Why is Britain shattered? How did it become so divided and how can we fix it? Danny Dorling talks about his new book, Shattered Nation: Inequality & the Geography of a Failing State, as he walks through the streets of the city where he grew up and where he returned to become Professor of Geography at the University of Oxford in 2013.

From child poverty to the selloff of the NHS, from shrinking life expectancy to the cost of living crisis, how did the UK end up in the state it is today, having travelled from the second most equal country in Europe in the 1970s to being the most unequal today? Danny looks at effective ways to address inequality that are everyday practice across the continent—and even some that are already being done in Scotland.

Praise for Shattered Nation: “The self-deception that we are a nation of fairness and justice is systematically exploded by a calm and persistent use of factual observations of the lives of people, spread between the super-rich and the increasingly poor and socially left behind, in all parts of the country. . . To read this could be depressing and disempowering, but that is not the intention. It is up to us, all of us, to be prepared to argue for a society that really does care for all.” – Jeremy Corbyn MP

“Sobering, shocking and brilliantly incisive. A snapshot of a divided nation and a powerful antidote to nostalgic fantasies.”

David Olusoga, historian “Dorling chooses facts over fiction, data over spin, reality over nostalgia in this sweeping overview of a badly fractured and weakened Britain. Above all, he draws attention to the economic, political and social fissures enfeebling a nation that only forty years ago was well regulated, fairer and vibrant.” Ann Pettifor, economist

Read more about Shattered Nation, published in 2023 by Verso Books. https://www.dannydorling.org/books/sh…

This film was made by Voices Media https://www.voicesmedia.co.uk

10 staggering facts about inequality in the UK

  1. Income Inequality:
    • The UK has one of the highest levels of income inequality among developed countries, with the richest 1% owning a significant portion of the country’s wealth.
  2. Wealth Disparities:
    • The wealthiest 10% of households in the UK hold over 40% of the country’s total wealth, while the poorest 50% own just 9%.
  3. Regional Disparities:
    • There are significant regional disparities in the UK, with London and the Southeast being much wealthier than other regions. This economic divide affects access to opportunities and resources.
  4. Child Poverty:
    • Child poverty remains a significant issue in the UK, with around one in three children living in poverty, according to reliable estimates.
  5. Food Banks:
    • The reliance on food banks has grown substantially in the UK, with a substantial increase in demand for emergency food parcels among vulnerable populations.
  6. Housing Crisis:
    • Skyrocketing housing prices and a shortage of affordable housing have led to a housing crisis. Many people struggle to afford decent housing, and homelessness is a growing concern.
  7. Education Inequality:
    • Educational outcomes are closely linked to socio-economic status, leading to educational inequality. Children from disadvantaged backgrounds often have fewer opportunities for quality education.
  8. Health Inequality:
    • Health outcomes are also linked to income and social status, with people in lower-income brackets experiencing worse health and shorter life expectancy.
  9. Gender Pay Gap:
    • A gender pay gap persists in the UK, with women earning less than men on average. This gap is even more pronounced for women of colour.
  10. Racial Disparities:
    • Racial disparities exist in various aspects of life, including employment, criminal justice, and healthcare, with people from ethnic minority backgrounds often facing disadvantages.

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