Britain prides itself on its sense of justice, on fair play and sticking up for the underdog. So what's gone wrong? Increasingly, as we look around, we find we're living on Inequality Street. Take, for example, the 2010 austerity programme. In theory the cuts didn't have to target the poorest, but in reality they have. This week The Centre for Welfare Reform published a new report, Counting the Cuts, which measures, not just how large the cuts have been, but also how fair they are, and who is being targeted. The results are shocking.
Market abuses like Libor helped to precipitate and exacerbate the economic crisis that has beset the world over the last few years. Yet, while the victims of this sort of fraud can be measured in millions and damages in billions, convictions remain only too rare and sentences are often lenient, considering the scale of the crimes.
I have won and lost jobs on the back of my (occasional) inability to be an obsequious yes-man. I won a job in a powerful publishing empire because I dared to speak my mind in a room of conformity, at precisely the moment the boss was changing his. The next day, my honesty was rewarded with a full-time contract.