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Saturday, 2nd January 2010

UK: The Power Gap: an index of everyday power in Britain

The Power Gap: an index of everyday power in Britain
Source: Demos

As political leaders compete to “give power to the people”, The Power Gap interrogates what it means for people to be powerful. Using eight indicators, this report assembled data across Britain to create an index of every consituency in the nation.

Ranking from 1 to 628, divided into the five leagues, the index reveals a dramatic divide between the powerful and the powerless. The map drawn from the index reveals clusters of the powerful, and 'deserts' of powerlessness - particularly in urban areas - where citizens lack wealth, education and a genuine choice at the polls.

The Power Gap argues that it is power, not more narrow approaches of income or mobility, that is the critical inequality in Britain. This is the divide that matters to our wellbeing and progress as a nation, and the challenge to which politics and leaders must rise.

This is the opening shot in a debate on the distribution of power in British society, a debate that is core to Demos vision and mission. It will provide a way of measuring and mapping the disparities in different forms of power across class and geography in the UK. The Power Gap paints a richer picture of who is on control of their own lives and the wider social world in which we live.

By showing the reality of power inequality to political representatives, we aim to concentrate minds and advance debate on the types of political, economic and social reform needed to close the gap between the powerful and the powerless.

+ Direct link to report (PDF; 1.2 MB)



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