Monday, 4 December 2017

At last! Social mobility for those with ideas on social mobility.

The press consider the Prime Minister to be embarassed because all four members of her Social Mobility Commission quit over the weekend. They're not entirely wrong.

What this means and none of the papers have mentioned is that four spaces on a high-profile talking shop have just opened up and that's brilliant news for people who have hitherto been denied the opportunity to have that experience. Mobility alert! Stuck on the dole in the north with nothing to fill space on your CV for the last year? Why not put yourself forward, they've had experts in social mobility theory on the board up til now and we have had enough of experts.

It's actually fairly miserable a story, as the four have concluded that whatever policy proposals they put forward, no matter how friendly to a Tory-DUP agenda those plans might be, nothing will happen because what little talent there is in the government is already tied up in the horror of Brexit.

Social mobility has always been a bit of a red herring: a few people escaping up the socioeconomic slope doesn't change that for as long as any of us can remember the slope has been getting steeper and the summit ever further away from the bottom most of the time. As long as, to take a couple of examples, local councillors do not have to live in their wards and housing officers don't have to live in the social housing they administer, "mobility" for the few will be a fig-leaf.

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