Welcome to the parallel universe of David Cameron. It is a world in which the Tories stand up for the poor, lead the fight against dictatorship and stop people from being given benefits on demand. It is a world that exists in a conference hall in Manchester this week, in a few daily papers the rest of the time, and in the less well-informed parts of the right-wing blogosphere. It has nothing in common with the world that most of us live in.
A few weeks ago I had a holiday in India. I used to live there and so I might be one of the few foreigners who actually loves arriving in Delhi, stepping out of the airport into the cruel heat, sooty air and architecture of the perpetually half-built.
I returned last Friday from a week more or less out of reach of TV, radio and electronic communications to what feels like another country: A country convulsed by anger, outrage and anguish. A country in which the ‘old certainties’ of even ten days ago, now seem past their sell by date.
If we can take anything positive from the days of destruction and division in England recently, says Chris Bain, perhaps it should be a dedication to tackle fear and exclusion wherever it exists around the world, and to stand by the women and children in the poorest countries who currently stand afraid on their own.
BBC One is hosting a live debate tonight about poverty and other social issues arising from its lively 'observational documentary' series, The Scheme, which looks at "the dramatic and often emotional highs and lows of daily life for six families living in a large housing scheme in Kilmarnock."