Yvette Cooper Goes Identity against ‘Boys’ Toys’ in Labour Battle.
Yvette Cooper: Labour Should not be run by White Men.
Yvette Cooper launched a scathing attack on Labour leadership front-runner Jeremy Corbyn yesterday and claimed the party should no longer be run by ‘white men’.
The Shadow Home Secretary insisted she was the ‘real radical’ and made the case to be Labour’s first woman leader – saying the party needed a ‘feminist approach to our economy and society’.
She hit out at the prospect of ‘a Labour Party after a century of championing equality and diversity which turns the clock back to be led again by a leader and deputy leader, both white men. Who’s the real radical? Jeremy or me
On Newsnight yesterday Cooper, married to Ed Balls, said that all the talk on transport, cars and trains, was about “toys for the Boys”.
What was needed was child care.
She is obviously proud of the expression “boys’ toys” : it was made in Manchester the same day:
Universal free childcare should be as much the infrastructure of the modern economy as trains, planes and boys toys.
Cooper has never used boys’ toys transport.
In Manchester she also said, on Clause Four, and Corbyn’s proposals for greater public ownership,
“Bringing back clause IV? Spending billions of pounds we haven’t got switching control of some power stations from a group of white middle aged men in an energy company to a group of white middle aged men in Whitehall?”
Too right: the worst thing is that these men are white and middle aged.
Cooper was born in 1969 and is white.
She was Secretary of State for Work and Pensions from 5 June 2009 – 11 May 2010.
Her new concern with welfare issues contrasts with the fact that she did nothing to reform the ‘controversial’ Work Capability Assessments and the company, ATOS, from this programme, during her term of office.
The Welfare Reform Act 2007 introduced Work Capability Assessments (WCAs) to determine who should receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Decisions were taken by officials at the DWP using evidence from the assessments, carried out by the Atos subsidiary Atos Healthcare.
During her post she the Labour government operated its latest version of the New Deal programmes (the ‘Flexible New deal’) which paved the way for Workfare and a crack down on claimants.
It was hived out to companies run by…..white and middle aged men.
With one big exception: Emma Harrison and the notorious A4E .
A4e was a company started by Emma Harrison‘s father. It was originally a Sheffield based training company, putting unemployed steel workers through a getting-back-to-work course. Emma Harrison joined the company after graduating in engineering.
After the Labour Party came to power in 1997, they introduced the back to work New Deal service for those on Jobseeker’s Allowance, requiring claimants to attend vocational training or risk losing their benefit. In the mid 2000s the government withdrew funding from Jobcentre Plus’ vocational training programmes and redirected the funds to “back to work” agencies, such as the Sheffield based company A4e. A4e quickly became the largest provider of New Deal services in the UK, and had contracts for the New Deal worth £80 million. When the New Deal was wound down in 2010, A4e was paid a share of £63 million in “termination fees”.
A4e was awarded a contract for the Pathways to Work scheme in 2008,[with a target to get 30 per cent of participants into employment. In February 2012 the Public Accounts Committee heard the success rate was 9 per cent. Committee Chair Margaret Hodge questioned why A4e had been awarded new contracts to deliver the Work Programme despite this “abysmal” performance. Conservative Committee memberRichard Bacon expressed similar concerns, asking why A4e’s “dreadful performance in one of the immediate predecessor programmes” had not been taken into account during tendering.
David Blunkett, a pillar of New Labour, was closely involved with A4E.
David Blunkett, the former secretary of state for work and pensions, has amended his entry in the House of Commons register of interests to include a trip to South Africa paid for and organised by a private training company for which he is an adviser, the Observer can reveal.
The MP for Sheffield Brightside, who resigned from the cabinet for a second time in late 2005 after breaking the ministerial code over a separate business interest, amended his entry with the House of Commons authorities last week after discussions with the Observer.
He had travelled with another person last September, on behalf of A4e, a leading employment and training firm that is bidding for multi-million pound contracts in the UK from Blunkett’s former department and is expanding its interests around the world. Blunkett consulted the Office of the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards and was told: “The registrar suggests that for the avoidance of doubt it would be advisable to amend your entry to make clear that you do travel on behalf of the company.”
Blunkett is also an opponent of Jeremy Corbyn.
Writing in the Mirror at the end of July he said,
The language used by Jeremy Corbyn about combating austerity will be out of date.
The arguments about who will protect the poor from George Osborne will have passed.
Jeremy is the candidate of the Old Left, and they will have few answers for new challenges facing the Labour Party and the country in 2020.