Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Spirit Level live

I'm here live-blogging Professor Richard Wilkinson, here to talk about his and Professor Kate Pickett's brilliant sociological analysis, The Spirit Level.

Conspicuous by their absence amongst the very big crowd are any members of my British Cultural Experience class, despite my formal requirement that they attend this instead of my lecture today. My revenge will be swift, unexpected and merciless. I guess it goes to show that you can hold a horse's head under water, but you still can't make it drink.

Witty start - and with no notes. He's starting by pointing out that his book simply provides the data for the common sense assumption that fatter, short-lived, poorer, unhappier, more criminal, less healthy people are more common in less equal societies, whether or not these are relatively poor or relatively rich countries. He also says we've reached the end of economic growth as a driver of positive outcomes - very interesting given the environmental catastrophe of consumerist growth economics.

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