Forum Topic

The special relationship

"The UK is slipping down the global ranks when it comes life expectancy, according to new analysisResearchers found that 70 years ago people in the UK had one of the longest life expectancies ratings in the world, ranking seventh globally behind countries such as Norway, Sweden and Denmark.In 2021, the UK was ranked 29th, according to the new analysis, which has been published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine.Academics from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine examined global life expectancy ratings from 1952 to 2021.A relative worsening of population health is evidence that all is not well. It has historically been an early sign of severe political and economic problemsWhile life expectancy has increased since the start of the study, similar countries have seen larger increases, the experts said.The authors said that the fall down the ranks has been decades in the making – this includes a rise in income inequalities in the UK during and after the 1980s.Professor Martin McKee, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said: “That rise also saw an increase in the variation in life expectancy between different social groups.“One reason why the overall increase in life expectancy has been so sluggish in the UK is that in recent years it has fallen for poorer groups.”Dr Lucinda Hiam, of the University of Oxford, said: “The rankings show that the only G7 country to do worse than the UK is the USA.”""They found that, over seven decades, the UK has done worse than all G7 countries except the USA." (Dr Lucinda Hiam)

David Ainsworth ● 9d54 Comments

Being rich is all relative Michael. People well above the median average wage and indeed within the higher tax bracket are they not rich compared to those three aren't? Then of course there is inherited wealth.But yes there will be those for example on £100k will not consider themselves rich. I seem to remember someone on Question Time not realising what the average wage is. The minimum wage is currently £9.50 for those over 23 years of age.It would be interesting to know how many XR activists are privately educated for example. Given they do not publish any social economic stats we can only go on what is published and it doesn't look good."..government actually take notice of white middle class protesters?"But the suffragettes did not get change, it came after the first world war fought by ordinary people from here and abroad. Those abroad had to wait for even longer of course. With some losing it following coups backed by both Labour & Conservative governments.If these people can not convince their own parents how can they convince government or other people? They would have got better results using their tactics on their own families? Take advantage of the establishment and the class structure so to speak!Carbon footprint increases with wealth and these protesters are disproportionately more wealthly than the people they are targeting.The tactics are not dissimilar to those suggesting that developing countries can not have a certain level of lifestyle similar to the West. Preaching about deforestation around the world whilst ignoring the UK's deforestation. And yes Labour condemning the government regarding the Windrush scandal but not willing to amend nationality acts that would prevent another occurrence. Government definitely took notice. Police called for more powers while treating XR protesters with kid gloves compared to other protesters. The methods XR used were unpopular but they continued. Opposition gave a feeble response. Now the laws are in place and behold XR have now stopped.Coincidence? I guess we have to wait 50 or 100 years to find out. But it has to be asked what is the alternative explanation?

Ed Robinson ● 7d

Ed (had trouble responding in reply to your earlier response to mine so had to post as a reply to the thread):-Surely, someone rich would be people like Jacob Rees Mogg, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, etc? Probably not XR material?Middle class people are probably well off or "comfortable" but of those I'd consider middle class: some teachers are apparently using food banks,and university staff, teachers, barristers, junior doctors have all been on strike recently - so they're obviously not feeling very rich!I think XR members include students, pensioners and unemployed who may not be very well off. (I suppose students could have rich parents and pensioners big lifetime savings pots.) Actually, it was really a question, and I don't think you really defined what rich means, I'm not sure it's relevant. The demographics are interesting but perhaps it's accidental rather than deliberate? Just an effect of groupthink? Still, most of the suffragettes came from well to do families and women got the vote. I'm not convinced that direct action gets people on side with tackling climate change but it certainly wakes people up to the existence of the problem. Perhaps, despite their objections to the tactics, government actually take notice of white middle class protesters? I don't know, just wondering. This government certainly is rushing to fix the Windrush scandal and compensate everyone affected by it, from what I see in the news?Just thought as you pick people up for not being rigorous in their arguments you might want to clarify definitions? Do we look at Pulp and Jarvis for definitions of ordinary (common?) people?

Michael Ixer ● 7d

Philippa, Given you say "we are a pretty indulgent and self-centred nation", isn't that why many don't have New Year resolutions? To be honest, I think they're a gimmick, how many keep them up after making them after a few glasses of fizz (and perhaps a hangover the next morning)? They're probably good for keeping gyms in business - apparently many buy a years subscription then stop using it after a few weeks … Given we're predominantly a secular society it's not relevant to most of us; I have friends who Catholics who observe it, and - slightly different - many of the Muslims I know or have worked with observe Ramadan.For all it's faults the last thing we need is the NHS being privatised. Unfortunately, this government has almost destroyed the NHS, possibly because they had plans to privatise it? (Look at the takeover of some GP surgeries by US health companies.) To be honest from what I've seen of the US system even for those with good insurance the care can be disjointed and there's a tendency to over medicate and intervene when it may not be in the patient's interest - but that's how they make their money! Sometimes a dietary or other lifestyle change might be more effective; at least the NHS's resource shortage usually stops unnecessary interventions!Once one is in the NHS system and being treated the doctors and nurses seem efficient, competent and caring; the problem at present seems to be being sent home from hospital, sometime too early, with inadequate or non existent after care.Yes, some aspects of the US are gross but not all US citizens are like that, most I know are veggie or vegan, or at least amenable to eating those dishes. What's the joke about Texas: "where can I get a veggie meal?": "Try the next state, sir" :-) Back on a serious note, a US friend connected with the food industry there told me a while ago that portions were big because food was relatively cheap compared to the labour costs which made up most of the price of restaurant meals so portions were large so that dinners felt they were getting good value. (And I guess the "price" includes the 20%+ tip one is supposed to leave the staff.)

Michael Ixer ● 9d

Austerity, the growing gap between rich and poor, and what seems to be a collapsing health and care system all seem to be contributry factors. Fast food seems to underpin the diet of many - when KFC had their supply problems a while ago the tabloids seem to report it as a national disaster. But I agree, it's wrong to blame those affected (not sure I like the term victims?); limited budgets, the pressure of working more than one job (or longer hours as suggested by government ministers), the pressure of advertising by fast food companies, etc probably make fast food an attractive option? Still, a sign good that people were concerned about recent shortages of salad items like tomatoes and cucumbers?True, a lot of our friends across the water may be on the large size - but not all. I'm not sure that's just because of overeating, fast food or poverty, the lack of exercise caused by the dependency on cars to travel everywhere is possibly a contributory factor. It's interesting that Coral Gables, a suburb of Miami where we have friends, has more vegan only restaurants than Putney (not difficult as there's zero here, one has to travel elsewhere in London to find one). I'm not saying vegan food is always healthy - there's vegan fried junk food as well and I'm sure vegan "cheezes" made from palm oil can clogg her arteries just as well as cheddar can - but it's interesting that that after his heart by pass operation Bill Clinton followed a plant based diet (I was told that by a US immigration official a decade ago!), and I'm told many US heart disease consultants now follow plant based diets.Anyway, slightly off track there, getting back to the subject: with the current budget I don't see it's addressing the poverty gap with tax breaks for the highest earners and their pension pots but effectively higher taxes for lower earners with no increas in the basic tax allowance? This country does seem to be following an odd path :-(

Michael Ixer ● 9d