Truth, Lies and the Spirit Level

Truth, Lies and the Spirit Level

Poverty and Inequality in Britain Today - Conference in York

“Truth, Lies and the Spirit Level” is a conference which aims to look at some of the facts about poverty and the people who are affected; the myths propagated about benefit claimants; and how societies work better when inequality is minimised. We will also examine York’s recent resolve to become a poverty-free city and the steps being taken to implement it. We aim to join the dots between poverty, inequality, quality of life, perception and

Start Date:
Friday 31st January 2014
Start Time:
Priory Street Centre, York
Jenny Jacobs
07790 647843
Paul Morrison, Professor Kate Pickett, Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones. The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull
Free - requires booking

We live in a comparatively wealthy nation but one where the current story is of scarcity, austerity and belt-tightening; of all of us being in it together; and yet a nation where “strivers” are pitted against “skivers”, haves against have-nots, and where bankers in the City still collect mega bonuses while the number of people driven to using foodbanks has tripled in a year. Does it have to be like this?

We hope to write a new story where we really are all in it together for the benefit of the whole of society.

Paul Morrison, spokesman for the Joint Public Issues team and author of “The Lies We Tell Ourselves: Ending Comfortable Myths about Poverty”, comments: “Common decency demands that vulnerable people be spoken of with respect, with truth and with dignity. That is how the giants of social reform – Rowntree, Beveridge, Temple – spoke of those who found themselves at the bottom of the economic pile. The rhetoric of today, with its “skivers” and “scroungers”, lacks that decency and is commonly accompanied by half-truths and misrepresentations.

The Church has been appalled by this language not just for its lack of decency but because it prevents us from grappling with the real tragedy of wasted lives and opportunities caused by the rise of poverty and inequality in the UK.”

Speakers include:

Paul Morrison, Professor Kate Pickett, Professor Jonathan Bradshaw, Dr Paul Edmondson-Jones. Chair: The Very Reverend Vivienne Faull, Dean of York.

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