The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has just published a new report on “Young people and territoriality in British cities”, by Keith Kintrea, Jon Bannister, Jon Pickering, Maggie Reid and Naofumi Suzuki. It illustrates acutely well the point made by Richard Wilkinson in “The Impact of Inequality” about the intensifying competition for respect under rising inequality.

It also, incidentally but very clearly, shows up the real nature of the alleged overcrowdedness of our ‘tiny overcrowded island’: poorer people really are being confined – not by ‘floods’ of immigrants as Sir Andrew Green (of Migration Watch) would have them believe, but by the likes of Sir Andrew Green himself (whose England is a very commodious and extensive affair) and his friend Nicholas Soames (co-founder, with Frank Field, of Migration Watch’s new, parliamentary front-organisation, Balanced Migration). Limitations of UK land registry make it difficult to work out just how big Soames’s England is but if it’s anything like his friend the Duke of Westminster’s, it would need a much bigger planet than the one we have, were all true-born English folk to be granted a similar acreage.

Meanwhile, for one young man who contributed to the study, England consists of a bleak area just 200 metres square in Peterborough – as you can read in Rowenna Davis’s article about the new report in yesterday’s Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/oct/14/children-socialexclusion

The full report is here:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/details.asp?pubID=978

It complements last year’s report “Poverty, wealth and place in Britain, 1968 to 2005” by Daniel Dorling, Jan Rigby, Ben Wheeler, Dimitris Ballas, Bethan Thomas, Eldin Fahmy, David Gordon and Ruth Lupton:

http://www.jrf.org.uk/bookshop/details.asp?pubID=905

What I’d really like, would be a set of maps showing the relative sizes of people’s Englands, based on income, wealth, age, race, gender and disability, and showing how they have ALL shrunk as inequality has risen. As Danny Dorling said last year (re the above report) “In a more unequal society, everyone is less free to choose where they live”.
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