It’s not where you finish it’s where you start……

Posted: April 7, 2012 in This is the Voice of Lefty Reason


It not where you finish, it’s where you start……

Imagine two lines, horizontal and parallel.  They are about twelve inches apart.  The top line represents the richest members of society; the non-doms, the media magnates and the landed gentry.  The bottom line is the lowest of the low; third generation unemployed, hand-me-downs and hand-outs,  benefits.  Scroungers, work-shy and immigrants depending on your newspaper of choice.  Now, place yourself between these two lines.  Where do you see yourself?  Somewhere in the middle perhaps?  Towards the top if you are lucky, near the bottom if you’re not.  Ponder a moment the size of the gap between yourself and the top and the bottom.  Which way do you look?  Aspirationally up or helpfully down?  Look up again; materialism, fancy cars, big houses, three foreign holidays a year.  Is that what you want?  Now look down, poverty, brutalisation of lifestyle, lack of opportunity, degradation and helplessness.  Should we collectively be looking down?  Should we have a fairer system of wealth distribution?  Was Robin Hood right all along?  Where you fall on this range is largely an accident of birth.  Yes, you can move up (and down) the scale but the number one determinant of your rank is where you started.  Be thankful if you had parents that worked, that stayed together, that valued education and that had strong values. We should not forget those that did not have these breaks.  The happiest countries in the world are the ones that have the the smallest gap between the top and bottom, either by design (Norway) or by cultural norms (Japan).  There has to be some message there, surely?


  1. anon face says:

    Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world (7th highest). they arent too happy

    • strainsview says:

      you’re right but i suspect that is cultural pressures rather than inequality of wealth….they are near the top of the HDI rankings and have a designed society that does not let the top get away from the bottom. of course the pressure of “salary-man” society brings its own internal strife that is hard to express in Japanese society…..lets open the Great Debate…!

  2. anon face says:

    but really, i understand helping the homless etc, but you have to let people have what thy have earned, the top has earnt its money. the bottom has not. you can not go all robin hood on everyone . if you did a toilet cleaner could earn a similar pay to a massive company owner

  3. David Lee says:

    Nice one Tim. A red cover for the printed version please. Good to hear the ramblings of a like minded middle aged man

  4. David Lee says:

    Tim. The Great Pasty Riots of 2012. As Marie Antoinette famously didn’t say “let them eat cake”. You gotta admire the balls these Tories have. Every cheeky right wing policy that party’s dreamt up over the years being dropped on us from the proverbial great height. That rascal Corporal Clegg, he of the wooden head variety, waving them on as we drowned.
    Let the wealthy keep their money, they deserve it for all their hard work. As for paying a toilet attendant the same as the bosses. well it depends where you’re standing.

    • strainsview says:

      Wise words Mr Lee – i aim to inspire, upset and provoke. never to bore…..keep fighting the good fight – and following the bloggings of this madman of course

  5. HullRob says:

    As “The Spirit Level” so clearly points out countries that have the greatest gap between rich and poor have a wealth of social problems. A more equal society is better for everyone even those at the top. Chances of it happening here ? Nil. The public have swallowed the “scroungers” line fed by the Scum and Daily Heil hook and line.

  6. Web Crawler says:

    On a long term basis, the driver of the standard of living of the least well off is innovation. Whilst wealth distribution in the mythical “equal society” would reduces envy, it kills the goose that lays the golden egg. Capitalism is unique in that it is the only system that allows for the fullest exploitation of human incentives.

    • strainsview says:

      it is also true that the captalist model provides no safety net for those born into families who own no factors of production; the rich will get richer on the back of the workers…….was Marx on to something?

  7. Web Crawler says:

    Apologies for the hiatus. There’s no reason why the two should be mutually exclusive. Dear Marx apparently did not fully consider the power of human incentives

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