11 Aug 2010

Letter to MP seeking greater equality

Newsnight on Monday covered much about the so-called 'nanny state' and what level of responsibility we must take (See Newsnight here until 16th Aug). One of the speakers on the programme was Kate Pickett, author of The Spirit Level that I have mentioned lots before on this blog. I have to note I find disturbing how the current Government seems to miss completely why people get sick. Anyway that aside I have written to Neil Carmichael MP asking for his support on this issue of equality.

See my letter below - Neil didn't sign the pledge before the election like Martin Whiteside (Green party candidate) and David Drew (Labour candidate) - and indeed myself - I am listed under local elections and 'Stroud'. I await with interest Neils reply.

Neil, You will probably be aware of the Equality Trusts' campaign. For almost two decades, Britain has been one of the most unequal of the world's richest countries. New research shows how harmful this is to the social fabric of our society. Almost all social and environmental problems – ill-health, lack of community life, violence, drugs, obesity, mental illness, long working hours, big prison populations – are more likely to occur in less equal societies. In short the findings show that the damaging effects are reduced by greater equality but not by economic growth.

In view of these findings many signed a pledge before the election, including a number of key Conservatives, that committed us to making the UK a more equal society as the most effective means of building a better society. I hope you will be able to join them in supporting policies designed to narrow the gap between rich and poor.

This research I consider provides us with an incredibly important and timely opportunity. By emulating more equal countries such as the Nordic countries or Japan, we can improve quality of life for everyone. Please could you raise this issue with Theresa May, Minister for Women and Equalities. I look forward to hearing from you regarding this important issue. See more at: www.equalitytrust.org.uk/ Cllr Philip Booth

See useful article about The Spirit Level in Prospect magazine here and a short film here that tries to get across the message about how unequal societies like the UK, US and Portugal have more problems.

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