In today's column, Polly Toynbee writes:
Social mobility has come to a halt, crushed by this new era of mega-greed.
Social mobility has come to a halt? Even the much reported upon paper by Blanden, Gregg and Machin, called "Intergenerational Mobility in Europe and North America" (headlines included: 'UK low in social mobility league, says charity' in the Guardian) showed that for men born in the 1970's, if their father's income was in the bottom quartile, they stood a 37% chance of also having income in the bottom quartile (see table 1 in their paper; pdf link here).
Now, for complete social mobility, that could be 25%, but to say that you have a better than 3 in 5 chance of escaping bottom-quartile incomes is not social mobility "come to a halt".
She writes that:
Mori finds that about 80% of people support the idea of ID cards
In the same survey, only 27% said they knew "[a] great deal" or "[a] fair amount" about the ID card scheme -- 39% knew "[j]ust a little", 28% had "[h]eard of it, but know nothing about it" and 6% had never heard of it.
It seems curious to be so approving of the MORI position, and yet also think that "[t]he public cavil endlessly at politicians while wallowing in wilful ignorance and bitter prejudice," as Polly does.
On 18 July, Polly wrote:
The eyes of would-be nuclear builders, meanwhile, are on Areva, the French government- subsidised company building in Finland the first new nuclear station anywhere in decades.
And I took her to task here, pointing out that in 2004, 27 nuclear power constructions worldwide were under constuction.
Today, she writes of:
proliferating nuclear power stations
I am gald that the message is (very) slowly and unevenly getting through.
Incidentally, contrast her approval of citizens' views on what makes them feel safer when they happen to agree with her in today's column:
As for CCTV, when Mori asks local communities what would make their areas safer, street cameras always come in the top three. It's easy to see why: people on an estate I know say CCTV helped transform the only local shopping street, which had been rife with drugs and prostitution.
With the despairing, "why don't they understand?" take on citizens' views on how safe they feel when they happen to disagree with Polly, from 22 April, 2005.