Sunday 16 May 2010

Down South

To Chichester, Sussex, to see Nick Jarman, education guru and director of two software companies. Between barbecuing (all red meat I'm afraid - keep taking the statins, Nick) we agree that one to watch in the new government is Iain Duncan Smith at Work and Pensions. IDS is the inheritor of the "Frank Field tendency" - keen on wholesale reform of the benefits system to clear up anomalies between tax and benefits, incentivise work, etc. See what his Centre for Social Justice says about mental health here and a useful analysis by the Guardian here. Labour's Frank Field has of course bounced back into view with the new coalition having been dumped by Tony Blair years ago for "thinking the unthinkable" once too often about benefit reform; more about his reincarnation as "Poverty Tsar" here. Many Hafal clients have had bad experiences of the recent change to ESA so, if there is reform, we will need to see that those in genuine need are protected. Having put the world to rights over the embers we decamp to the Woolpack in Fishbourne where the live band hampers further discussion and we take to the dance-floor as (almost) the Oldest Swingers in Town (no pictures, thank heavens).