• 2004: Life, Death and Equality

    Written 2004 and, probably published in an ephemeral local Respect publication.

    Death, they used to say, is the Great Leveller. Not in Blair’s Britain. Figures published this summer by the Enfield Advertiser show that a man living in Edmonton Green ward has a life expectancy of just 72.2 years. A couple of miles up the road, in the more prosperous Grange ward, a man can hope for 80.8 years. That’s a difference of 12 per cent.

    People from Edmonton interviewed in the Advertiser (4 August) had no doubt about the main cause. Poverty.

    Poverty takes many forms. Poor diet is one. Rising housing prices, making it impossible to move to a healthier area, are another. Those who die younger are often on the minimum pension: Labour has scandalously refused to restore the link with earnings. And most of the areas where life is shortest are due north of the Edmonton incinerator. Why was an incinerator built in the most crowded area of Edmonton, rather than, say, in Trent Park, where fumes would affect far fewer people? Guess.

    Andy Love, MP for Edmonton, says there is a lot of ‘resentment’ about the disadvantages suffered  by Edmonton residents. Unfortunately, Andy, that resentment is increasingly directed at your government. In last June’s London elections, over eleven per cent of voters in Edmonton Green chose Respect. This compares to under two per cent in Grange ward. Remember the first ‘E’ in Respect stands for Equality.