Social justice demands engagement with political culture

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In the US employees are being sent home because politicians so dislike the idea of the state providing people with healthcare that they'd rather close down government.

Here in the UK Kwasi Kwarteng, Conservative MP for Spelthorne in Surrey said yesterday:

"People do not expect us to be terribly friendly or terribly in touch with our emotional side. What they expect, what they look to from a conservative government is competence and have a plan. We've got to be the party of business and free enterprise."

And George Osborne promised to balance the government budget by 2020 by squeezing social security.

In all these comments and actions there is a theme. It is of politicians who hate government, who serve self-interest and appear to have contempt for those not as fortunate as themselves.

I am aware some think what I do is political. So be it: that's their view. I disagree. My motive is social justice. I believe that all have a chance and all who succeed have a duty to those who cannot or do not share their fortune.

The problem is - and I'll talk about this in York next week - is that the prevailing culture is antagonistic to caring. And that's why I do overlap with politics, because when caring hurts people suffer. If politics is the cause of that failure, and it often is, there is no choice but to engage with the political culture. That's what social justice demands.

In the US and the UK political culture is deliberately failing far too many people. To say so is the least we can do.