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Thread: Millions of Britons Unable to Cope with Modern Life, Says Study

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    Millions of Britons Unable to Cope with Modern Life, Says Study

    Patrick Butler
    The Guardian, Monday 7 December 2009

    Millions of people are unhappy, lonely and unable to cope with profound changes in the workplace, relationships and family life, according to a major study.

    It portrays Britain as a psychologically fragile society in which increased wealth has been accompanied by soaring levels of individual isolation and stress.

    Although welfare services have made big strides in addressing material poverty, they have failed to get a grip on the growing problems of mental illness and distress caused by the rise of individualism and family breakdown, it says.

    "The UK [is a] largely happy country, but one with many unhappy people … Too many parts of British society are brittle, vulnerable to shocks, stressed and … close to the edge," says the report, published by the Young Foundation and backed by 13 major charitable foundations.

    The report argues that the welfare state has evolved to meet physical and material needs such as providing enough to eat, places to live and cures for illness. But despite material abundance, society's ability to meet psychological and psycho-social needs "appears to have declined".

    Many people are more vulnerable to life shocks such as bereavement, unemployment and relationship breakdown, it says, because traditional social networks from the church to the family have declined.

    "A more overtly meritocratic society has encouraged people to be more ambitious for themselves, but also made them more vulnerable to failures – and more likely to blame themselves (rather than fate or the class system) if things go wrong.

    "Some of the shock absorbers – from faith to family – that helped us cope in the past have atrophied."

    It challenges the Conservative idea, promoted by David Cameron, that British society is "broken" and that many social ills are caused or exacerbated by dependency on the welfare state. It argues instead that while society is fragile, most people live "good lives" and believe they live in strong and supportive communities.

    "The welfare state is doing certain things very well. It has addressed material poverty but if it wants to be more responsive to social change in the 21st century it needs to think critically about the things it does not do very well."

    "Psychological needs are as pressing as material ones," said Rushanara Ali, associate director of the Young Foundation and a co-author of the report.

    The welfare state should be remodelled "through the lens of wellbeing", the report says. Failure to tackle psychological and emotional needs such as loneliness can store up damaging problems as vulnerable people spiral into depression, making them more likely to suffer unemployment or poor physical health.

    "The risks that matter most include mental ill-health and relationship breakdown as well as unemployment and poverty in old age," the report says.

    It argues that unemployed teenagers and refugees should be given a mobile phone and internet access as part of their benefits package because these are vital modern necessities that enable them to engage in society, not luxuries. "Given the importance of social contact to mental wellbeing and opportunities, perhaps this should be reflected in how essential support is provided to people in hardship."
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/de...ern-life-study

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    The most striking thing about this article for me is that it seems to suggest that the state alone has all the solutions. Nationalists should never assume that more state interference will provide solutions to society's ills. Nationalists should be active within their communities promoting strong social network bonds and the creation of folk communities. If native Britons began building up kinship bonds in the same way that Asians do we'll be half way there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berrocscir View Post
    The most striking thing about this article for me is that it seems to suggest that the state alone has all the solutions.
    what do you expect? it seems the think tank is sponsored by some govt. quango, droning on about 'blaming Class Differences' 'challenging Cameron's Conservatives' and being authored by someone called 'Rushanara Ali', it's not hard to gauge the political direction this is coming from .

    we've had 100 odd years of similar-minded people to the above attacking and undermining 'native' society & culture to make a 'better, progressive, class-free colour-blind religionless society' and now they turn around and say people 'lack support' and need more psychological help? better hire lots of Labourite social workers, or better yet spend £££millions on 'community cohesion' grants to blu-tac the mess together - that'll be even better than the real thing!

    If native Britons began building up kinship bonds in the same way that Asians do we'll be half way there.
    I agree. Actually it was one of the first things to 'set me off' so to speak, in that asians would support each other (in a not so good way - there would be 20+ asians to beat up 2 white boys after school) - no-one I knew but just the idea of it annoyed me, and made me think 'why can't white people stick together to help each other like that?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by Renwein View Post
    'why can't white people stick together to help each other like that?'
    I honestly think that is what we are losing every single day -- Fellowship. I think a good book that we should all read to understand fellowship with our own kinsmen would be the Lord of the Rings. It has perfect examples in it of Anglo-Saxon fellowship and chivalry.

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