Some are more equal than others

April 26, 2010 at 10:05 pm 3 comments

Reviewing the blog for the last few weeks, I’m surprised that I haven’t gone on about inequality a lot more! I read ‘The Spirit Level’ (Wilkinson and Pickett 2009) shortly after hearing Kate Pickett at the last Green conference (see No Guardians in Finchley) and I strongly recommend it.

 The latest epidemiology illustrates what most of us have always known instinctively: inequality is bad for everyone, not just the poorest. There’s a wealth (ha!) of evidence that the most unequal developed countries have the lowest life expectancy, worse overall health, higher crime and prison populations, poorer literacy and educational achievement blah blah. Let’s be very clear about this – it’s not just ‘the poor’ who are affected, we all are!

 They have a bunch of graphs illustrating the statistical link. I don’t even need to tell you which are the most equal societies (the usual suspects plus Japan, where they have a longstanding culture of relative economic equality). Nor do I have to tell you where the UK comes – yeah, third worst after Portugal and the USA!

 When could that huge divide have opened? Surely not under Mrs “no such thing as society” Thatcher? New Labour had a go at combating poverty, and you’ll hear only praise from me for Sure Start, but they screwed up at the other end of the spectrum. Their intense relaxation about people getting filthy rich led to a few people getting filthy rich, flaunting it in our faces, then crying for help from us when the whole house of cards came down. So now, after 13 years of Labour government, London is the most unequal bloody city in the entire developed world! Grrrr


Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , , , .

Meritocrats all…. Posthumous Green Award

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. h0wgreenismyvalley  |  April 26, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    P.S. Matt…my title is a reference to a novel called Animal Farm by somebody called George Orwell. Just in case you thought it was a literal statement!

  • 2. SarahBee  |  April 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

    The Child Poverty Action Group has a graph based on data from the IFS which shows exactly who invented poverty amongst children and pensioners in this country.

    • 3. h0wgreenismyvalley  |  April 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      Fully aknowledged in my post, Sarah. However poverty and inequality are two separate things. Labour have been intensely relaxed about inequality – the Greens aren’t!


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How cold is my valley?

Who I am

This blog started during the months before the 2010 General Election, in which I was the Green candidate for Calder Valley. It's morphed into an account of green activism...and other meanderings.

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