Over the twenty-some intervening years, I have begun to wonder how many such socially inept policies vandalised the spaces in which people within similar communities across the nation were able to come together, and in so doing, created the conditions for holes to form within the fabric of human connection.
I would like to change the conversation, moving to a point when people ask for what they need to perform relevant activities that allows them to meet their outcomes. In the spirit of 'best value', they may need to explain why one more expensive solution is better able to meet their needs to deliver outcomes than a cheaper solution.
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.