My New Year message to Liberal Democrat friends and colleagues
Please access www.theequalityrust.org.uk and click on "See the evidence", proving that more equal societies work better for everyone.
This is NOT a time of shrinking prosperity, but one of very slowly increasing GDP. This is to be welcomed, because its obvious that never-ending growth doesn't lead to better societies and in a few decades will wreck our planet and possibly lead to the extinction of all living things.
We need policies that will secure greater equality for the reasons argued convincingly in The Spirit Level and on The Equality Trust website. These will reduce the burden on the NHS and on the criminal justice system. Inserting private providers into the health or criminal justice systems is a distraction.
Certainly there is scope for better management and organisation in the public sector, but this is not to be achieved by crude and arbitrary percentage cuts.
So far we have been trying to amend legislation that will undermine the services that benefit the poor, while generally supporting the coalition Government because we need to repay the enormous debts left to us by Gordon Brown. In the next two years we must take a more robust line on Bills that damage those services, and campaign for higher taxes on the rich to pay for them.