"The arms that you wield now are not such as your forefathers wielded; but they are infinitely more effective, and infinitely more irresistable" ~ Cymru Fydd leaflet, 1890

Sunday, 31 May 2015

Parts of England are poorer than Wales and N Ireland

There was a report doing the rounds recently after the ONS released statistics showing that the richest parts of Wales were actually poorer than the poorest parts of London. The story was covered by The Daily Wales and the graphic they used appears to have originated from The Independent. After a quick look at the data the headline appears to be a classic case of slight of hand by the London media. The data for this is available here (.pdf) and the part we're going to look at is on page 27.

Click to enlarge
I've made my own graphic using a simple function in excel called data bars (available via the conditional formatting menu), yes I have new toys and yes I want to show them off.

I've added a line at the exact point of the poorest area of Wales and the richest area of Wales. The data is for gross disposable income. I have no idea how they are calculating this but the graph clearly shows that whilst the richest area of Wales is still poorer than the poorest parts of London, there are a lot of regions of England that are poorer than the poorest areas of Wales. These areas I have coloured in purple to make them easier to distinguish. Don't read anything into the choice of colours apart from the obvious choice for the Celtic nations.

We know that London rule has failed us here in Wales and Scotland but it's quite obvious that London rule is also failing the people of England too.

One other thing that stands out is the gap between richest and poorest.

Click to enlarge
In this graph I have added a line at the exact tip of each part representing the the three Celtic nations and a black line representing the area of England with the smallest gap between richest and poorest. I've also coloured them in those colours and coloured the 'South West' in grey as it was a gnat's cock higher than the 'North East'.

What we are seeing in the second graph is the result of the complete imbalance of the UK. Continually pushing infrastructure projects (that the rest of us have to pay for) at London and the home counties only goes to increase this. In comparison the likes of Wales appear more balanced but that is only true because there are far fewer rich people in Wales so the gap between rich and poor is less.

The same is also true for the people of England who are living in areas that are poorer than Wales and N Ireland. The fact that their areas have such a greater gap between rich and poor is what makes it easier to mask as they appear richer when averaged out. This is why it is easy for London media outlets to focus on a headline that says that the richest parts of Wales and N Ireland are poorer than the poorest parts of London. I'm sure anyone living in one of the poorer areas of England reading a headline like that would feel a little better about their area.

If the headline instead was to say that the poorest areas in seven of England's nine regions are poorer than the poorest areas of Wales then it would put a completely different angle on it. But you cannot expect an English newspaper to actually draw attention to both the disparity of England and the failure of England to look after it's own people.


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The richest parts of Wales are poorer than the poorest parts of London whilst the poorest areas in seven of the nine...
Posted by Welsh not British on Sunday, 31 May 2015

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