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‘One of the worst statistics in British sport’
What was Lord Moynihan, chair of the British Olympic Association, describing as ‘one of the worst statistics in British sport’ – was he worried Britain had not enough gold medals, was he concerned about what proportion of ‘targets’ had been met by the private security contractors, was he fuming at the number of days ‘lost’ to bad weather?
Not a bit of it. Lord Moynihan was responding to research published by Channel 4 news that more than half of Britain’s gold medals in Beijing 2008 were won by people who were the product of a private education. Put differently, over half Britain’s Beijing golds went to just over a fourteenth of the population. Or if you prefer a statistical ratio: 50% of the gold medal winners came from 07% of the people.
50:7 – that has Got to be noteworthy.
From ‘we are the 99%’ to ‘one of the worst statistics in British sport,’ there is a growing awareness that social, educational, aspirational, power, wealth and income inequalities damage society for us all. More equal societies work better for everyone as the seminal work by Wilkinson and Pickett demonstrates.
If we accept that, the question then becomes: what do we do about it?
It may be obvious, but worth stating again, that a range of actions is needed by a range of actors.
Individuals have a role to play in reducing inequalities; people coming together at the grass-roots level can do their bit; the Third Sector takes tackling inequalities seriously; and Governments – at all levels – are principal actors in the drive to build a more equal society.
The Scottish Government is currently consulting on a Community Empowerment and Renewal Bill under three themes: Strengthening Community Participation, Unlocking Enterprising Community Development, and Renewing Our Communities.
EVOC – in conjunction with the Edinburgh Partnership and Neighbourhood Partnerships – is running a ThinkSpace engagement including an event in the Business Centre, City Chambers, from 2pm to 4.30pm on Thursday 23rd August.
The Engagement begins here – tell us what you think about Participation, Renewal and Unlocking Enterprise in our online Survey.
See you up the Front!
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