Letter: Community values

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The Independent Online
Sir: In arguing that Britons are averse to community life, Andrew Marr writes (9 February) that 'in all affluent societies greater wealth has been used to buy less community and more privacy'. This gives a quite misleading picture of human nature as essentially reclusive and unsocial.

His observation is only true in relation to societies marked by pockets of wealth and security in a general setting of impoverishment and hostility. Inland Revenue Statistics shows that the wealthiest 1 per cent of the population owns three times more marketable wealth than that owned by the bottom 50 per cent. Some areas suffer high rates of crime, ill-health and despair while others enjoy security and comfort. What reasonable person would not be wary of 'the community' in many parts of Britain today?

Yours faithfully,

GARY SLAPPER

Law School

Staffordshire University

Stoke-on-Trent

9 February

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