Skinning the Tiger Claw by Claw: A review of Anthony B. Atkinson, Inequality: What can be done?

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If Thomas Picketty’s book put the study of inequality into a thoroughly grounded historical context, then Tony Atkinson is that history.  He has been attempting to assert that inequality and income distribution should be a central concern of mainstream economics since the 1960s, and has been a major influence on Picketty.

When he started writing this was a matter of deepening the state policy that was, to a degree, acting a countervailing force to the inequalities that an unmitigated market would have created.  Since the end of the 1970s he has been arguing against the neo-liberal orthodoxies that have dominated both economic theory and government policy.

It would be good to produce a fully grounded historical account of this process, and there are elements of this in Atkinson’s book.  But in lieu of that, here is a critical review of Atkinson’s book.

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UKIP and the 2015 general election: is the Farage balloon beginning to deflate?

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I will be writing an analysis of UKIP’ 2015 election result in due course.  In April 2014 I wrote a critique of Ford and Goodwin’s book on UKIP, Revolt on the Right, arguing that they overestimated the potential of UKIP to break through electorally.  In particularly, I questioned the assertion that UKIP were imminently about the start making inroads Labour’s working class electoral base.  This is, particularly on Matthew Goodwin’s part, allied to something of a “Blue Labour” view that the Labour Party needs to be more assertive in accommodating the anti-immigration views of many in its potential electoral base.

In this review I argued that Ford and Goodwin’s view that UKIP could break through into Westminster politics was at best an exaggeration, but more likely based on a reading of their statistical data that was simply wrong.  The election result, I think, bears this view out (although this needs much more detailed analysis).  The original piece bears re-reading in this context. Read it here.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 9th May to Friday 15th May 2015

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Maybe it the election, but the recent history of Britain receives very short shrift in the broadcast this week with just two programmes:  a re-run about working class solidarity on the Caledonian Road in north London and a look at racism and Caribbean serviceman in Britain in the Second World War.  Oddly for Radio 4, there is nothing on offer at all. Detail can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio listings Saturday 2nd May to Friday 8th May 2015 (UPDATE)

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Nothing that could be considered related to British history since 1945 on terrestrial TV this week, unless one counts ITV clips programme of election over the last 50 years (Weds 6th, 10:40pm Unforgettable Election Moments: 60 Years On) which I don’t. (Was 1959, not 1955 the first TV election in the UK, and does not even that overstate it a bit?)  Not even Radio 4 can step into this breach, although at a push Archive of 4’s The New Language of Pain could be considered relevant (Saturday 2nd May, 8:00pm).  The programme which looks at the changing way in which people have described pain, which (if we are lucky) we raise more questions than it answers.

UPDATE.

I didn’t look at the BBC Parliament Channel, which often has interest snippets from the past on it (they has a fantastic six hours of coverage from the February 1974 election night programme a couple of Christmases ago).  It thought that it would be dedicated to the general election at the moment, but we have a number of interesting programmes coming up over the weekend.

From 9:00pm to 9:35pm Saturday 2nd May we have a trio of programmes When Nobody Wins with Professor Iain McLean will give, one assumes, a perspective based on the devolved settlement; Professor Peter Hennessy will certainly be the most historically grounded; and Catherin Haddon of the Institute of Government may relate to more immediate constitutional concerns.

On Sunday, Peter Snow looks at TV coverage of the elections in 60 years of Swing on Sunday at 9pm on the Parliament Channel.

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TV and Radio Saturday 2nd May to Friday 8th May

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Nothing that could be considered related to British history since 1945 on terrestrial TV this week, unless one counts ITV clips programme of election over the last 50 years (Weds 6th, 10:40pm Unforgettable Election Moments: 60 Years On) which I don’t. (Was 1959, not 1955 the first TV election in the UK, and does not even that overstate it a bit?)  Not even Radio 4 can step into this breach, although at a push Archive of 4’s The New Language of Pain could be considered relevant (Saturday 2nd May, 8:00pm).  The programme which looks at the changing way in which people have described pain, which (if we are lucky) we raise more questions than it answers.

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Last Tango in Westminster?

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A review of Coalition, first broadcast on Channel 4, 28th March 2015.

A long review of this Channel 4 docudrama that looks at the political machinations that surrounded the creation of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the five days following the 2010 general election.  The object here is to assess the degree to which the programme was good history, or the degree to which it sacrificed historical accuracy for dramatic impact.  The review can be read here.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 18th April to Friday 25th April 2015.

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A few bits and bobs that maybe of interest this week.  The listings can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 11th April to Friday 17th April 2015.

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A round up what the broadcast media would have us think contemporary British history is this week.   A thin week dominated by surveillance and double agents in the Cold War.  And Masterchef. This can be found on the TV and Radio page.

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TV and Radio Listings Saturday 4th April to Friday 10th April 2015.

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Quite a slim offering this week foe couch historians.  For a listing of programmes relevant to contemporary British history his week see the list on the TV and Radio listing page.

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TV and Radio Listings Sunday 29th March to Friday 3rd April 2015.

Strangeways RiotTV and radio listing for programmes on TV and radio related to be contemporary British history can be read here.

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