasing level of physical and moral support.
It is the poorest 10 per cent in our society who are the unregarded victims of the Thatcher revolution, in which he played his part, and whose excesses I understood his party and the country elected him to redress.
11 OctoberReuse content