Sunday, February 07, 2010


How Broken is Britain?

This idea of 'Broken Britain' certainly has some resonance with most of us. I've posted often enough on binge drinking, anti-social behaviour by young males and the rest and I was surprised recently when interviewing politics teachers for the Political Education Forum websitethat so many of them emphatically endorsed the idea that our nation is 'broken'. I note that Gordon Brown refutes the idea in his Observer interview today but for a much broader treatment check the Economist this week. It admits there is a case in the form of outrages we encounter nearly every week: the two boys in South Yorkshire, binge drinking in our cities, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy higher than in most European countries, ther high number of single parent families. But, the journal cautions:
Stepping back from the glare of the latest appalling tale, it is clear that by most measures things have been getting better for a good decade and a half. In suggesting that the rot runs right through society, the Tories fail to pinpoint the areas where genuine crises persist. The broken-Britain myth is worse than scaremongering—it glosses over those who need help most.
i) The police have just recorded the lowest number of murders for 39 years
ii) burglaries and car crime are half as common now asw they were 25 years ago.
iii) figures show alcohol consumption is beginning to go down.
iv) consumption of drugs is also dropping.
v) teenage pregnancies are declining:
"A girl aged between 15 and 19 today is about half as likely to have a baby in her teens as her grandmother was."
The Economist blames the rightwing press for dwelling on the bad bits and ignoring the better ones. It also attacks the Tories:
His proposed tax break for married couples and gay civil-partners is an example. It does nothing for workless households. It would help only 11% of the 4m British children in poverty, while handing bonuses to plenty of well-off people. That would be a bad idea at any time; in a period when the state must tighten its belt it is an extraordinary proposal.
The article concludes judiciously:
Britain has a crunched economy, an out-of-control deficit and plenty of social problems; but it is not “broken”.

Is it broken I do not know, it is smashed a bit, we have to much poverty, we do not have enough political choice anymore, we do not have Minister i would trust to pick up dog shit.

I just think people are fed up with what we have in the UK, perhaps we are spoiled.

On the other hand for me the choice of voting New labour or tory is getting a bit boring because we are not getting anywhere, new labour new tory both are the same.
Surely noone believes these figures? I suspect most people have just given up reporting crime to the police(who are so useless as to be not worth bothering with).
The British Crime Survey is not based on dodgy figures cooked up by police forces keen to hit Whitehall targets, but on interviews with 40,000 citizens as to the crime they have expereinced. As such it is far more reliable than smaller samples and hasd a very small margin of error. Most criminologists blame the media for focusing on horriffic crimes and thereby inculcating alarm. See fuller article in Economist pp31-33.
40,000 people what and where, nobody has ever asked me, or anyone I know on the council estate I live in.

here is one! two days before Christmas three houses by me robbed broken into and trashed, police called they went straight down to a local 16 year old, picked up all the stolen money and the presents took them back to my neighbours, the police said if they arrested him he'd enjoy it, so he was allowed to go free again.

His mother then came onto the street calling us all slags Bastar*ds for calling the police.

I had all my tyres slashed, the police said well you know who it is, we would be wasting our time arresting them, this is now normal for the police to say.

two kids riding a monkey bike on the roads racing around the police stopped them took the bike let the kids go, this is the new way of dealing with crime on the council estates.
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