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    Catherine Scott

    Read Ill Fares the Land, by the late great Tony Judt.

  2. 2


    I agree that we should keep in touch with how “young [and indeed all] people are faring before the fires are lit” because I believe people did not want to see the riots were predictable, a long time in coming –
    “And as things fell apart
    Nobody paid much attention” (Talking Heads)
    The signs of public alienation have been around for years: I remember challenging some young vandals trampling flowers and kicking over pots in a park in Lewisham (15 years ago, now). As for those who say there is nothing for the youth to do: I saw the many and varied playground toys ignored and empty, the Playground Lady’s kiosk likewise uninhabited because, I was told, everyone was scared to go in there.
    The claim that kids have nothing to do, in London, is particularly sad: “‘When you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life.”
    What about London’s libraries, parks and museums, a world of intellectual and imaginative stimulation – a world inaccessible to the numerous uneducated and illiterate humans who continue to exist at the barest level of imaginative interest, where consumerism is all.
    As for viewing riotous behaviour as unprecedented, just watch the January sales, where anyone unfortunate enough to fall is trampled over by the many – not only in London.

  3. 3

    Rebecca Gordon

    More and more evidence is being published about the importance of social cohesion and equality in maintaining happy and health societies. Research from the Equality Trust in the UK ( demonstrates how physical health, mental health, violence and most other health and social problems are worse in countries that may be rich but have a greater gap between the wealthy and the poor. Reducing that gap is something that we should all be striving for.
    This also again raises the discussion started by Fran Baum on Croakey in January: ‘Why we need an Australian Health and Equity Commission’


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