The Conservative Party showed its compassionate side yesterday when Iain Duncan Smith announced a series of training initiatives aimed at helping the homeless by improving their begging techniques.
Seen as central to the idea of the Tories’ Big Society, in which every citizen takes responsibility for his or herself and their community, Duncan Smith told a packed conference hall, ‘We need to do more to help these people help themselves. I am ashamed of the state that our country has allowed these people to get into. Their general level of skills is deplorable. Can no-one play an instrument, sing a song or do a funny little dance any more?’
The proposal would see a nationwide programme of lessons in music, dance and marketing for the homeless, carefully designed to increase their earning potential. ‘At the very least we should be teaching them better Big Issue selling techniques than just shouting ‘Big Issue!’’ he added.