Inequality is growing nationally and globally. It is corroding social cohesion and democracy. It is creating division. It is also holding back economic development and growth. However, too few politicians seem to regard inequality as important. Indeed, some of the Coalition government's policies have directly increased inequality and there is no indication that the Government has any strong desire to reverse this trend.
Yesterday, I walked into the shopping centre of my local town, and I came across an artist at work. His poetry, written in chalk, spanned the pavement and I, like many others, paused to read. His work seemed to be aimed at generating thought and reflection, and if this was the case, it was certainly working.
For the few that fight against another Haiyan happening, hope and current action is not enough. More than offering help to the people of the Philippines, thre is a need to call for justice. If we don't have the will to fight for justice, we must at least lend a voice to all those like Yeb Sano, who do fight. Because just like poverty, restoring hope to natural calamity victims cannot be an act of charity, it must be an act of justice.
Perhaps supporting international aid despite our problems at home says more about our values than anything else. I am proud British people chose to support international development in countries they may never have visited, for people they may have never met. I believe access to social justice should be determined not by nationality, but by need.
Such is the level of anger and indignation levelled at Russell Brand for 'daring' to publicly articulate his disenchantment with the status quo, with the political and economic system, and worse daring to write a book with the provocative title Revolution, you would think he'd just committed some heinous crime. The criticism that has attached to him over his reinvention as a political activist, writer and campaigner says more about those throwing barbs than it does about him, however, echoing perhaps Oscar Wilde's assertion that, "Ridicule is the tribute paid to the genius by the mediocrities".
Privately politicians acknowledge the difficulties, and some of them admit to being completely overwhelmed by the scale of the problem. Others don't see any merit in robustly addressing the concerns, because children don't vote and are not going to hold them accountable... Together, we can hold our politicians accountable, and demand that they prioritise the needs of vulnerable children who deserve to have their courage matched by society's courage to dream the best reparation for them.
Whiteboards have become the most crucial weapon in the battle for social justice since Tumblr was invented. It has become a fortunately common practice in academic circles to stand in some picturesque part of your university holding a whiteboard with either a pro-social justice claim inscribed thereon, or an example of some unpleasant piece of bigotry hurled your way by some socially unreformed reprobate...