Too little was done during the 1980’s to compensate for the psychological loss that accompanied redundancy and plant closures across the industrial heartlands of Great Britain.  I fear the same will be true in the coming decade as the cuts imposed by the Coalition impact upon a broader base.

Once the figures are digested, if they ever can be, there will be destruction, at first unseen, of self esteem.  When there is no purpose there can be no peace for the individual, family or society. Eventually unrest, depression and other forms of ill health are likely to set in.

Had the cuts in public spending and increase in University tuition fees been more gradual with less consequences for the most vulnerable there may have been a greater chance of alleviating the worst effects.  But research has shown time and again that the greater the inequality within a nation the greater the social ills faced by that nation.  Only by closing the gap between rich and poor, engaging in a non bullish, non patronising employment of people’s gifts to contribute to the community and by finding meaningful, life affirming occupation can we best harness the energies and realize the aspirations of a generation.  Telling young people from risk-averse, low and middle earning families that they are going to be saddled with tens of thousands of pounds of debt on graduation will not help, especially when there will be less chance of work after leaving University.  Removing people from the place where they find their reason for being will only serve to create disillusionment, mistrust, envy and division.

Compensatory measures should have been in place long before such sweeping changes to the way our society operates.  If the Big Society meant anything then it should it should have been well established before imposing ‘little state’.