Monday, 25 April 2016

Social Institutions at Breaking Point?

Our next meeting will be a Debate on how society should cope with the pressure on collective services.
On the 12th May from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at the White Rock Hotel

Many of the services that we take for granted and which make UK such a great place to live, have been under extraordinary pressure – and some claim they are at breaking point….
The list is long:
·         Health – NHS, mental health, nursing homes, end of life care
·         Schooling - Teaching staff leaving, shortage of places/ large classes, curriculum changes and now academisation
·         Legal - loss of legal aid is making recourse to the law only available to the rich.
·         Policing – cut backs put safety at risk and a lack of competence in the new crime areas on line,
·         Army – even if we spend 2% of GDP as NATO demands, it is not enough to deliver an effective world force.
·         infrastructure – housing shortages, transport, technology
·         local government – increasing responsibility but reduced budgets
·         etc etc
But why are these the things we seem unable or unwilling to afford?

Is the answer to use market pressures to improve their efficiency or – whisper it quietly…to increase taxes, or is there some third ways of sharing social responsibility? See article on this bit…

In the longer terms, as we apply evolving technologies to improve the affluence of our society, how to we ensure that the benefits are distributed equitably and that our collective resources are directed to the benefit of the common good?
This is the heart of the Social Contract between citizens and state. There might be no right answers, but how do we as Humanists, feel about these choices?

Bring along your views and ideas and experiences to share in the debate.

Stephen Milton (Chair)

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