Thursday, 20 October 2011

West on the cusp of revolution says Whittam Smith

Just loving Andreas Whittam Smith in this morning's Independent.

Its former editor believes that we could well be on the cusp of revolution in the Western world comparable with the events of 1848.

The signs are all there.In the industrialised West,he writes, the average income of the richest 10 per cent of the population is about nine times that of the poorest 10 per cent adding that at some point, this excessive difference is going to cause trouble. Has that moment come?

it would need specific events to trigger an explosion. Perhaps the never-ending recession, increasing unemployment, the extreme difficulty young people face in obtaining jobs, the squeeze on incomes as inflation rises, and higher rents that punish people who have not been able to buy a house are sufficient for this purpose. Yet the protesters camping outside St Paul's Cathedral emphasise inequality above all. Their website points to: "the social and economic inequality in the UK...the unfair and unequal economic system that favours the rich and powerful". The parallel Occupy Wall Street in New York puts it another way: "The one thing we all have in common is that we are the 99 per cent that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1 per cent."

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