The Spirit Level
Over the years I have listened to Politicians quote from this book and thought to myself, very clever but that is not your quote we have read the same book.
Going past the current debate on leaving the EU though one does have to consider which party and why this is and has been pushed so strongly we need to think about some the issues raised by The Spirit Level.
It is a fact that the UK is up there as one of the most prosperous countries, but it is also up there along with the USA as one of the most unequal countries. It is a fact that since the referendum we have consistently dropped in the rankings of the most prospers countries we were number 5, not sure where we are now down to about 9 I think.
The spirit Level analyses countries and, in the USA, separate states to ascertain equality, and shows that the more equal a society is the better of everyone is. Better of not just financially, but better of health wise, better of because the prisons are less full, better off because crime drops, in fact they live a safer healthy life all together.
Now we constantly here the phrase from the right wing that there will be a ‘drip down benefit’ when people are making more money, when right wing policies are followed, this for all to see is patently not working. When that does not happen what happens is we scape goat, and one can see that being enacted out in policies, such as the ‘hostile environment policy’ which is supposed to be no more but its affect I am still witnessing, much as we are still witnessing the horrific effect of the wind rush problems.
I also am seeing, even from relatives that terrible comment that if you are poor then obviously you are lazy. Such terrible sound bite infantile answer to real politicly motivated structural societal problems.
So where am I going with this, well seems to me that we have moved for all sort of reasons to a more right-wing political establishment, and it seems the pressure is on to move that even further. That kind of politics will not bring better equality, and surely if we are all better of in a more equal society isn’t that better for all of us? So maybe we need to push hard towards the left, that might bring us back a little towards the centre. Hopefully bring us towards a more equal society.
The Spirit Level
was published in 2009. Written by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, the book highlights the "pernicious effects that inequality has on societies: eroding trust, increasing anxiety and illness, (and) encouraging excessive consumption". It shows that for each of eleven different health and social problems: physical health, mental health, drug abuse, education, imprisonment, obesity, social mobility, trust and community life, violence, teenage pregnancies, and child well-being, outcomes are significantly worse in more unequal rich countries.
As of September 2012, the book had sold more than 150,000 copies in English. It is available in 23 foreign editions.