Since 1987 when Margaret Thatcher claimed “there is no such thing as society”, Britain has become an increasingly unequal country, shaped by greed and consumerism.
The benefits of this type of ‘society’ go mainly to the richest individuals and biggest corporations. For example, according to the Social Market Foundation, between 2005 and 2013 the richest fifth of the population grew 64% richer while the poorest fifth grew 57% poorer. As Danny Dorling has pointed out in ‘Inequality and the 1%’, the gap between the richest 1% and the rest of us is eye-watering.
Even during the aftermath of the banking crisis of 2008/9, the wealthiest people have continued to increase their wealth at an astonishing rate (25% or more per annum in many cases) while most of us have seen wages and salaries reduce in value. Dorling has calculated that for the National Minimum Wage to have kept pace with the increased income of the top 100 business leaders, it would have reached nearly £19 per hour in 2014, instead of £6.19 per hour!
Through my election campaign I seek to raise awareness of what is going on in unequal, divisive Britain and encourage other concerned people to challenge the inequality and call for radical change.
The following manifesto focuses on my main areas of concern, although I would be happy to share thoughts on other policy issues not covered here.