Policy Press

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The Richer, The Poorer

How Britain Enriched the Few and Failed the Poor, a 200 Year History

By Stewart Lansley

Published

Nov 1, 2021

Page count

304 pages

ISBN

978-1447363217

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Nov 1, 2021

Page count

304 pages

ISBN

978-1447363200

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Nov 1, 2021

Page count

304 pages

ISBN

978-1447363224

Dimensions

216 x 138 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
GBP 19.99 GBP 15.99You save GBP 4.00 (20%)
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    The Richer, The Poorer

    For 200 years, Britain’s most powerful elites have been allowed to enrich themselves at the expense of surging inequality and mass poverty. This landmark book charts the roller coaster history of both rich and poor, and the mechanisms that link wealth and impoverishment.

    Stewart Lansley traces the way financiers and executives have ruthlessly exploited their power to extract existing wealth at the cost of livelihoods and social resilience. He examines the bitter ideological rifts that have driven society back to the extreme divisions of the past. Why, he asks, are rich and poor citizens judged by very different standards, and why is the long ‘cycle of privilege’ as embedded today as a century earlier?

    "Lansley is a master of the telling anecdote and has produced a wonderfully readable and insightful history of how the rich have impoverished the poor." Jonathan Bradshaw, University of York

    “An important and illuminating book, an essential antidote to the outdated and iniquitous idea that some people are worth more than others.” Kate Pickett, University of York

    Stewart Lansley is a visiting fellow in the School of Policy Studies, the University of Bristol. He has written widely on poverty, wealth and inequality, most recently A Basic Income For All with Howard Reed (Compass 2019), and A Sharing Economy: How Social Wealth Funds Can Reduce Inequality and Help Balance the Books, (Policy Press, 2016). He is a Council member of the Progressive Economy Forum and an Associate of the Compass think-tank.

    Introduction: Knighthoods for the rich, penalties for the poor

    Part I: 1800-1939

    Hierarchical discipline

    Britain’s Gilded Age

    Public penury and private ostentation

    The dole and mass means-testing

    Part II: 1940-1959

    The future belongs to the shelterers

    Not for patching

    Brave new world

    A shallow consensus

    Part III 1960-1979

    The rediscovery of poverty

    Poorer under Labour

    Edward Heath and the U-turn

    Peak equality

    Part IV: 1980 - 1996

    Don’t mention the poverty word

    Zapping Labour

    The dark shadow of the poor law

    The great widening

    Money worship

    Part V: 1997- 2010

    The elephant in the room

    Still Born to Rule

    An orgy of self-enrichment

    The House of Cards

    The good, the bad and the ugly

    Part VI: 2011-2020

    Divide and Rule: playing politics with the poor

    The benefit ‘big-bang’

    All in this together

    Growing rich in their sleep

    Full circle

    Afterword: the pandemic