gmusic@nurturingnatures.co.uk

Osborne, Philpot, cuts, fairness and Maggie T

These are baffling times, with many issues to the fore that were central to the controversy around Maggie Thatcher. In a week when we have seen huge tax cuts for the wealthy, we have also seen massive cuts  in income for the disabled and those on housing benefits,  and we also hear increasingly vociferous language being used to condemn those on benefits. The Guardian reported an analysis showing that the government has been using increasingly judgemental, loaded and pejorative  language to attack those on welfare, with many statements about ‘dependency cultures’, ‘addictions’ and describing the issues as ‘entrenched’ (click for article), George  Osborne’s use of the Philpot’s case to support his arguments, linking shocking and perverse acts with a ‘benefits culture’, while condemned by many, might well be an effective ploy. 

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Guest — Robert Glanz
Good piece Dr.Music. I think that not much has been written about the differences between the current government and that of Mrs T... Read More
Thursday, 18 April 2013 20:02
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Barclays, evolution and the neuroscience and psychology of greed

The latest scandal involving Bob Diamond and Barclays has alarmed swathes of the UK population, and many are asking if there no end to the damage that such unregulated financial power can do. Faith in our  institutions has clearly been steadily eroding, but this has accelerated in the wake of example after example of unscrupulous behaviour, the ripple effects of which cause pain and hardship to countless thousands but at the same time the many who are suffering feel increasingly powerless and  helpless. It can be no coincidence that this week saw the publication of a report showing that not only is membership of  political parties declining, and we are seeing a huge reductions in participation in  political activity of any kind, but  that this has come with the massive increase in corporate power which is seriously threatening democratic processes (http://www.democraticaudit.com/key-indicators-of-uk-democracy) .

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Wealth and power make people less moral

People worried about the way an unbridled market led society can affect morality might want to take note of a new study from the University of Berkeley which seems to show very clearly that those higher up the pecking order, in social class and economic terms, basically are less moral. The diminished ethics is in large part driven by seeing greed as favourable, argues one of the main researchers, Paul Piff, who found that believing that greed is good was the best predictor of poor behaviour. Such studies are providing even more evidence of the deleterious effects of inequality on society. The study of over 1000 people was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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I'm not sure how helpful it is to conflate social class with economic factors, as this study seems to have done. In the States, th... Read More
Sunday, 04 March 2012 11:41
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