Jonathan Swift's original modest proposal is online in it's entirity at the University of Pensylvania: |
The news today, from one of my favorite international papers, The New Zealand Herald seems to indicate the prophetic nature of his words. Obviously they were on the right track when they put him in prison: he was an impediment to the progress of Empire.
Murder is blight of poor, says surveyBy Nigel Morrison
NEW ZEALAND(10-18-05) The gap between the murder rates in the poorest and wealthiest parts of Britain has widened dramatically over the last two decades.
In a damning portrait of growing social division, research published yesterday discloses that the country's worst-off communities have borne the brunt of a rising rate of violent crime.
Residents of the richest towns and suburbs are 4 per cent less likely to be murdered than 20 years ago, while those in the poorest areas run a 39 per cent greater risk of being murdered.
The growing gap is revealed by the Crime and Society Foundation, an academic thinktank, which blames the disparity partly on economic policies pursued by Conservative governments of the 1980s and 1990s.
The emergence of mass unemployment 20 years ago, combined with higher levels of poverty that persist to this day, have fuelled a long-term culture of violence, it argues.
An estimated 13,140 people were murdered between 1981 and 2000, an average of about 1.8 per day.
The toll rose from just over 500 deaths in 1981 to about 750 in 2000.
But researchers have discovered that nearly all of the increase is concentrated in Britain's poorest areas, including parts of east London, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle. People who live in these areas are nearly six times as likely to be murdered as their richest fellow citizens. Twenty years ago they were 4.5 times as likely to be killed.
"The stark fact is, some people are murdered in Britain today because they are poor," said foundation director Richard Garside.
"If everyone has an equal right to life, this situation can only be considered a profound abuse of human rights."
By far the most common way of being murdered is with a knife or broken glass.
Over the two decades the murder rate of women and older men stayed static or fell. But it climbed sharply for boys and men aged between 5 and 59, with a doubling for men in their early 20s.
The report's author, Danny Dorling, professor of human geography at Sheffield University, also notes that the murder rate of men born in the mid-1960s is rising as the years pass.
He argues that the "seeds were sown" in the early 1980s when they were leaving school as the recession was beginning to bite and they struggled to find work.
Dorling said the lives of men born since the mid-1960s in different parts of Britain have polarised and "inequality, curtailed opportunities and hopelessness have bred fear, violence and murder".
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