East Midlands RSA has been a longtime supporter of Lunar21. The RSA – Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce – recently held an event at RSA House in London. Speakers Professor John Hills and Tom Clark described a bleak picture of what it is to live in the 21st Century United Kingdom.
For those interested in the topics raised in this lecture the speakers have both published recent books on the subject, available to purchase online:
Good Times, Bad Times: The welfare myth of them and us, by John Hills
Hard Times: Inequality, Recession, Aftermath, by Tom Clark and Anthony Heath
Have we fully comprehended the human cost of the recession?
The economic recession may be over, but the aftermath is a policy of austerity stretching out for as far as the eye can see – with grave implications for the welfare state. The Left complains that the bills run up by the bankers are being paid by the poor, while the Right claims to be rebalancing the scales against shirkers and in favour of strivers.
Director of the LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, Professor John Hills revives the original argument for social security as way of smoothing everyone’s path between cradle and grave – something important for the middling majority, as well as the impoverished few.
He joins Guardian journalist and author Tom Clark, who has uncovered how the cuts are scarring poor communities, not only in terms of material hardship, but also the psychological damage caused by poverty. He will explain how feedback from the “war on welfare” is now disadvantaging workers as well as the unemployed, in a labour market where jobs are again plentiful, but where security and fulfilment remain in short supply.
Speakers: Professor John Hills, director, LSE’s Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion; Tom Clark, Guardian journalist and author
Chair: Anthony Painter, director of Institutional Reform, RSA