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Scotland’s poor are left to die Politicians only care about saving the wealthy

A fatalistic attitude haunts the UK's poorest towns. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

A fatalistic attitude haunts the UK's poorest towns. Christopher Furlong/Getty Images


June 6, 2022   6 mins

There is arguably one unifying theme which connects many of Britain’s current difficulties — proximity. From wealthy politicians tackling poverty to drug counsellors who’ve never smoked a joint, Britain is riddled with problems of proximity across its key institutions and at every level of governance.

We elect politicians to advance our interests. But to advance the interests of any group, one must first understand something of those interests. How many MPs have experienced poverty? How many have had their toilet breaks timed or their in-work benefits slashed?

At what point do we look for the root of Britain’s problems not in the lifestyle choices, attitudes, and behaviours of working people, and the poor and the vulnerable, but in the groundless assumptions, false beliefs, and prejudices of the apparently educated, cultured and sophisticated?

If the pandemic brought one thing into focus, it was surely that “social distancing” — that is, the vast ravine of social experience between those who hold power and influence and those on the receiving end of their decisions — brought Britain to its knees long before the pandemic.

The links between social deprivation and health problems are well understood. We’ve known for the best part of 40 years that rapid deindustrialisation was a public health time-bomb — we chose not to act.

In the Eighties, the publication of the infamous Black Report — commissioned in 1977 by the previous Labour government to investigate health inequalities — found significant differences in health outcomes between the social classes in both sexes and all age groups. The report’s introduction stated: “Social class differences and mortality begin at birth. In 1971, neonatal death rates (deaths within the first month of life) were twice as high for the children of low skilled workers as they were for the professional classes.”

The Thatcher government did all it could to suppress this report’s findings. Sir Douglas Black’s recommendations — that social inequalities around death and ill-health had to be confronted seriously by raising child benefit, improving housing, and agreeing minimum working conditions with unions — were dismissed before being kicked into the political long grass.

The trends already set in motion when the Black Report was published accelerated and became simply undeniable during the pandemic, demonstrated by the disproportionate impact of Covid on working people and the poor.

In the post-industrial community of Possil, north-west Glasgow, the impact of this health gap is both ubiquitous and imperceptible, so adjusted have its residents become to falling ill and seeing loved ones taken before their time, while public officials scratch their heads, puzzled as to why these people can’t just get it together.

As dusk falls at around 5pm, the two local pubs are already busy. Some are keener to talk than others but every person I speak to is managing at least three concurrent and chronic health conditions — known as multimorbidity in the medical profession.

Previously associated with the elderly, multimorbidity is beginning to impact people at a much younger age. In the pub, half of the patrons enjoying an afternoon tipple are afflicted by mobility issues. Two have trouble speaking due to respiratory problems. One has a degenerative brain disorder and struggles to stay in the conversation, while his long-suffering son (and designated driver) brings him another half.

One man, Andy, tells me about his first health scare at the age of 29. Despite his healthy glow, he has suffered four subsequent heart attacks since the first. Once a keen marathon runner, Andy is now restricted in his lifestyle and stands out today because he is the only person in the pub who is not drinking. He is here to spend time with his friend, who sits adjacent, panting, his crutches rested against the table, sporting the haunted expression of a man who knows his next breath may be his last; Andy’s company, I’m positive, is most welcome.

Andy shares a worrying (and hilarious) story about his fourth heart attack, which he had in his home around the corner from the pub. Given his relative experience of cardiac arrests and his disinterest in going to casualty — where he was convinced doctors wouldn’t believe him — he decided simply to wait it out in his home until morning, before going to see a GP whom he trusts.

That GP was Dr Lynsay Crawford, who has worked in areas like this for most of her career. “There’s a fatalistic attitude,” she said. She described an interaction with a patient who was weighing up the pros and cons of making a dramatic lifestyle choice to prevent an early death. “I remember chatting and they said, ‘My life’s rubbish, I know if I did all these things, I’d live longer but I really don’t want to live a longer rubbish life,’” she laughed. “You’ve got a fair point my friend, my work here is done,” she joked. “Another therapeutic success!”

This levity, which arose from the close proximity Lynsay had to her patients, contained a healing quality of its own. She took the time to get to know them, their conditions and idiosyncrasies so well that cracking a joke, or shooting from the hip when someone requires some tough love, was a matter of instinct. I was deeply moved by her devotion to this resilient but challenged community — and how loved she was by those under her care.

Sadly, Lynsay no longer works at the local practice. Due to the work-related stress and the effect on her home life, she moved on. After years of trying to communicate the impact of poor healthcare provision on both patients and the local practice, she became resigned to the fact nothing would change — much like her patients in the face of their ailments.

What chance do communities like Possil have when resources are so scant that even doctors who love the areas in which they work, and understand them intimately, feel they have no choice but to practise medicine elsewhere or risk their own health and wellbeing?

“We can’t get doctors to come and work in deprived areas,” she explained, “so if you’re living here, you might have to wait weeks to see a GP — who’s got ten minutes to see you.” Lynsay identifies funding as the central issue. Specifically, the disproportionate levels of funding granted to affluent communities, where health problems are fewer.

It’s in these conditions that some people simply stop contacting the doctor’s surgery and instead self-medicate at one of the numerous local pharmacies, where codeine-infused, highly addictive painkillers, sleeping medications and potent cough mixtures are advertised prominently in the windows and are readily available without prescription. It is also in these conditions that toothaches become abscesses requiring emergency surgery; aches and pains become chronic mobility issues; strange lumps, put quickly out of mind, become stage four cancers and mental health problems and addictions become drug deaths and suicides.

“The disconnect is definitely with those who make policy,” Lynsay tells me. She believes the NHS alone cannot resolve health inequalities because they are caused by wider social issues, like education, unemployment, and housing, but that the lack of funding to the NHS over the last decade has exacerbated many of the long-term issues, leaving different factions within the NHS fighting over the same dwindling pot of money.

Lynsay questions the wisdom of splitting resources equally among all practices regardless of need and believes this funding formula is why the gulf between social classes with respect to health is widening. “The overwhelming body of evidence shows those in poorer communities have worse health (at a younger age too) and have a greater need for funding to reduce health inequalities. It is clear that equal distribution of funding is leading to greater inequality.”

Despite people from poorer backgrounds requiring more healthcare than those in more affluent communities, they receive less. Wealthier patients’ health problems tend to be less complex — multimorbidity and poverty are synonymous — requiring less time to explain during a consultation, yet they may receive, on average, a minute or so longer with their physicians than someone from a poorer area. Analysis from the Health Foundation in 2020 found that patients in the richest areas receive 11.2 minutes on average while those in the most deprived communities get 10.7 minutes. This is not an anomaly. This imbalance is written into health systems and is known in the field as the “inverse care law”.

This is a community defined culturally by its poverty-induced health and social problems. For every heart attack, stroke, drug death, murder, and suicide there are countless family and friends on the periphery who must absorb the loss of a loved one while trudging on with their own challenging lives. Here, everyone is mourning a loss of some kind.

The lifestyle so often associated with people who live in post-industrial communities like this — overeating, excessive drink and drug use, gambling — provides temporary comfort and fleeting familiarity and continuity in what can be a chaotic, deeply disheartening, and tough existence. Many adopt fatalistic attitudes towards their own health because it’s a way of exerting control over external and internal circumstances they understandably feel are beyond them.

In areas like Possil, across the UK, people in most need of care are simultaneously the most distant from the health services that could improve or save their lives. Life expectancy for men is 66 and for women is 73 — though both sexes have the lowest life expectancy of all neighbourhoods in this city. The number of people hobbling around on walking sticks, frames, wheelchairs, or mobility scooters is astounding.

Meanwhile, politicians in charge of the purse strings, keen to remain in the good graces of the middle classes, are far too attuned to their own short-term electoral interests, at the expense of longer-term health equality. And every time they act in those interests, thus postponing confrontation with the reality that wealthier citizens hoard too many resources, poorer people fall ill and die.

But perhaps the most shocking aspect in the ongoing public health debate, so often centred on notions of individual responsibility rather than systems which demonstrably favour wealthier citizens, is how distant most people remain from the ugly, irrefutable truth: poor health is absolutely a choice — a political one.

Extracted from The Social Distance Between Us: How Remote Politics Wrecked Britain by Darren McGarvey, published by Ebury Press on 16th June at £20.00 Copyright © Darren McGarvey 2022


Darren McGarvey is a Scottish hip hop artist and social commentator. In 2018, his book Poverty Safari won the Orwell Prize and his new book The Social Distance Between Us (Ebury Press) is out on 16th June.

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Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago

What’s the solution then? Should the government give house calls to every scott and bring them groceries and cook them a meal. Should the government provide every citizen with their own PT? Regardless of our opinion about the multitude of migrants that try to get into Europe, they at least show some agency and dream about a better life. So things are tough and I don’t move unless it’s to go to the pub, I eat unhealthily and of course, it’s not my fault! It’s the “elites” and Margareth Tatcher. I can’t find a job and I stay put? Let me ask you a question, if I go to Glasgow today, and look around at the people doing menial jobs, how many Scotts will I spot?

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

In answer to your final question; None.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

Read the entire, long article twice to confirm: not a single sentence or suggestion on how these people can do something on their own behalf to take charge of their life or do something to improve their life themselves.

So to answer your question
“What’s the solution then? ”
Not responsibility or self respect, clearly.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

It was so long, I didn’t read it all. Did it mention Christianity or the church at all?

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Colin Elliott

Nope.
(Cheated. Had to do CTL F “Christ”.)

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

Yes, we do have problems with your scotts, but little or no problems amongst us Scots.

Jorge Espinha
Jorge Espinha
2 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

potato, batata…

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Or as Dr Johnson would have it “Scotch”.

Rupert Gonnerill
Rupert Gonnerill
2 years ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

The solution is to cut the dole, stop all immigration and temporary workers, allow wages to rise and insist on self sufficiency.

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago

Robustly control, rather than stop all. Every country needs immigrants, just not in overwhelming numbers.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

The story wasn’t about immigrants.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Jorge Espinha

What’s your point. Someone has to do the menial jobs.

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago

The classic handwringer’s malaise of ‘more funding needed’ without saying what you fund, or articulating the detail of how it would work to solve the problems of “overeating, excessive drink and drug use, gambling” or how you stop doctors leaving due to “work-related stress and the effect on [her] home life”. What do you get for your extra (11.2-10.7 minutes) 30 seconds of doctor time that cures this? How does the NHS help if the community “don’t want to live a longer rubbish life”? The author helicopters over the issues just as much the politicians he criticizes. What does the community actually want for themselves?

Christian Moon
Christian Moon
2 years ago

Could almost be a scouser.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago
Reply to  Christian Moon

Comment of the week

ARNAUD ALMARIC
ARNAUD ALMARIC
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

That’s a bit tough on Scousers after Paris isn’t it?
However, on reflection you are correct.

Last edited 2 years ago by ARNAUD ALMARIC
Dominic A
Dominic A
2 years ago

I’ve lived on council estates in Aberdeen, and in London. Social and medical services were broadly similar in both, probably a little easier to access in Scotland, whilst social and health problems were off the scale in the former (alcoholism, hard drugs, crime, ill health, domestic violence – made trainspotting look like a documentary). Other note-able features of the former were a culture of helplessness, and goals that did not extend beyond welfare payments, a bit of illicit cash earning, and getting high. Thankfully my immediate friendship group had the nous to get out of there (geography and jobs) before we got succumbed, which involved our rent going from £50 a month to £200, best money I ever spent. At least two that did not, didn’t make it beyond 25 years old.

Sally North
Sally North
2 years ago

Comments below are a bit harsh imo. Poor, disenfranchised people don’t have a lot of agency. It’s fine to talk about giving up smoking, cutting down on the booze and so on, blaming people for having bad health. But have you ever been to a poor post-industrial neighbourhood/town? No offence, but they are shitholes: ugly, filthy, noisy dumps full of ugly, damp housing. Everything in their environment is telling the people who live there that they are worthless. Maybe start there – clean the streets, maintain public spaces, outreach assertively into the community to find out what people really need and give it to them. These people are not stupid, they are beaten down with multi-generational poverty and the low expectations which go with that. Change the culture of failure by caring.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
2 years ago
Reply to  Sally North

Well said. We had a plan along those lines in the Labour party had we won back in 2015. In addition to better funding the NHS, as part of our ‘inclusive prosperity’ package, it included a Job Guarantee, which would of given those fit enough public sector jobs, so they’d had dignity at work & reasonable pay doing some of those tasks you mention.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Public Sector jobs doing what? We are already overborne in many departments (take the Motor taxation, Dept. at Swansea. Because they said they were “snowed-under” when the place was built they were given 50% extra manning and all we’ve had since then is industrial strife and they still complain of lack of staff.) These “special” workers will all want their guaranteed 6 weeks on ‘the sick’ on full pay (There’s a person in each work group whose sole job seems to be going around reminding people that they must take Sick Leave before a certain date or they’ll lose it.) Never mind their gold plated CS pensions!! Besides many people who really do care get taken advantage-of by these “Poor Downtrodden.”

Saul D
Saul D
2 years ago
Reply to  Sally North

But precisely what has been taken away is agency. Working northern towns had sports clubs, brass bands, gardening competitions, people dressed up to go out on a Friday or Saturday night, they did jobs and looked after where they lived. There was a community pride, and part of that pride was people looking after each other and being part of something mutual. Now it feels like they’re not allowed agency. Can’t do anything unless the council/welfare/state does it for you. Politicians (cf Adam Bartlett’s comment) believe people are looking for charity from some benevolent state machine when often what they want is to feel valued, for their opinion to count and not to feel powerless or treated like children.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago
Reply to  Sally North

The lowest expectations are those that they have of themselves.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
1 year ago
Reply to  Sally North

Well said.

Al M
Al M
2 years ago

There’s something missing here, which seems to have been buried or ignored. Some time ago, I recall seeing a TV documentary (possibly Horizon) that looked at the ‘Glasgow Effect’, where life expectancy is lower even when compared to equally deprived areas around the rest of the UK, controlling for similar patterns of poor diet, unemployment, substance abuse, etc. (and there are plenty of them). There has been lots of waffle about how ‘toxic masculinity’ is worse in Western Scotland and other such ways of reasoning it all away, but the arguments presented were interesting.
The hypothesis was that overcrowding in Glasgow tenements in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which was especially bad compared to other cities, led to very high levels of childhood disease and infant mortality before mass vaccination was available. Children with especially active immune systems were more likely to survive to adulthood, but with a cost that their hyperactive immune systems led to life-limiting conditions in later life; crucially, after the point where they had children of their own. Essentially, a short period of a few decades created an acute selection pressure, the results of which would be passed on to future generations. One piece of evidence was that life expectancy was still much lower for people who had not grown up in poverty or deprivation, but whose parents or grandparents had, compared to people with similar lives elsewhere, or indeed who had moved to Glasgow and did not have family roots there.
I’m not suggesting that this explains everything, far from it. The effects of the loss of middle income manufacturing jobs, with nothing to replace them bar very low paid service industry work, can be seen in many UK towns and cities. What is interesting is that this idea seems to have disappeared, while the sociological ideas continue (as does poor life expectancy). I don’t know if it was, in fact, disproved, but have my suspicions that any suggestion of genetic determinism simply attracts brickbats and accusations of supporting eugenics. If so, this is a pity as you cannot solve a problem if you focus on the wrong reasons for its existence. Much easier to blame Thatcher, isn’t it? Does anyone else (from the UK) recall this programme?

Harry Phillips
Harry Phillips
2 years ago
Reply to  Al M

I didn’t see the programme but have heard of, and can understand completely, the Glasgow Effect.

My interpretation was the famous “See you Jimmy!” attitude and the effort required to maintain it – surely more than most non-Glaswegians can manage.

I have also witnessed that council estate effect in a number of areas around the UK, and seen the energy that people put in to say, buying/selling drugs or stolen goods. It’s all very well for people with the nous to escape, but many lack the resourcefulness to do so, and end up stuck through inertia and poor life choices.

Tony Reardon
Tony Reardon
2 years ago

I have just read Theodore Dalrymple’s book “Life at the Bottom” and I would recommend it to anyone interested in topics such as poverty in the U.K. I would like to quote some observations he makes about a public housing estate. He has various third world doctors coming in to the NHS and wants to show them some aspects of British life> He says:
“The houses along the way are, as public housing goes, quite decent. … Each has a little front yard of grass, surrounded by a hedge, and a much larger back yard; about half have satellite dishes. Unfortunately the yards are almost as full of litter as municipal rubbish dumps. I tell my doctors that in nearly nine years of taking this walk four times a week, I have never seen a single instance of anyone attempting to clean his yard. …I ask my third world doctors to examine the litter closely. It gives them the impression that no Briton is able to walk farther than ten yards or so without consuming junk food. Every bush, every lawn, even every tree is festooned with chocolate wrappers or fast-food packaging. Empty cans of beer and soft drinks lie in the gutter, on the flower beds, or on top of the hedges. Again, on a good day we actually see someone toss aside the can whose contents he has just consumed, as a Russian vodka drinker throws down his glass.
Apart from the anti-social disregard of the common good that each little such act of littering implies (hundreds a week in the space of 800 yards alone), the vast quantity of food consumed in the street has deeper implications. I tell the doctors that in all my visits to the white households in the area, of which I’ve made hundreds, never – not once – have I seen any evidence of cooking. The nearest to this activity that I have witnessed is the reheating of prepared and packaged food, usually in a microwave. And by the same token, I have never seen any evidence of meals taken in common as a social activity – unless two people eating hamburgers together in the street as they walk along is counted as social. This is not to say that I haven’t seen people eating at home; on the contrary, they are often eating when I arrive. They eat alone, even if other members of the household are present, and never at the table; they slump on a sofa in front of the television. Everyone in the household eats according to his own whim and timetable. Even in so elementary a matter as eating, therefore, there is no self-discipline but rather an imperative obedience to impulse. Needless to say, the opportunity for conversation or sociality that a meal taken together provides is lost.”

Colin MacDonald
Colin MacDonald
2 years ago

Glasgow industrialised early, there isn’t even a race memory of good peasant cooking, maybe that’s why the standard of home cuisine is pretty dire. You can castigate the natives for their poor eating habits, but habits are hard to break folks! If you’re from Gdansk and your habit is salted herrings chances are it’s easier to eat healthy than someone from Lanarkshire where they’ve lived on fry ups and pies for five generations.

Last edited 2 years ago by Colin MacDonald
Colin Elliott
Colin Elliott
2 years ago

My Glaswegian mother-in-law used to cook vegetables well, by which I mean; for hours.
While they cooked, she smoked.
(That said; she was a lovely person.)

Last edited 2 years ago by Colin Elliott
Wayne Gault
Wayne Gault
2 years ago

Crivins! I’m shocked, not at the article, but many of the responses to it. Summarised, they say:

  • Your lifestyle choice – your fault.
  • Get off your arse and get a job.
  • To hell with redistribution of wealth.
  • Survive or die.

I thought I lived in a more understanding and insightful country that recognises:

  • Most people don’t choose a crappy life but for many it’s inevitable for no other reason than for where they were born.
  • Not everyone had the chances in life you had.

The science (epigenetics) says pretty clearly that people’s experience before and soon after birth conditions their vulnerability to stress, addiction and many other things. If your body’s response to stress is identical to a civilian in Donbas after 100 days of shelling, no wonder you’re not concerned about sticking in at school, eating your greens or having an appreciation of a litter free environment. Your only concern is how to survive the next 24 hours.
And please, don’t reply to this with the ‘I was thrashed as a kid and I turned out OK’ line. If that’s the case, I’m glad you’ve done well but please recognise the survivorship bias inherent in that statement where most don’t have the ability or means to overcome their inherent and profound disadvantage.
Well done to Unherd publishing this article – entirely consistent with challenging the herd mentality and divisive stereotypes.

David B
David B
2 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Gault

Epigenetics says nothing of the sort. It borders on pseudoscience at times, and is very dubious at best.

Last edited 2 years ago by David B
Dominic A
Dominic A
2 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Gault

There are judgey & cruel notes & comments.What you are missing is the pernicious culture of low expectations. This is every bit a killer as low or no social services. The difference is that if you only stress the latter, you can pose as a saint.

John Broomfield
John Broomfield
2 years ago

Do more mixing of the housing of the poor with the housing of the folk who are buying their own homes.

1 in 6 seems to be about the right ratio but that may vary around the country.

It is essential to disperse the poor among the better off instead of further wasting resources on the ghettos and their coaches living remotely from them.

By living and learning together all our children benefit from such mixing to spread more aspirational learning and lives.

Mel B
Mel B
2 years ago

Unfortunately, when a ‘poor’ family is housed in a ‘better’ area, they often drag the place down to their own standards or there are conflicts with the neighbours and the whole thing ends in tears. Seen it too many times locally.

Miguel Alvarez
Miguel Alvarez
2 years ago

Many poor people in the Westernize Countries, not just Scots have no discipline or drive.
They refuse to take care of themselves, work, exercise, eat clean, study, prep etc.
They are literally the Grasshopper from the “Grasshopper and the Ant.”
They have Culled THEMSELVES.
Shall we talk about the OPIATE/HARD DRUG USE IN SCOTLAND AND WALES?

Miguel Alvarez
Miguel Alvarez
2 years ago
Reply to  Miguel Alvarez

Single mothers with multiple kids from multiple fathers…No one works…Everyone drinks, eats grease, does drugs, is on the dole.
Obesity, drinking and smoking is a way of life.
NOW you want to demand help?
Nizzle please.

J. Hale
J. Hale
2 years ago

The Republicans in the U.S. will use this article as evidence that socialized medicine doesn’t improve health outcomes.

E. L. Herndon
E. L. Herndon
2 years ago

The title said everything about the agenda of the author. An opinion piece. Is there a problem? Yes. Will dirigiste government interventions (except for severely limiting immigration, perhaps) solve the problem? No. Just as in the so-called “gun violence” in the US, it is not the surface components, it speaks to a dysfunctional social matrix. As much as it pains me to admit it, bin Laden’s assessment of many aspects of Western society was more accurate than we’d like to think.

Andrew Dean
Andrew Dean
2 years ago

My life’s rubbish, I know if I did all these things, I’d live longer but I really don’t want to live a longer rubbish life,’” 
Is this really the government’s responsibility? Surely this is the perfect example of freedom for the individual?

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

A one-sided article. There is also a disconnect between communities that are unproductive and the rest of the country that the unproductive communities expect to pay for their health care.
There are currently great shortages of many groups of workers. That means salaries that would greatly improve people’s lives are going unpaid and unearned. The author never explores how unhealthy idleness is. Nor does he explore how mobility or respiratory problems develop in young adults.
The author starts the article by noting that many jobs in social services are for the benefit of the employee and not for the benefit of the people that person is meant to be helping. At the end, he asks that ‘politicians in charge of the purse strings’ increase the number of such positions. At no point does he suggest or discuss how communities suffering from high levels of multi-morbidity would use new resources to improve their health outcomes. Should young people from such communities graduate as doctors, there is no greater likelihood that they would hang around to work as GPs in these communities rather than heading for a nicer life elsewhere.

Christopher Barclay
Christopher Barclay
1 year ago

A one-sided article. There is also a disconnect between communities that are unproductive and the rest of the country that the unproductive communities expect to pay for their health care.
There are currently great shortages of many groups of workers. That means salaries that would greatly improve people’s lives are going unpaid and unearned. The author never explores how unhealthy idleness is. Nor does he explore how mobility or respiratory problems develop in young adults.
The author starts the article by noting that many jobs in social services are for the benefit of the employee and not for the benefit of the people that person is meant to be helping. At the end, he asks that ‘politicians in charge of the purse strings’ increase the number of such positions. At no point does he suggest or discuss how communities suffering from high levels of multi-morbidity would use new resources to improve their health outcomes. Should young people from such communities graduate as doctors, there is no greater likelihood that they would hang around to work as GPs in these communities rather than heading for a nicer life elsewhere.

David B
David B
2 years ago

Far more Guardian than Mail!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago

Bit of an overreaction there, I think.

Kathy Roster
Kathy Roster
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I think that if you haven’t experienced what the writer has, and have no knowledge of the reality of life in these situations then maybe you should refrain from passing an opinion.

Mel B
Mel B
2 years ago
Reply to  Kathy Roster

People should be silent because they have a different opinion to you?

Slopmop McTeash
Slopmop McTeash
2 years ago

The poor were born to die.