world map of inequality

So the Guardian have in advance of Davos helpfully published this map of the 34 OECD countries plus BRICs and others to allow us to compare relative inequality between them.

Now I’m mostly interested in how Britain compares to the rest of Europe, in particular Northern and Western Europe. Why? Well because these are the countries that Britain could so easily be like. They offer a very modest view of a better nation to misquote from Alisdair Grey.

I think that if we want to inspire people to get organised to change things – to make a fairer society – it is as important to be able to believe something better is nearby – as it is to develop techniques for gaining and holding power. Certainly if we want to build sustainable organising relationships.

It’s not enough to say we want a fairer society; we need to demonstrate fairer societies in action. And I think that means looking at how our fellow Northern European neighbours do things.

There’s also the graph right below the map which compares GDP growth between 2007 and 2012.

Interestingly that seems to show the UK’s crash happening at the same time as everyone else’s, and then a sharp climb again until ooh around 2010/11 when it starts gently declining again.

This is not new information and yet the Coalition are still getting away with framing the issue as one of Labour getting us into this mess and them getting us out of it, even though it appears that Labour were taking appropriate action to build a recovery which has now halted and is sliding back under the stewardship of the Coalition…

This is entirely Labour’s fault in my view – the facts are there – they need to build a coherent narrative based on them to show that actually they are probably better placed to bring us out of recession and improve people’s standard of living.

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