Socialist Worker

Class - the real divide in Britain

Issue No. 1711

THE economic boom is passing millions of workers in Britain by. That is the conclusion of a study in the Financial Times this week. For some people this is proof that there is a growing 'north-south divide' in Britain.

There are regional economic differences. Income per person is higher in London and the south east of England than in Manchester and Merseyside.

Average household income is higher in Edinburgh than in Glasgow. Unemployment in the north east of England has been rising over the last three months, while it has fallen across Britain as a whole.

Some areas have been hit particularly hard by job losses in industries like manufacturing which the government has refused to stem. This can vary the unemployment rates.

But the real divide in society is class. Huge wealth is concentrated in the hands of a small number of very rich people, and a wider number of hangers on.

These people can be found in each town and city-in the wealthy suburbs of Bearsden or Newton Mearns in Glasgow, for example. But they are more heavily clustered in certain areas, such as the south east of England and parts of Edinburgh.

They distort the figure for average earnings enormously. If a person's height was related to their income, an average worker of 5 feet 9 inches would be working for the chief executive of a major company who was at least 300 feet tall.

The gap between rich and poor exists in every region, county, city and town in Britain. There is only one way to deal with the rich-cut them down to size.


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What We Think
Sat 26 Aug 2000, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1711
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