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July 10, 2008



"correlation between poverty and the risk of a stabbing"
In many poor areas your risk of stabbing is negligible. Jumping on the "poverty causes..." bandwagon won't solve knife crime.


"The fact that the economy is still growing is of no comfort to a man who’s lost his job."

Well, no. Since it's (slightly) easier to find a job in a growing economy than a shrinking one, he should be (slightly) more comforted by that fact.

It's not that aggregates are meaningless to an individual (how can they be - after all they aggregate individuals) but that the meaning can be small.


What data would be enough to refute Cameron's ridiculous and self-serving claim that British society is somehow "broken"? The complete absence of any violent crime except that committed by members of the Bullingdon Society?

john b

My response would be that it's not a gap between rich and poor, so much as a gap between rich-and-poor on one side and some very marginalised (geographically and socially) groups on the other.

Or indeed - a gap between "everyone else" and "young male mostly black school drop-outs from poor backgrounds who live on a few specific estates in a few specific bits of inner London". To me, that's a specific problem that needs specific targeting, not a "broken society".

David Duff

"Poor"? Who is 'poor' in this country today. Less rich than the truly rich, I suppose one might say, but 'poor'? I don't think so, even the beggars look lean and fit and can afford a dog. In certain parts of Africa they'd almost certainly eat the dog! That's 'poor'.


Jesus wept. David Duff, purchasing-power parity; PPP, Duff. Hope you get on well.

Further, "Welcome to my ideal society - it's not quite as bad as Darfur" is not winning sales copy.

passer by

I think we need to start with the word "society" as its a human construction (just like race) and not a material thing (dielectric materialists agreeing with Mrs T I think)

I know what Mrs t version is, I know what Polly is, but I still dont know what Dave means by society, before I can decide if I agree with him that's its broken.

My version is simple, the community of communities, I hope that DC is the the same, a more old tory view.

The Lefts problem is its version of society is it gravities to hegels version, which is like a nazi version of Humes theory of mind, you are what you are only through the state, freedom can only be archived through the state. from the wretches bunker in downing street to the technocratic halls of the EU, this is the guiding mantra. the state and the people are society.

Thus when anyone gets up and says "society is broken" they get the hump as they see "society" as themselves. its like the left are trying to claim totally rights to the very word "society" even Blair got in on the act, saying NuLab was the political wing of the British people.


"My version is simple, the community of communities, I hope that DC is the the same, a more old tory view."

@passer by: I too hope that's what he means by "society" (it is what I mean when I say "society") e.g. *, and if that's the case I don't have any problem with him talking about a "broken society".

* http://questionthat.me.uk/2008/07/schools-need-discipline.html

David Duff

Sorry, Alex, didn't understand a word but thank you for your good wishes.

Incidentally, I remember P. J. O'Rourke once pointing up the indicator of *true* poverty - no chickens! As he emphasised, every mud hut village everywhere has a few chickens scratching around, but if they're gone then things are truly bad.

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