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Brent Cross and riots: "X Factor culture fuelled the UK riots, says Iain Duncan Smith"

Link to The Guardian

"A 'get rich quick' celebrity culture, exemplified by 'The X Factor' and the dysfunctional lives of footballers, has created a society 'out of balance', the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith, says today, in an interview surveying Britain after the summer riots.

"... Duncan Smith said the riots could be partly explained by a number of short-term factors. But he pointed to a host of structural problems that he said were partly to blame, and said he wanted create balance in society, adding: 'Balance is if you try hard, you work hard, then the rewards are in balance with what you put in, and what is available.'

"He also blamed monopolistic capitalism, arguing that free-market philosophers and advocates of 'a moral market place', such as the 18th-century economist Adam Smith, had always warned against anti-competitive banks.

"... He said he was also deeply disturbed by the way in which social housing had become ghettoised:
"Now, more than ever, we live our lives by income, in a way we would not 200 years ago. If you are an executive, you probably don't live in an executive home, you live in an executive estate.

There will be a housing estate for the poor somewhere else, and preferably nowhere near you, because that will bring your house prices down."

Link to Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph: "Empathy has fled the inner city, and it’s time for me to follow"

" 'So, why you leaving then?' I’m sitting outside the Cat and Mutton, successful gastropub and emblem of everything that’s gone well with this patch of Hackney in the past half-decade. The question is asked of me by the young man who manages it, as I’ve just told him we’re moving out of the borough, off to an outer London suburb.

"We're leaving because we can. Just another working couple, worn out by inner London. It takes energy to ignore the rubbish that swirls about our feet as we pick our way home from work; it’s an effort to turn a blind eye to the repellent antisocial behaviour that marks out too many bus journeys. Ten years of trying to fix my vision solely on the beauty that does exist here. I can’t do it any more."

'The Guardian' and London School of Economics:

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