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The Bigger Picture

We need to see the bigger picture. While populist politicians turn inward and argue about migration, the world burns literally.  Instead of erecting barriers, they need to address the causes of migration.  We need international action on climate change.  Climate change is the biggest challenge we face. It is the bigger picture. 

When I started The Thin End blog, it was heavily focused on the political aftermath of the financial crash.  In the UK, and elsewhere, politicians made the poorest, and least able bear the brunt of the banking scandal.  The capitalist system could 'no longer afford' to help the poor, to house the homeless and heal the sick!  The stark naked truth of its objective - growth for profit - was revealed. Any growth would do, even if it killed the planet.  A self-destructive growth on which a few grow very, very rich. 

Of course, we all benefitted, didn't we?  Growth creates jobs and income we are told.  Some of us are living longer and in better health.  But much of that is predicated on the very social spending that has been slashed since the banking crisis.  There are already signs that the tide has turned with life expectancy falling. 

In the UK, as elsewhere in Europe, austerity has produced a fundamental breakdown in our social infrastructure. Our society is more divided between 'haves' and 'have-nots'.  A whole generation now finds itself priced out of the housing market, both to buy or to rent.  For the first time in decades we may now see a decline in life prospects and health.

We need to see the bigger picture.  The financial crisis reflected a fundamental malaise in the way we 'grow' our economies.  World trade is a driver of pollution and climate change.  The UK harvests its food and feeds the appetite of consumers by importing goods and exporting carbon emissions.  The UK only meets its targets on emissions by such trading.    It isn't good enough for the wealthy to simply pay to pollute.  

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