Thursday, January 28, 2010

Politics online in Bristol...

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Praise for the online work of Bristol's Greens over on Bristol 24-7 :

...what they bring to the table are some basic journalistic instincts that the other parties either lack or are withholding. These qualities might be raw but they include natural curiosity; an eye for a story; the desire to dig beneath the surface; a willingness to question authority; disdain for the ‘party line’ and that quality Paxman summedup as, “why is this lying bastard lying to me?”. All are alive and well on the Green blogs alongside an uninhibited willingness to deal in ideas...

Story written by a certain Bristol Blogger - lets hope he finds a new internet host for his blog soon.

Significant stat (4): richest 10% now 100 times better off than the poorest

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Pretty damning news for the Labour Government (and the previous Tory one) on how unequal UK society is. Labour say a more equal society is a key aim for them but they seem far more focussed the amount of economic growth than on the nature of growth and how wealth from it is shared. Labour's Home Office Minister, Phil Woolas MP said on yesterday's Daily Politics* when asked about growing inequality 'the gap between rich and poor has widened , as it does in liberal, capitalist societies'. Not much commitment to a more equal (and just) society there then!! More interested in super-rich business, celebrity and banker friends perhaps??

A whole range of social, health and economic problems are caused or worsened by inequality so its very important to spread wealth fairly. Fair is worth fighting for. Government should change systems and rates of taxation and invest in free care for the elderly and free insulation for all homes, beginning with the poorest. These approaches help tackle inequality and at the same time boost quality of life.

A detailed and startling analysis of how unequal Britain has become offers a snapshot of an increasingly divided nation where the richest 10% of the population are more than 100 times as wealthy as the poorest 10% of society...says The Guardian today, which goes on,

...The report, An Anatomy of Economic Inequality in the UK, scrutinises the degree to which the country has become more unequal over the past 30 years. Much of it will make uncomfortable reading for the Labour government, although the paper indicates that considerable responsibility lies with the Tories, who presided over the dramatic divisions of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Researchers analyse inequality according to a number of measures; one indicates that by 2007-8 Britain had reached the highest level of income inequality since soon after the second world war.

The new findings show that the household wealth of the top 10% of the population stands at £853,000 and more – over 100 times higher than the wealth of the poorest 10%, which is £8,800 or below (a sum including cars and other possessions).

When the highest-paid workers, such as bankers and chief executives, are put into the equation, the division in wealth is even more stark, with individuals in the top 1% of the population each possessing total household wealth of £2.6m or more...(click the link above to see the full Guardian report).

More equality issues from:*