The common table.

Cruddas, Jon and Rutherford, Jonathan (2010) The common table. In: Crisis and recovery ethics, economics and justice. Williams, Rowan and Elliott, Larry, eds. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, pp. 54-76. ISBN 9780230252141. [Book Section]


The financial crisis has taken Britain to the brink of economic disaster. Dynastic wealth for the few exists alongside some of the highest levels of poverty and inequality in the EU. There has been more home ownership, but no investment in housing for the next generation and now a scandalous national housing crisis. We live in a consumer wonderland, but stagnant wages have led to unprecedented levels of personal debt. And amidst the glittering baubles is a society in which trust has declined, and our democracy and liberties have been diminished. We face a new set of social problems such as obesity, loneliness and increasing levels of mental illness.The economy grew on bubbles and speculation. Whole regions of the country are dependent upon public spending because business will not invest in the future economy. The boom was a false prosperity that lined the pockets of the business elite. This chapter argues that Britain is at a turning point and it is an historical moment that should belong to the left. The left however is floundering in the ideological vacuum left in the wake of New Labour. It has neither the alliances across civil society, nor the collective political agency to secure a new radical electoral agenda. It lacks a story that defines what it stand for. The ideology of liberal market capitalism might have lost its credibility, but it remains the only story of economic life on offer. In the coming decade the left must begin again. We must return to first principles of ethics, class and community.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Media and Performing Arts
Item ID: 7886
Depositing User: Repository team
Date Deposited: 12 May 2011 14:49
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:23

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