A good start for Labour would have been to expand the contributory principle, not further target it, whilst explicitly focusing on supporting young people, rather than restricting access to social security. If the causes of such deep, attitudinal change in the UK are indeed linked to the decline of the contributory principle and the changing views of young people, today's proposals by Labour could end up having the complete opposite effect.
White working class underachievement is not simply about individual families. We must recognise the marginalisation that many communities are experiencing. Until we do this, the cycle of underachievement will continue; most importantly, the blame-game will not help the very children who we want to support to succeed.
In Newham, the borough I was born and raised in, over 3,000 young people are unemployed. Across Britain, one million young people are unemployed. We have been called the lost generation, the scarred generation, the hopeless generation. We are not 'generation y', we are generation 'y is it so hard to get a job?'
In every children's homes placement, there are many human factors to consider. Decisions as to how to meet the needs of the young people require experience, knowledge, training and know-how. Looked after children and children's homes deserve the support of their corporate parents, including you and me, engaging in complex public discussion rather than simplistic sensationalism.