I’ve never written a blog. There – I said it. So if you’ve thought the same; don’t fear I’m new here too! When I heard the theme of Blog Action day this year was inequality, a whole wave of thoughts, ideas and emotions literally flooded me. This rarely happens as I’m pretty empty upstairs.
Why? Immediately my mind turned to my home for the last 20 years – a council estate in London. My memories of my estate, consist mainly of playing football right outside my door on what we referred to as “landings”.
Every floor had their “landing”, 2 meters in width of walking space directly outside your home. It was from this landing I could see the financial centre of London; Canary Wharf. Literally 900 metres away. It was an amazing building of glass and metal, huge in size, with rich business men and women on every floor. Daily, millions of pounds flowed through those floors. This distance between our estate and Canary Wharf defined ‘inequality’ for me.
In my mind I picture my estate; archaic, underprivileged council estate consisting of predominantly Bengali and Somali families; starkly juxtaposed with Canary Wharf, a new shiny financial centre of London full of white middle class men. It visually sums up the fact Tower Hamlets in London is simultaneously one of the richest and poorest boroughs in the UK. A fact my own experience attests to.
This was my initially thought; Inequality in the UK is real, I’ve seen it, lived it and breathed it. I’ve since pushed on, and am just starting an internship at Oxfam,where I have begun researching inequality and stumbled upon some startling reports released & statistics like; the five richest families in the UK are wealthier than the bottom 20 per cent of the entire population. With these resources, my experience and my rusty old computer, I’ll begin putting my blog together for October 16th.
I’d recommend visiting Oxfam website for loads of resources and information on Inequality. Two that I found really helpful were A Tale of Two Britains and this list of Inequality related publicans and reports.
When thinking about inequality, keep in mind it’s not just about the economic divide, it’s found in all facets of life. Whether it is racial, gender, disability, faith, sexuality, health, education, political, social status or age, inequality unfortunately seems to be on the rise, affecting more people in many different ways. Good luck and I look forward to seeing your posts on October 16.