Progress | Centre-left Labour politics

Five giant causes

Labour’s next mission

In 1942 William Beveridge identified the five ‘giant evils’ of society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease. His proposals led to the foundation of the welfare state, and were the basis for much of what the 1945 Labour government achieved. Its successes, most notably the NHS, have stood the test of time.

The next Labour government must be similarly ambitious in its aims, and ruthlessly tackle the ills of modern society. Liz Kendall’s ‘five causes’ on which she has fought in the Labour leadership campaign are rooted in her own values and the values of the Labour party, and should provide a road map for the next transformative government: ending inequality from birth; eliminating low pay; building a caring society; sharing power with people; a future of hope for young people. At a time when politics and politicians are derided for their lack of boldness and clarity, Liz should be applauded for setting out an uncompromisingly radical and reformist stall. They should be to the next Labour government, what Beveridge was to Clement Attlee’s.

She will aim for the elimination of inequality from the earliest years of life. She has already pledged an extra billion for early years education, funded by reversing George Osborne’s inheritance tax cut. And she will ensure fair access to the curriculum for those with special educational needs.

She will tackle the low pay epidemic – and build a real living wage society – by extending the remit of the low pay commission so it can drive up pay. She will restore working tax credits and ensure that public sector pay goes up using proceeds from a review of Britain’s £100bn tax relief bill. And Liz will give workers a greater say and share in their workplace and take practical steps for greater representation such as allowing online ballots over industrial action.

She understands that as our country ages, we need to build a more caring society. So, from enabling families to choose their own carer, through to ensuring those carers are properly paid, we need a revolution in the social care sector – and for it to be properly joined up with the NHS too.

Liz will revitalise our political system, putting power back into the hands of individuals, communities and neighbourhoods – rather than trying to run everything from Whitehall. She will create a more federal United Kingdom and introduce a radical new political settlement so that our cities, towns, counties and communities take on more power and responsibility over welfare, housing, health, education, transport and economic growth.

And, crucially, Liz knows that any plan for our future prosperity demands a more hopeful future for the next generation. So she has an ambitious plan for the Paris climate change negotiations matched by serious action at home to make our country a world leader in clean energy and green jobs.

Our country – and our party – can have a bright future. There need be no limit on our radicalism. But we need a laser-like focus on what needs to change in our society. Liz Kendall has identified those issues. Now as a party, it is time to act.


Gloria De Piero MP is shadow minister for women and equalities


Photo: Liz Kendall MP

Progressive centre-ground Labour politics does not come for free.

It takes time, commitment and money to build a fight against the forces of conservatism. If you value the work Progress does, please support us by becoming a member, subscriber or donating.

Our work depends on you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Gloria De Piero MP

is member of parliament for Ashfield


  • the five ‘giant evils’ of society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness, and disease.

    Which Labour then set out to perpetuate because it saw votes in them all.

    All five were manifest in Mid Staffs NHS trust for example. Labour’s work.

  • Dear Gloria, this is the Labour 2015 Manifesto. Have you and Liz forgotten so quickly what does not attract voters to Labour. Mention of the inheritance tax increase to £1 million proved so popular in 2007 that Gordon Brown decided not to call an election that he probably would have won and then resolved the financial crisis, restored growth and won the 2012 election. These five giant causes are pie in the sky until the economy is growing, until most of the 18 – 25 year olds are in work or at university, until the financial sector of the economy is properly regulated. I am amazed at you. Liz is a lightweight and would not survive against the misogyny of the Tories.

  • What was manifest at Mis Staffs was greed and selfishness and a desire to “feather one’s nest at the expense of the public purse”. Now, what does that remind you of?

  • Public sector trade unions, troughing jailbird Labour MPs, and troughing charidee / quangocrats with no qualifications, but some great Labour Party connections.

    Labourrhoids think the only honest fortune is one scammed in the public sector.

  • Sorry Gloria but Labour serves no purpose until the Tories have fixed the economy. When there’s other people’s money for you to rob and squirt at your client groups and camp followers, there’s a point for Labour to being in government. But if you have to spend within your means and govern responsibly, WTAF is the point?

    Leave it to the Conservative party to clear up your mess. Then maybe in 20 years’ time, when the economy’s started to recover and the voters have forgotten what you’re actually like in power, you’ll be able to ooze back into government.

    The Labour party is, quite simply, a crusade to pass off pathological envy and inadequacy into a political stance, so you can feel better about yourselves and your horrible personalities. You get to kid yourselves you’re crusaders rather than abject moral degenerates. Labourism is not a philosophy, it’s a nasty, spiteful, sanctimonious, envious, malign personality disorder. It’s being an utter shy talk while making out that this means you care.

  • ‘Fixed the economy’, don’t make me laugh, 11 years of strong economic growth brought to an end by a global financial crisis followed by 5 years of stagnation under a coalition and now Tory govt. Time to crawl back under that rock James.

  • Don’t forget the misogyny of Labour heartlands like Scotland, the North of England, Birmingham and the East End of London.

  • Tell me how many female MP’s the LibDems and the Tories had in 2010? Misogeny takes many faces, the worst one is the failure to have all female short lists.

Sign up to our daily roundup email