by Nicholas Timmins, Financial Times, April 16 2009
For the better part of a decade, Labour ministers have been promising a “transformation” in public services – one that would ensure Britain’s health and education systems could bear comparison with the world’s best. READ IT
A new study commissioned by the British government shows that far from “fair access” improving within the high-status professions, people from lower social strata our now even less likely to make it into these jobs. This is despite the massive expansion in higher educational opportunities in recent decades. Continue reading
This week 43 English local government bodies were merged into just nine much larger local governments. Whilst most commentators have concentrated on the implications for local democracy, which are important, they have missed the bigger picture. Continue reading
A new book has been causing a bit of a stir in policy circles in the UK – ‘The Spirit Level’ is not another diatribe for or against God, as the name might suggest, but a book about equality.
The main message is fairly simple – affluent societies tend to suffer social ills like mental health problems, drug use, physical health, obesity, educational problems, teenage births, violence and crime in direction correlation to how equal or unequal they are. And people are unhappier too. Once you get above about $25,000 per capita GDP, the relationship between rising affluence and rising welfare disappears and is replaced by equality rather than affluence. Continue reading