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UK is accused of failing children

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I realise you're being pretty general but I would not say that is unique to Britain and the US (the US being second from bottom on this table). Although, I would not say this 'dog eat dog' culture you speak of is particularly applicable to France yet France also scores badly.

    I think that the way they treat immigrants over there has much to do with their problems, and that is very much dog-eat-dog.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Although, I would not say this 'dog eat dog' culture you speak of is particularly applicable to France yet France also scores badly.

    I think France does have the same "dog-eat-dog" attitude, it just manifests itself in different ways. Blair and le Pen aren't that different, when all's said and done, and both have enjoyed significant electoral success.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    I think France does have the same "dog-eat-dog" attitude, it just manifests itself in different ways. Blair and le Pen aren't that different, when all's said and done, and both have enjoyed significant electoral success.

    You mean Chirac?

    France has a very different working culture to Britain. In Britain it's pretty easy for young people to gain employment, part time or full time in pubs, restaurants and shops. In France that doesn't seem to be the case at all, in Britain plenty of people would see getting a job as a waiter in a restaurant as a way to earn a bit of extra cash - whereas in France it's viewed much more as a career. I know Brits in France who have found it very difficult to get a pretty mundane part time job in France but I know French people here who've not had any problems. I realise France has high unemployment and we don't but I don't think that's the only issue, I think in France there's a bit more respect for jobs in restaurants, supermarkets, etc. They don't seem to fill up vacancies with student part timers, they seem to have full timers making a career of it. (And I think pay for such jobs is better in France. Then there's also the shorter hours the French work, the generous social security and the overall better public services - and for most French people it doesn't look particularly 'dog eat dog' compared to Britain).

    Yet the French model isn't working. Some middle class graduates are even leaving to come here. And when was the last time three million took to the streets in Britain? (And this is all quite separate to the 'youth problem' in immigrant communities in inner cities). I think what I'm trying to get at is that if there is anywhere that can be described as not being 'dog eat dog' it's France - there's more respect for lower end jobs, shorter hours, better public services, etc and yet that culture has produced a society with worse problems than those Britain is facing with it's 'dog eat dog' culture.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Dobbin wrote: »
    Tell that to the moody teenagers who are rebelling against their parents and just want to get out....

    You are quite right that it's more attractive to be at home where living is free etc but people don't always see that. Kids these days don't know they're born ;)
    I don't think it's so much about "rebelling", although there probably are cases like that.

    I think that it may partly be because society places so much emphasis on the material posessions we own. Cars, clothes, iPod, mobile phones and of course, houses.

    When the furthest you'll go (and I mean that with the greatest respect to people who aren't suited to education) is a chicken factory, which is a job in itself and every bit as worthy as being a doctor or a lawyer, then maybe getting your own council house is an aspiration and most likely all you can afford. The fact is that whilst people sweat their balls off cleaning toilets and sweeping streets, whilst they are doing very important jobs, they are still plagued by the idea of success and that to be affluent and have a good career is the best thing to do.

    I mean anybody who's ever worked in Burger King, or on a factory line, or sweated their balls off behind a bar and cleaned the pee salt out of the men's urinal will know that they pay poorly, especially considering what you have to do. I mean I'm sure most people who post on thesite won't be doing these jobs for the rest of their lives, but imagine if you did have to. You'd come home from a twelve hour shift only to have the media and society rub it in your face that your worth depends on the platinum cufflinks you wear with your Armani suit.

    I think the council house idea could also have a lot to do with the idea that people are competing in a certain way. I know many young people move in to them to escape abuse, or neglect, but the individualistic capitalist society in which we live could also be a factor.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You mean Chirac?

    No, I meant le Pen. When a far-right fruitloop gets anywhere near power its hard to argue that that country is a bastion of social inclusion.

    To be honest, you're chatting shit. The countries with the genuine policies of social inclusion- Germany, the Netherlands, and the Scandinavian countries- are all doing far better on every single parameter used in this report.

    France has a lot of problems, mostly because there isn't an ethos of social inclusion- there are strong trade unions, but they are all after what they can get for themselves. If you think that the poor are "valued" in France, I suggest that you pop down to Marseilles for a day or two. Having a large state and a welfare system that's years out of date doesn't make a socially inclusive country- France is just as "dog eat dog" as this country, it just isnt based quite so much on Thatcherite economics.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    France is just as "dog eat dog" as this country, it just isnt based quite so much on Thatcherite economics.

    Which is changing. The recent protests have been about casualisation of the work force and the introduction of neo-liberalist policies. France is going through some of the changes wrought by Thatcher in the UK in the 80's.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Hopefully they don't get lumbered with the shittiest aspects of neo-liberalism. They might avoid the social disaster of the 1980s.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Is there is one thing this reports proves is that it doesn't matter how wealthy a country is if wealth distribution is unfair. Worth keeping in mind next time we're discussing working practices or of course taxation.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Kermit wrote: »
    Hopefully they don't get lumbered with the shittiest aspects of neo-liberalism. They might avoid the social disaster of the 1980s.

    I doubt it. Neo-liberalism is not conducive to a healthy society.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Aladdin wrote: »
    Is there is one thing this reports proves is that it doesn't matter how wealthy a country is if wealth distribution is unfair.

    I think that it is very lazy to argue that the problems we have are because people are poor. Some of the problems are as a result of poverty and social exclusion, but sadly I have very little doubt that if you gave a signifcant minority of these people £10,000 it would go straight in their arm off a hot silver spoon.

    There are various arguments about why people become addicted to drugs, but I don't think poverty is always the reason- there are enough rich people addicted to cocaine, the difference is that the Fleet Street journos and rock stars can afford their drugs.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You're right it's not always linked to their personal poverty. But unfair distrubution of wealth affects many people in different ways, not only through personal poverty but through lack of infrastructure and housing, not good enough public services such as health and education and low income/high unemployement areas which lead to local crime.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,323 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Oh definitely. Having poor areas with no adequate services is a big problem. I don't know how much of it is self-inflicted, though- there are areas of Middlesbrough with no bus service because the bus companies got sick of having their buses smashed up with bricks every night.

    The trouble is the trouble we've always had- you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink. I don't think we should abandon people in ghettos, but my belief is that many of the long-term unemployed cannot find work because they are beyond help. I think that's a huge tragedy, but I don't know what we can do about it.

    It's a shame Sure Start hasn't worked, because it was a damn good idea. Typical NewLabour didn't put the funds in, though, in fear of upsetting the Daily Mail voters.
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