Cruddas: Benefit cuts are “brutal social engineering”

The influential Labour back-bencher John Cruddas will use the politics column in this week’s New Statesman to launch a withering attack on the Coalition’s changes to housing benefit – likening the policy to a “modern-day Highland clearance”.

The influential Labour back-bencher Jon Cruddas will use the politics column in this week’s New Statesman to launch a withering attack on the coalition’s changes to housing benefit – likening the policy to a “modern-day Highland clearance”.

The MP for Dagenham and Rainham argues that the changes to housing benefit, which will force thousands of families out of major cities, represents “brutal social engineering”, an ideological objective for the likes of George Osborne, and that Labour must step-up to the challenge of welfare reform.

He writes:

“This government’s £18bn benefit cuts will leave the poor to pick up the tab for the economic crisis, while its housing strategy amounts to a modern enclosure movement.

“This clearance, together with the hasty redrawing of electoral boundaries and moves to discourage electoral registration, signal the political disenfranchisement of the poor.”

Alongside his scathing attack on the current Conservatives in Government, Mr Cruddas said that welfare reform provided an opportunity for Labour to test its notion of the “good society” (something that David and Ed Miliband both campaigned on) a “new creed” away from the materialism of New Labour.

Earlier this week on Left Foot Forward, Mr Cruddas outlined his alternative plan to the Coalition’s spending review – advocating interventionist industrial policy and a strategy for deficit reduction based on growth and full employment.

In his column, he argues Labour must offer real change and an alternative to the Conservatives’ demonising of “a feckless mob of undeserving poor”. He argues Labour must examine its history once again, and create a counter-culture to the commodification of all aspects of life by Osborne and Co.

29 Responses to “Cruddas: Benefit cuts are “brutal social engineering””

  1. Jordan Hall

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  2. Sue Thomas

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  3. Joshua Kermode

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  4. Duncan Weldon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  5. Ma

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  6. Shlomo Pines

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  7. Andy Bean

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  8. jennifer roberts

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  9. Brian Moylan

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman #labour #cuts #cutswatch

  10. StarSparkle

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  11. Richard Lane

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  12. Jose Aguiar

    Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  13. Anna

    So this explains why back bencher Cruddas is where he is in his career.

  14. Red Ed

    Why should ordinary out of work families be forced out of their homes just because there are drones out there willing to give away their lives serving the corrupt capitalist monster who want to live near where they work?

    Benefit claimants are human beings too!

  15. John Lees

    There is nothing “good” about giving people £26000 a year to do f all. Perhaps he should think of the poor in work? Anyway £400 a week in Barking will get you a palace. Can we stop this defence of the workless rich?

  16. David Bouvier

    Wow! Cruddas compares the highland clearances with having to go and live somewhere like his own constituency. Does he hate it that much?

    I can’t afford to raise my family in the West End despite earning way above average. Working cleaners, receptionists and janitors make long daily journeys to work in the centre. The is simply no right to live in the centre of London at our expense regardless of cost.

    There is plenty of un-capped accomodation far closer in the than Dagenham.

    This overblow rhetoric makes it impossible to take Labour seriously.

  17. Lynne Lake

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  18. will

    who exactly do the tories think will do the shit jobs, who will clean the house of commons or their multi million pound home when people are forced out of areas? so someone on a low wage will need to travel for a couple of hours more per day to earn a living. the tories are clueless, scameron is not intelligent enough to realise that what he is doing will make employment more difficult, only yesterday we have baldy duncan smith telling people get on a bus, then we have the changes to tennants rights and denying them a home for life.

    what John says is correct this is social engineering on the scale of the highland clearances, this is about the rich telling the poor where to live and lets not forget one important fact, the people who are getting rent of hundreds of pounds per week in central london are the very people who have been made redundant in the city of london, the same people who the goverment is relying on to take up jobs to improve the economy. scameron is a featherweight and is simply not intelligent enough to see one policy affects another.

  19. Pat Raven

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  20. Wendy Maddox

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  21. Kevin Richards

    Jon Cruddas writes in New Statesman RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  22. B Poole

    Why doesn’t New Labour ‘through and through’ radical Cruddas not argue for a cap on the rent private landlords(the main profiteers from Housing Benefit)can charge?

  23. Nick H.

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/9dBvYd

  24. Hazico_Jo

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  25. Tom

    John Lees: the poor in work receive housing benefit too. Property prices in cities, especially London, are so absurdly high that even those in decent jobs struggle to afford them without government support. Unfortunately, the Libservative government seems to be intent on making the situation worse, and stripping away social housing even more.

  26. Anon E Mouse

    As if more proof were needed.

    Since Labour believes it is right to give child benefit to millionaires, a TV licence to the Queen, a bus pass to Alan Sugar and Winter Fuel Allowance to people living in Spain, once again Labour shows it is now the party of unfairness.

    I’m surprised at John Cruddas saying this. Assuming this article is an accurate reflection of his statements that is…

  27. elizabeth strav

    RT @leftfootfwd: Cruddas: Benefit cuts are "brutal social engineering" http://bit.ly/aGTtzv @NewStatesman

  28. blogs of the world

    But for what it's worth, the evidence shows that six NHL players took pay cuts of $2 milli… http://reduce.li/d3sk5t #cuts

  29. David Mills

    @mcgregormt Govt housing strategy "amounts to a modern enclosure movement" – http://tiny.cc/dihn1 – great turn of phrase from @Jon_Cruddas

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