Danny Dorling tells us what inequality is really all about


I've been lucky enough to get a copy in proof of the next Danny Dorling book, "Inequality and the 1%". And I've got to tell you it's a corker, although perhaps not for the reasons that Professor Dorling might hope. For example, he tells us in the first chapter what inequality is really all about. No, it isn't, as you might have thought, that the rich and poor are moving ever further apart and that this is, in some manner, a bad thing. No, he's quite insistent that it's really about the growing gap between the 1% and the other 9% of the top 10%.

The bankers and the CEOs have seen their incomes soar above what can be earned by other members of the upper middle classes like, oooh, say, senior journalists at The Guardian, Oxbridge professors and the like. And this is a very bad thing indeed and something must be done. Because those ghastly people in trade are now able to monopolise all of the positional goods d'ye see?

A couple of generations ago nice houses in London, the Georgian rectory in the countryside, these could be afforded by many of the professional classes. Now they're only available to those who decided to do commerce and won't somebody think of the poor intellectuals trailing in their wake?

That is, the entire current concern about inequality is a massive whingefest by those who look down upon their intellectual inferiors but find that they then get outbid by them them for the finer things in life.

It's clearly rich in comic possibilities to take this argument seriously. So perhaps we should take this argument seriously so that we can make fun of it. The major problem with Britain today is that Guardian journalists cannot buy nice houses in Islington. Discuss.