“To make a real difference we need to shift common sense, change the terms of debate and shape a new political terrain.” – Doreen Massey (2015)
When people look back on their lives, they often wish they had done things differently.
They wish they had not had to amass such debts, especially in paying for education. They wish one particular relationship had not ended, or that they had been with someone else.
They wish they had become a parent. They wish they had said goodbye to their loved ones properly before they died. And they wish that they had not had to worry so much through so much of their life about so many issues that they later realized were quite trivial.
This book is based on a few ideas that began with the findings of one academic paper published a decade ago, using data from a decade before that.
Those findings are being extrapolated forwards, and I have thrown in many ideas that are buzzing around academia, in books and articles, and reported in newspapers, magazines and elsewhere on the Internet. In all cases I try to give the most accessible source – one that is not hidden behind a paywall – in the endnotes to the book.
Most ideas in the book are not polished ideas and will need rethinking before coming to fruition. Inevitably, some will turn out to be stupid. What is certain is that there is no shortage of ideas and choices.
But before we adopt any ideas, we can all benefit from stepping back and asking what matters most – and why we appear to have forgotten to do this more in the countries, like the UK and the US, that are the most unequal. Then, and only then, can we ask what we should do about it.
Danny Dorling, 22nd March, 2016 on giving Radstats a free digital copy of his book, A Better Politics: How Government Can Make Us Happier.