Sir Michael Marmot is famed as the academic who told us all that health inequality is caused by economic inequality. we don't doubt that this is partially true although we'd really like to insist that health inequality will produce economic as well. Becoming bedridden and incapable to work at age 40 will lead to income inequality at age 60.
His latest work tells us that life expectancy is rising more slowly in the aftermath of the recession. This could of course be true. We might even agree with Owen Jones here:
An ideologically driven programme of cuts is almost certainly robbing us of life. Consistently rising life expectancy should be something we all take for granted. The UK, after all, is one of the wealthiest societies that has ever existed in human history. There are continuing dramatic improvements in medicine and technology. And yet new research by an ex-government adviser, Sir Michael Marmot, suggests that the rise in life expectancy – a constant trend for a hundred years – has stalled since 2010. What happened that year, exactly? Was that not when David Cameron, George Osborne and their Lib Dem stooges began slashing public services with a false economic pretext?
And thus the call for revolution:
Is there any clearer evidence of how utterly bankrupt our social order is? Human and social progress is grinding to a halt in Britain. Life is getting more insecure and poorer for millions – soon, it may even be getting shorter. That’s why we don’t just need a change in government in Britain, we need a change in how we organise our society. A peaceful, democratic revolution is long overdue in Britain, for the sake of our living standards, our health – and for the sake of our very lives.
Well, OK. So, what exactly should the revolution consist of? As Marmot points to:
There is no reason why the UK could not emulate Hong Kong, where life expectancy for men is 81.1 years for men and 87.3 for women – the highest in the world – Marmot added. Hong Kong has overtaken Japan in terms of how long citizens can expect to live.
So, let's increase economic inequality up to Hong Kong levels then, cut social spending down to Hong Kong levels and slash government overall to Hong Kong levels. We're just fine with that but we do think that Professor Marmot, given his usual proclivities, is confused here. And no one at all is surprised that Young Owen is confused at all, are they?