Last week, it was great to see one Cabinet Minister getting out of the 'conference zone'. Justine Greening might be Secretary of State for International Development but while in Birmingham, she took the opportunity to find out what's going on closer to home with a visit to a school in one of the most deprived parts of the city.
Child poverty is simply unacceptable and is damaging children's lives. Much more is needed to meet the government's commitment to end child poverty by 2020. By taking the actions we are calling for, the government would make a significant start towards achieving this goal and improving the lives of millions of children.
Admittedly, that is a slightly sensationalist statement, but let's look at the facts. Forget highly-charged diatribes about United Irelands or United Kingdoms. Forget histrionic republicanism, flag-waving unionism and arguments about terrorists and freedom fighters. Take bigotry, ideology, and romanticism out of it.
Twenty five years ago the world made a promise to children - a promise enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We promised every child the right to survive and be healthy, the right to an education and the right never to be subjected to violence. Through the use of data, we can tell where and how far those promises are, and are not, being kept and identify what more needs to be done to fulfil them.
On the busiest Christmas shopping day of the year staff at Action for Children are working to support the poorest families across the UK stay warm and fed. This is a sad reflection of the worsening effects of the tough economic times we are in; in previous years we handed out presents during the festive season.
In a time of economic austerity it is hardly surprising that public opinion has turned to those receiving benefits from the state, particularly those who do not work. Repeated stereotyping and manipulation of statistics in the media have painted many of Britain's poorest citizens as lazy good-for-nothings living a life of luxury at our expense.