Purnell: "I think it is slightly insulting to the millions of people who are claiming benefits and looking to get back into work..to say that they are at risk of turning into Karen Matthews.
"So I think that there is a danger in what David Cameron is saying."
Balls: "The idea that you can tar them with the Karen Matthews' brush is completely wrong,"
Karen Matthews's lifestyle is the problem, from which sprang the crime she committed. Karen Mattews is not stupid; she worked out that, if she kept having babies, the government would give her more and more money. She is a creation of the system. Maybe she could have chosen a different path; many people born and grown up in difficult circumstances, as she did, manage to get themelves educated, get themselves a good job and leave the ghetto. But she didn't have to, the choices she made were rational and morally acceptable to her and her neighbours. This is the broken societey, and Balls & Purnell do the poor a disservice in not aknowleging what really happens in the cities where they govern.