How far will Labour succeed in delivering social inclusion? Blair would prefer this question deferred for ten years, but at least a provisional assessment will be needed before the election in 2001 or 2002. As the policies are put in place, it is possible to ask what kind of inclusion Labour seeks to deliver, what the criteria of success would be, and how likely it is that the policies will achieve this. None of the discourses has a well-developed set of indicators of social exclusion, partly because the centrality of the term in British politics is so new - and partly because to clarify the definition would undermine the very flexibility of the concept which makes it politically useful. Because the meaning and imputed causes of exclusion differ in RLD, SID and MUD, so too will some of the indicators of success in producing greater inclusion. The prospects for inclusion depend on which discourse you are situated in. Both provisional and later assessments can be made in Labour’s own terms, and against other understandings of social exclusion and other criteria. Success in combating exclusion will be as contested as the concept itself. The most obvious critical yardsticks are those implied by RLD, and the main part of this chapter considers the prospects for welfare to work and the Social Exclusion Unit from the different standpoints of RLD, SID and MUD.
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