Comments for http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html en-gb 30 Mon 06 Jul 2015 02:01:17 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=98#comment65 Mark from all of your blogs I would say that your a great supporter of both youth and community's Ive emailed the above to the bbc as an idea for a story.Its not a map that can be compared but a real life problem that's happening now. My question is will the bbc support the communitys or the councils in this, will they support the youth or the fat cat.The first meeting/ protests begin on the 10th of this month.http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?gid=36938458013&ref=mfMany thanks John EllisEgremont Community Voice. Fri 05 Dec 2008 11:32:02 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=96#comment64 #63 A national community would be an anonymous community.Internet and national identity has become a cyber community this model however can not work at local levels of social interaction.The BBC is a national community that gathers the storys of the lives of this day as it passes and we sit glued to it, to most totaly impersonal unless they are actual subject of the story.But what do you find when you pull yourself away from this national community, mostly empty spaces were local communites used to talk tell the story of their day.While we take part in this the real communitys are torn apart by the goverment with the promise of better things. But they dont know our communitys so they dont care were i live in the wirral the goverments council in nailing shut the final nails in the coffin of our commuitys as they tear out vital public services swiming pools, libaries, lesiure centre's. The axe falls on these in the new year cost cuts you understand. but in truth there will be no cost cuts there will be no benifit, only a rise in poverty and ill health children in poor areas will no longer learn to swim and the few pools left open will suffer overcrowding overpricing and less time in the water, ASB will go through the roof as they place youth clubs between communitys. but that alright they have saved money on services, all well and good but that will the police do already stretched to the limits in this area. the youth services operate out of a shed so they have a safe place.. !??? surely that should be youth clubs but alas there are none in that area.... Thu 04 Dec 2008 20:21:17 GMT+1 Vulkenstein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=95#comment63 "At 10:47pm on 03 Dec 2008, py0alb wrote:Saying "we don't need or want foreigners here" is clearly racist, and I find it extremely offensive."Aaaw shucks! Maybe I should go on a diversity course. Ha! Ha! Ha! Thu 04 Dec 2008 19:16:33 GMT+1 trenerys http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=93#comment62 The report makes it sound like we have lost community spirit somehow. Surely the community spirit has evolved and changed. I mean the demands of everyday life has changed dramatically since the 70's. Populations are more mobile, work commitments and work patterns have changed, people's lifestyle have also changed. If we have lost this old idea of a local community surely we should be striving towards a national community? Thu 04 Dec 2008 16:29:53 GMT+1 veryfaraway http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=92#comment61 It is assumed that the old community feeling was positive. And no doubt included married but battered wives who survived in silence. Thank goodness for mobility and having choices. Thu 04 Dec 2008 14:58:55 GMT+1 MrCharters http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=90#comment60 An American social scientist, Robert Putnam, has written extensively on this subject and his major finding is that ethnic diversity decreases social capital, and that this holds across all age and socio-economic groups. Thu 04 Dec 2008 11:43:15 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=89#comment59 RAR the mrs won her community award.does a little dance.Outstanding reduction in antisocial behaviour and youth crime.does another little dance.py0alb your funny :P Wed 03 Dec 2008 23:24:28 GMT+1 AB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=87#comment58 Saying "we don't need or want foreigners here" is clearly racist, and I find it extremely offensive. Imagine if a foreign person was reading this article? What would they think of us?What this country really doesn't need are ignorant bigots like you! Wed 03 Dec 2008 22:47:11 GMT+1 trevor_99 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=86#comment57 I am sorry, but this is very weak. It attempts to link a psychological state ('sense of belonging') to four social measures.For this to be at all convincing, one would need some fundamental research demonstrating that the social measures are good predictors for the psychological state. The article fails to provide this, merely waving its hands.Furthermore, at even a glance, as others have pointed out, at least two of the measures have been subject to fundamental change over the past 30 years - namely the move from owned to rented accommodation (part of government policy) and the drift away from marriage for long-term co-habiting couples.It's as if we were attempting to measure happiness by seeing how many more people had cars or foreign holidays today than in 1971 - without the research demonstrating the link between happiness and cars and foreign holidays, and without clear evidence that the link stayed strong even as the number of cars and holidays changed rapidly, we are just whistling in the wind.Finally, a quick look at the article shows that almost all the change occurred between 1981 and 1991. Hardly any occurred between 1971 and 1981 or between 1991 and 2001. That certainly needs explaining, but doesn't support the hypothesis of a steadily fragmenting society.In short, we may all feel that society is fragmenting, and we may all be right, but these maps add absolutely nothing to the argument either way. Wed 03 Dec 2008 20:03:35 GMT+1 Vulkenstein http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=84#comment56 I am very lucky to live in an area that, as yet, has not been "enriched" by multiculturalism, diversity, and mass immigration. As a result, there is still a very strong sense of community indeed. We don't need or want any foreigners here. NuLabour take note! Wed 03 Dec 2008 18:58:54 GMT+1 Baldassaro http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=83#comment55 The problem with these findings is that they're focussed closely on geography, and think that communities are always based around a locality. I have a wide circle of friends, and see them frequently. However, only a couple of them live within walking distance of me (I live quite close to central London), and I tend to see them in the centre of town in the evening and at weekends. I have no desire to get to know my neighbours (indeed, that's why I moved to London in the first place) since there's no reason why I should have anything in common with them merely because we live in the same street. As far as I know, they feel pretty much the same. And in case you think that means I'm merely transient, I've lived in the same house for 25 years, which is probably longer than most people.Some people are bothered about "rootedness" and some people aren't, just as some people are family-orientated and some aren't. Throwing about words like "loneliness", "belonging" and "community" isn't helpful. Just accept that there are different ways in which people want to live their lives, and get on with it. Wed 03 Dec 2008 16:29:18 GMT+1 AB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=81#comment54 Where on earth do all you people live?This survey proves absolutely nothing whatsoever. The conclusions they attempt to draw from the data are completely and utterly ridiculous.Our "communities" are a strong as they have always been. Perhaps if you all spent less time on HYS complaining about the state of the country, and more time outside enjoying it, you might have some more positive feelings to relate! Wed 03 Dec 2008 14:37:48 GMT+1 AndyHull08 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=80#comment53 It has become quite a sad state of affairs that communities are becoming less united and willing to engage with each other. The gap between youth & old and the racial divide is as great today than it's ever been. Possibly caused by the lack of respect both parties have for one another? Long gone are the days of togetherness and that feeling of belonging when you pull your car up on the drive.In the UK today, there must be countless neighbours who simply have no interest in knowing who lives next door and have never even said as much as 'Hello' to one another. As our main city's sky line continues to grow with countless apartment blocks that have as much character as Nick Groening's scrapbook during a writers strike, and the feeling of a dark empty hotel corridor, how can that community spirit expect to develop and grow.I have personally tried to find ways to help build a more togetherness within my community and get to know who my neighbours are. One interesting website i stumbled upon was something called ushare (http://www.ushare.co.uk) that allows people to share their belongings (i.e. ladders, power tools) instead of spending money on these items you infrequently use. The idea is to help communities save money but also help build communities within our local area where there is no common divide.In the current economical climate, of which could continue to deteriorate, it is crying out for communities to reunite and work together just as they did many years ago during the 1st and 2nd World War. Wed 03 Dec 2008 14:13:44 GMT+1 radref http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=78#comment52 I agree with some previous contributors in highlighting a link between church and community. Strangely there wasn't a single mention of this in the Dorling report. Not everything to do with the situation described in Changing UK is bad but I suspect there would be few of us who would welcome an alienated, fragmented, rootless Britain which is the logical outcome if these trends continue. It seems odd for churches used to decrying the 'evils of drink' to find common ground with the plight of thousands of UK pubs, but we have mutual interests in the preservation of precious shared space. I'm an insider to the Christian constituency and see this report as a powerful encouragement to redouble our commitment in working for vigorous, lifegiving local communities. Wed 03 Dec 2008 13:04:33 GMT+1 radref http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=77#comment51 I agree with some previous contributors in highlighting a link between church and community. Strangely there wasn't a single mention of this in the Dorling report. Not everything to do with the situation described in Changing UK is bad but I suspect there would be few of us who would welcome an alienated, fragmented, rootless Britain which is the logical outcome if these trends continue. It seems odd for churches used to decrying the 'evils of drink' to find common ground with the plight of thousands of UK pubs, but we have mutual interests in the preservation of precious shared space. I'm an insider to the Christian constituency and see this report as a powerful encouragement to redouble our commitment in working for vigorous, lifegiving local communities. I have more comment on my blog: http://radref.blogspot.com/ Wed 03 Dec 2008 12:50:48 GMT+1 CarolineOfBrunswick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=75#comment50 Its a bit ironic that for a story about a sense of belonging to where one lives, its hard to work out which area covers the town I live in(both the BBC radio area and the "tracts" in the spreadsheet). Having moved aroung a bit, I would say that where I live (a small town on the Manchester edge of the Peak District) has the best sense of community spirit and engagement I've ever experienced. This only comes about because of hard work put in on a voluntary basis (which I know I should contribut more to), but I think its worth saying that some of the factors that help might include; relatively poor transport links (mostly due to geography), fairly homogeneous poplulation particularly in income, lack of commercial entertainment (no cinema etc), and the town not being so attractive to become a tourist honeyspot. Things that in other circumstances that could be seen as shortcomings. Wed 03 Dec 2008 10:45:34 GMT+1 kencharman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=74#comment49 As a social scientist myself I think the main question posed by this study is ; How does social science research benefit society? Did this study have any practical application?Now we all know about "Anomie" will it be used for the good of the nation. If so how?If the answer is "we don't know yet" or "we need to do more research" ..... we would be better off investing taxpayers money in handing out free fruit. Wed 03 Dec 2008 09:18:32 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=72#comment48 py0alb but that is how it all begins. take that opinion and pass it around a small group of people. Its truly amazing how fast such things will grow. sorry if i used it as an example. Wed 03 Dec 2008 08:48:24 GMT+1 AB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=71#comment47 "a seed of hate" - thats going a bit far!I was merely pointing out that the sense of community and belonging that a lot of people feel from going to church, you can equally feel from going to your local pub, and if the pub is full of "bums and drunks" then you're going to the wrong pub. The pubs I go to aren't!If it was the "obnoxious" comment that offended you, then that is simply an informed opinion. If you don't find a book which unequivocally advocates genocide, rape and stoning obnoxious, then that's your right of free speech.I am certainly not the reason "we have no communities". I have only lived in my town for a few years, but I go out and chat to the teenagers in the streets to make sure they don't cause trouble, and I know the people in my street and my local pub, and am already better known and more approachable than many people than have lived here their whole life.Britain's communites aren't disintegrating at all, they're perfectly fine as they are, thank you very much. Tue 02 Dec 2008 22:34:21 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=69#comment46 jayfurneaux post 43 was more about post 42 in relation to post 12.for the old the church is a very important part of life not always worship but as a meeting place without drunks n bums.a quiet place to reflect upon.the policy of working sundays is also one of the factors for the decline of the church.On to the communities around industry i completly agree with you we became a service nation a long time ago under thatcher as she brough heavy industry to a standstill in the uk replacing it with call centre's and privateisation, a price we are only just now starting to see at grassroots levels. Tue 02 Dec 2008 19:57:25 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=68#comment45 py0ald there was no point to the post other than pointing out that this country was based on the church.you just displayed the prime example of why we have no communities though.you took a pointless post and turned it to a seed of hate against me."Any possible benefit you could get from regularly attending church you could also get from regularly attending your local pub, and that way you don't have to keep a straight face while people talk about their fairy tales (or at least not such obnoxious ones)."Whilst i could complain and make an issue have the post removed ill leave it there as a prime example of a person who has no respect for others.Maybe one day people will learn respect and then our children will know how to behave. Tue 02 Dec 2008 19:45:21 GMT+1 jayfurneaux http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=66#comment44 #43. I really wouldn`t say that people stopped going to church because they were too busy; not believing in it or finding it at all relevant explains that. This decline has been going on for the whole of the 20th Century too so I don't think you can blame Government for that.Another cornerstone of local communities used to be the pub; many urban areas used to have a small local (the Rovers Return in Corrie is based on what used to be commonplace) on the corner of most streets. They've mostly disappeared too for a whole host of reasons; tastes change. People used to live close to the mine, factory, docks or shipyard they worked in, that`s all gone and with it the sense of community it brought. Change is constant, but I'm not convinced it`s all been for the worse in recent decades. Tue 02 Dec 2008 18:31:15 GMT+1 AB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=65#comment43 Any possible benefit you could get from regularly attending church you could also get from regularly attending your local pub, and that way you don't have to keep a straight face while people talk about their fairy tales (or at least not such obnoxious ones). I would reply to Communitycriminal's points more specifically, but for the life of me, I couldn't find one. Tue 02 Dec 2008 16:06:42 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=63#comment42 to say that religious societies are less stable than none religious ones is a perception of the media and western influence.Those that are not religious find the ways of religious culture to harsh in most cases or see it as a great weakness.Were as a lot of religious people like myself see modern living as a scapegoat to a do what you want societies were only wealth and individual power matters.The King James bible is what the Church of England was based on our Queen is the head of this Church. It must be very sad for her to see the Christian traditions replaced in our communities by her government as they break us down to the point were places of worship close because people are to busy to attend.It is even sadder that we need to look for blame in this, love thy neighbour has become love thy self. Tue 02 Dec 2008 15:03:19 GMT+1 DisgustedOfMitcham2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=62#comment41 #12: Interesting theory, totally unsupported by any evidence.If you think church attendance does such wonders for society, perhaps you could explain the fact that the one part of the UK that has been pretty much a war zone in recent decades (thankfully much less so in recent years), Northern Ireland, has by far the highest rate of church attendance?I don't know if your theory extends only to Christian churches, but if it also extends to religious observance generally, then you might consider the fact that religious observance is far higher in, say, Iraq or Afghanistan than in the UK. They're not exactly models of stable and happy societies, are they? Tue 02 Dec 2008 13:47:11 GMT+1 noblepieeyedinthesky http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=60#comment40 Living in a town that has a significant transient student population, our neighbours change every year so unfortunately there is no chance for a stable community to develop. This also influences the type of shops (mainly cafes and fast food) as opposed to those which are useful to the remainder of the town's population. As someone who has lived in the same house for nearly 50 years, I sometimes feel I am the alien. Tue 02 Dec 2008 11:42:57 GMT+1 ozimmerman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=59#comment39 Previous community cohesion may well be exaggerated - see the discusion of this topic in David Kynaston's very well evidenced survey of post war Britain. Further, the regions chosen seem much too big to me. No-one lives in 'London' people live in Pimlico/Chelsea/Tottenham etc .. so these global stas will mask enormous variations within the regions. That sais it paints a depressing picture which rings true from everyday experience - the downcast gaze the norm. Tue 02 Dec 2008 10:30:22 GMT+1 Tom W http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=57#comment38 Why does "renting privately" mean you are more lonely than someone who rents from the council or owns their house? In fact, it makes you 40% more lonely than if you lived alone! Tue 02 Dec 2008 10:11:12 GMT+1 SheffTim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=56#comment37 `I blame this treacherous Labour government . . .` Noonday100 #37Strange, I remember asylum seekers and immigration being a major issue during both the Thatcher and Major years. In 1979 the number of people seeking asylum in the UK was about 1,500 people a year; a decade later it was over 15,000 annually; it continued to rise under Major.Best to lose any party allegiance and just think of all politicians, even well meaning ones, as naive fools who are doomed to failure.I think the changes in our economy, the loss of manufacturing, heavy industry etc, were probably inevitable. It has meant that those living here with skills and a preparedness to travel now have to move to where opportunities are (I’ve had to), but those with poor education and skills remain `stuck` at the bottom of the economic ladder, many I`ve met seem unemployable. That is what the major issue is and would be with us regardless of immigration. Bear in mind that many immigrants do have skills that make them employable in this country and we need a skilled workforce.For what its worth I think we should have an immigration and citizenship system more along American lines; but given the rise of mass transport over the past 50 years that national borders have become more porous and the movement of people greater was also probably inevitable, and quite a few white English have taken advantage of that too. (One of my friends is now working in Kazakhstan!) Short of a major fuel crisis that immobilises international flights for decades I don’t really see it stopping. Mon 01 Dec 2008 23:12:37 GMT+1 J Harrison http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=54#comment36 Absolutely unbelievable! You people are getting beyond parody! So it's all Thatchers fault, or more accurately, Norman Tebbit's because he told people to go look for a job? This wouldn't be unsimilar to the mantra of the "all Brits are lazy and we need immigrants to sustain our miracle economy", that the liberal/left have been spouting recently.Without question, the most devastating affect on English communities, especally the working-class communites has been multiculturalism, and the recent immigration tsunami - which the BBC and Easton have been blindly proselytising and espousing the miracle of for for the last ten years! Where I live, London, is now like a dirty airport terminal - my "neighbours" are constantly changing, most I can't understand a word they say, and some I can't even see their faces. How on earth is this healthy? And may I point out before you start throwing the R word around - blaming mass immigration is not the same as blaming immigrants. I don't blame them at all - I blame this treacherous Labour government, and that shell of a once trusted organisation - which does nothing now but peddle trash and lies! Mon 01 Dec 2008 21:19:14 GMT+1 punkfrock http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=53#comment35 I live in Upminster. It's all very well you paying academics money for them to crunch numbers - personally I would have thought looking at the largest resident's associations in the country - Upminster is one of the largest - would have told the academics, & the BBC all they need to know, period.Still, there you go - intelligent people complicating something simple in order to earn more money.....Who would have thought, eh? Mon 01 Dec 2008 18:35:30 GMT+1 Kenneth http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=51#comment34 We have always suffered from the fact that we have very different economies in the north and south, with one currency trying to hold it all together. OK, the solution of having a border at Birmingham and a north and south pound may not be the answer! In any case there are also imbalances between rural and urban economies. However perhaps some geographical weighting on income tax may reduce both of these imbalances?These imbalances have lead to a great deal of economic migration within the UK and that shows no sign of stopping. The U.S. has had the same problem for many years: long distance inter-state migration that has destroyed families and communities. Once again a symptom of stretching the dollar across the whole land.The second problem is that fuel is simply too cheap. People do not think twice of moving far away, knowing that a return ticket is just an airplane flight or a car journey away. I think the fuel escalator need to be brought back – and this time the government should stick to it.And, of course, there is immigration which is surely a good and healthy thing and has always been with us. However, immigration on the scale that we have had over the last 50 years has been far from healthy. The numbers are simply too great. This was always bound to lead to multiple societies leading parallel and separate lives. It’s a simple enough problem: steady stream of single immigrants leads to quick integration (otherwise the immigrants would be pretty lonely). High numbers from certain communities simply transplant (or recreate) those communities in the UK. There is no chance of integration when this happens.Answers: geo weighting on income tax, higher fuel prices and a temporary halt to immigration coupled with regional a funded international repatriation scheme using financial incentives for the individuals and their new host regions and countries.None of the above is very palatable so I doubt it will happen any time soon! Mon 01 Dec 2008 18:15:29 GMT+1 aworldcitizen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=50#comment33 How on earth can anybody at all be suprised at these findings.Firstly goverment establishments such as the bbc have done all they can in recent years to erode british culture, british traditions, and british identity, the very foundations and common ground that unite communities and enable individuals to identify with one another. Never mind encouraging newcomers to accept and embrace our way of life, its more like the other way around at the cost of sacrificing all we have ever known, all areas of our indigionous culture have suffered and it seems will continue to do so. We dont all have to be the same colour or religion but there needs to be more than the fact that we all live on planet earth that unite us.There simply is no common ground anymore.It feels like its everyman for himself.As a result unfortunatly there isnt much left for communities to identify with and embrace together. Take the egg out of the ingridients of a cake and see what happens when there is no binding substance.The Words Great Britain are it seems dirty words these days and i myself must admit that i have no sense of belonging here and feel totally disallusioned with the place.I do fear the irreparable damage is done, and its only going to get worse.Its what will fill the void that is left that is the concern.Disenfranchised, disillusioned and an unbelonging angry youth, who now feel no allegiance to this country are looking for a way to vent frustration at those who have ignored them and cast them aside.Funny really how these intelligent university graduates filling the position in goverment cant seem to see what lies a head, yet the average man in the street has been predicting the concequences this country faces (and getting it right) for many years. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:55:15 GMT+1 aworldcitizen http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=48#comment32 How on earth can anybody at all be suprised at these findings.Firstly goverment establishments such as the bbc have done all they can in recent years to erode british culture, british traditions, and british identity, the very foundations and common ground that unite communities and enable individuals to identify with one another. Never mind encouraging newcomers to accept and embrace our way of life, its more like the other way around at the cost of sacrificing all we have ever known, all areas of our indigionous culture have suffered and it seems will continue to do so. We dont all have to be the same colour or religion but there needs to be more than the fact that we all live on planet earth that unite us.There simply is no common ground anymore.It feels like its everyman for himself.As a result unfortunatly there isnt much left for communities to identify with and embrace together. Take the egg out of the ingridients of a cake and see what happens when there is no binding substance.The Words Great Britain are it seems dirty words these days and i myself must admit that i have no sense of belonging here and feel totally disallusioned with the place.I do fear the irreparable damage is done, and its only going to get worse.Its what will fill the void that is left that is the concern.Disenfranchised, disillusioned and an unbelonging angry youth, who now feel no allegiance to this country are looking for a way to vent frustration at those who have ignored them and cast them aside.Funny really how these intelligent university graduates filling the position in goverment cant seem to see what lies a head, yet the average man in the street has been predicting the concuaqences this country faces (and getting it right) for many years. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:53:06 GMT+1 Joan Olivares http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=46#comment31 I was just wondering why lack of funding for playgrounds, schools, senior centers, skate parks and dog parks, jogging parks i.e. places that people and children generally frequent aren't considered as factors contributing to a neighborhood's anomie.The old adage, "if you build it, they will come" rings so true.The lack of intelligent design should also be the biggest factor. Good urban planning should be "inclusive"not "exclusive". Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:47:28 GMT+1 beaningjack http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=45#comment30 Number 4,I completely agree. By definition, areas with high concentrations of students and young professionals are the 'most' segregated. Even though, it is these areas/people that are actually quite affluent and happy.The segregation index is very strange, no explaination of how the weights were derived.Some issues on 'breadline poor' was interesting - but, I cannot believe the BBC needed to commission this sort of work. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:45:37 GMT+1 Mindgamesgirl http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=43#comment29 I really think this data proves very little- it assumes living alone is the same thing as loneliness.There certainly seems to be a loosening of community ties in general in the UK, but this survey penalises Scotland because of its high number of students, as is very clear when you see that Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee are all at the top of the list.It doesn't allow for people who might be at the heart of community and have lived somewhere for years but happen to be widowed, or to like living alone, but may have lots of relatives and friends living close by. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:25:12 GMT+1 icarusinflight http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=42#comment28 My humble opinion is that there has been a disintergration of community, when I where a lad people seemed to be much more trusting and willing to take part in things. Of course one can blame wealth and mobility etc etc but everyone these days seems to be so fearful of each other, no doubt as a result of the mass media who seem to band people into stereotypes all avoiding each other. There is no reaching out anymore. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:15:35 GMT+1 barriesingleton http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=40#comment27 WESTMINSER INBREEDINGThe psychology of Westminster is at the root of Britain's malaise - whatever aspect is in focus. All parties select their own kind and groom them to maintain that dysfunctional citadel above all else. Second allegiance is to party; only then might the voter be served. The narcissistic J Gordon Brown, as Westminsters finest, tells all. Mon 01 Dec 2008 17:13:44 GMT+1 Richard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=39#comment26 What is community? When I was young, back in the 70s, community was strongly orientated around our village and the families within it. As a child, time was spent with friends, at school and in the local scout troop.Now I live in the suburbs and I have no children. things may be different for that reason. Both my wife and I work full time. We need to.Few of us know the people on our streets, but few of us have anything in common. We work in separate places and do different things with what free time we have. Does extra travel allow us to reach societies, sports clubs, charities, slightly further away? In suburbia all of these things are an easy cycle ride from home.Would church be a good thing? Something that did the same job but without the need to believe would be good. Such a thing would be more open to many different people. Then again, there are plenty of secular organisations that can get people together. Maybe doing the same things as everyone else on your street isn't a good measure of belonging. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:48:18 GMT+1 David Pritchard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=37#comment25 TheresOnly1Soupey: This is a serious subject that requires thought and analysis, not the usual claptrap about the evils of "capitalism". To my knowledge, the UK has been "capitalist" for hundreds of years. It certainly was in 1971. France is also capitalist. The whole of the West is. How does your rant explain what's changed in the last forty years, or why France (say) might be different from the UK? Presumbly the Soviet Union was well known for its deeply rooted communities, was it?I think you need to consult more learned sources than "Jamie's Kitchen"... Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:45:04 GMT+1 The Notting Hill Hammer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=36#comment24 Didn't read the other comments first, seems that many remember "get on your bike" and realise its role in this issue. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:41:00 GMT+1 The Notting Hill Hammer http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=34#comment23 I live in a mostly working class multi-ethnic inner city area with Carribean, Polish, Bangladeshi and White English neighbours. We are all on first name terms, all get on and there is a sense of community. I believe the fragmentation of families through divorce and "getting on your bike" to find employment are far more of an issue than immigration both for anomie and housing shortages. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:39:37 GMT+1 Ceatlan http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=33#comment22 aajjcckk,I would actually agree with you that a large contributory factor in the decline of communities is the decline in church attendance, but I don't believe that it is easily solved. As a child and through my early adult life I regularly attended church and loved the sense of community and belonging that it brought, along with the real friendships with others in the area. However I came to realise that despite the fact that I loved the community of the church, I didn't believe in God and could not continue to take part in that community without feeling I was making a mockery of everything that other people believed in. I've subsequently moved area with my family and I don't really have any feeling of community at all where we now live. I wish there was something that offered all the community aspects that our religious institutions provide, but without any of the religion. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:28:49 GMT+1 AB http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=31#comment21 So the findings show an increase in the amount of people who are affluent enough to be able to afford to rent their own home, who feel socially mobile and confident enough to move to different parts of the UK whenever the mood takes them, and who don't feel pressured into getting married before they have found the right person.I would say these were good things... Strange how easily facts can be twisted to try and tell us we are all depressed and lonely. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:15:56 GMT+1 calmac12000 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=30#comment20 A very thought provoking piece and one which deserves a considered response. There is in the U.K. a palpable sense of anomie, due to various social and economic chages that have occured in the last thirty years or so. It is difficult if not unwise to attribute one single factor for this. Instead, I would consider the elements that made up the Thatcher "revival"which have combined to exacerbate this sense of anomie. I am not talking about Mrs. Thatcher herself but rather such things as her "no such thing as society" speech, de-regulation, pursuit of selfish economic gain as against previously widely held collective values. These values are now firmly embedded in modern British society, indeed in the body politic of "new Labour" indeed, so that any alternative options for society seem doomed to failure, or at the very least a considerable leap of faith away. Mon 01 Dec 2008 16:06:27 GMT+1 davidgsharp http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=28#comment19 When, Mrs Thatcher began her "get on your bike" campaign, my gut feeling was that she was ignoring the social significance of the extended family and that this was the logical inevitable outcome.I believe that social groups evolve and are reinforced over generations, we all look to where we were brought up as our roots. I do not believe that we make as close friends in later life and if we move away from our "home territory", we leave our parents potentially isolated and ourselves more vulnerable should our own relationships breakdown (both in terms of help working through problems and if we separate/divorce). Social institutions, such as the church and work, have become eroded and our children's schools are only a temporary structure which, if both adults work, can be easily overlooked.Certainly that has been my experience, reinforced by new 'single friends' that I have made through the internet. Mon 01 Dec 2008 15:53:19 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=27#comment18 yup willl have to say TV is a large part of it.Although tv is good for sports which tend to get people togther. Rest of it is just immoral/twisted storylines that rather than reflect life influance it. Mon 01 Dec 2008 15:50:54 GMT+1 Ozzard http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=25#comment17 @aajjcckk: Are you confusing cause and effect here? Is falling church attendance a cause, or simply another effect?As various people have commented, the choice of measures is interesting. When I get a chance, I'll dig in and take a look - I assume the full paper contains a detailed discussion of the available measures and why these in particular were chosen, in the best traditions of scientific endeavour. Mon 01 Dec 2008 15:44:13 GMT+1 NutitanicPassenger http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=24#comment16 There is quite a sense of community in the village that I now live and everyone is very friendly.....but in the sense of family or relatives...I have absolutely no one here. Although it's a very long story... Maggie Thatcher and her policies of telling people to get on their bike's and move around the country to find work 'are' actually to blame for how I ended up being alone and miles away from where I was originally born and from any family I have left and from my daughter. Mon 01 Dec 2008 15:39:34 GMT+1 HenryReynolds http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=22#comment15 I don't accept the statistics prove anything,it is a well known fact that statistics can be adjusted to prove anything!My belief is that Television is the biggest destroyer of personal communication. Millions fo people sit and watch the box for hours and no longer go out and visit friends and relatives,join organisations, support their local community. Television destroys the art of conversation and is infact the lazy man's way of entertaining himself.In the old days we would have to go out to the pictures or theatre and very often meet other people, socialising is a thing of the past and as long as we can go home sit down and 'switch on' the rest of the world can do what it wants! That is what is breaking up our communities. Mon 01 Dec 2008 15:30:23 GMT+1 ppuk08 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=21#comment14 This is yet another example of single people being looked upon as second class citizens.I am single and choose to live alone. Not in a transient bedist but in a comfortable 3 bedroom house with a large garden. I have lots of friends and different interests and take part in many community activities.I know many people living similarly, and we would argue that the way we live sustains the local community, whereas many families spend most of their time at home, watching TV, with a range of interests not nextending beyond their family environment. Who on earth decided on the basis for this research, and how relevant is it to the 21st century? Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:55:40 GMT+1 SheffTim http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=19#comment13 Communities use to be based around a shared purpose. In times past this was working the land; post industrial revolution it was based around working in manufacturing, coal mining, ship building etc. This gave continuity and shared experiences and culture; the era of apprenticeships, generations working in the same industry and so on. The collapse of manufacturing, the mechanisation of agriculture etc means this is no longer is the case.Many people now have to move to find work, or are able to do so to seek a better quality of life. I`m college educated and so far lived and worked in seven different towns and cities. Many expect to settle in a different town (or even country) to that which they were born in. That also means the idea of the extended family living locally has become much weakened. Expectations of relationships have also increased, that so many split up means more singletons are living on their own. The sheer cost of buying a house may explain why so many have to rent or even move to another area.I`m not sure anomie is wholly the right word; It means `alienation and purposelessness` or `social instability caused by erosion of standards and values`, yet I feel I carry purpose and values with me. People are certainly becoming more isolated, though as mentioned by thegreatgonzo friendship networks, email and friendship groups on Facebook etc are becoming more important. But support for elderly parents has become much more difficult, hence the rise of nursing homes.Where I think there is cause for concern is that there has always been a pool of low skilled, low educated people. (For all the emphasis on education and training it needs to be recognised that we don`t all have the same IQ or aptitudes.)In past times there were many unskilled manual jobs (pick and shovel jobs to stereotype them) that could provide these with a means of making a living.Now in a highly mechanised, computerised postindustrial society there is an underclass of low skilled people that have been shut out from employment and are alienated from the rest of society. Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:45:19 GMT+1 mrmije http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=18#comment12 in the words of your 'social scientists' this index is 'a very rough estimate'. it tells you far more about changes in household structures and housing markets than 'belonging' or 'loneliness' you might well be right that social cohesion is reducing, but the research does not justify the headlines.as others have already begun to point out this is bad (social) science. Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:31:37 GMT+1 aajjcckk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=16#comment11 A significant cause of community fragmentation and loneliness is the fall in church attendance in the UK. Other studies have shown conclusively that those regularly attending church report multiple benefits, including a stronger sense of community and reduced loneliness, along with others such as increased happiness and longer life.I am not sure how much difference the specific faith makes, but as someone who helps on the Christian Alpha courses I have often observed the often huge difference a genuine, warm and loving church community makes to someone's life, and importantly, the way in which it bridges all ages, races, and social backgrounds. Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:03:36 GMT+1 John Ellis http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=15#comment10 I dont think its communiys have gone more people dont have the time to take part.I think to understand this you need to take a snapshot of life in the 1970's and overlay it with todays snapshot.I would tend to think that the snapshot of the 1970's saw most houses with one adult at home 2008 see's most households empty during the same periods of the day.the affect of this is social involvment ie running events, street partys, tea mornings etc which have all but gone from daily life now.The second part is housing both social and private. unless you can afford a home then life is a roundabout of short term leases and a total lack of stability in the rented areas were tenents tend move on in a matter of months rather than years.Were you do have people that live long term then the idea of community grows again, but usualy around a few people that act as the hub of the community, and if these people move on or give up then that community falls apart again as generaly no one else will take up the role's required to keep the coherance of ideas and purpose. Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:02:23 GMT+1 happychap-David http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=13#comment9 It is not suprising that the nations people are getting lonlier - mainly the middle aged and older.Governments past and present have day after day created legislation that continually attacks the basic social structure and isolates people. Often in the name of 'doing good'.Social venues to serve the above people just simply get destroyed and are not replaced with a useful alternative. So folks stay home and just die - lonely.David Bradshaw. Mon 01 Dec 2008 14:00:41 GMT+1 mirkle http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=12#comment8 Surely the biggest factor that has resulted in this change is Government housing policy. Firstly, in the public sector, by reducing the number of council houses available and then on top of that not prioritising for council accomodation the children of those council house dwellers dislocation has occured. Secondly, in the private sector, allowing house prices to soar has prevented many young people from living in the same area as their parents. This has left many rural areas hollow shells of communities - hardly any original inhabitants still live there, while cities are full of young people trying to find somewhere affordable to live. Of course there is a huge value judgement being exercised here - I left my village to go to university 30 years ago and have enjoyed the anonymity of various cities ever since ! Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:57:21 GMT+1 Bobtrainman http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=10#comment7 I think we shouldn't forget the absence of the male in family life and the ever-increasing trend towards single life, with or without children. Social Services would regard a 16 year-old girl with a baby as a 'family unit'. The recent awful case in Sheffield and here in Lincolnshire highlighted that no-one asked about a 'father of the baby(ies)'. Anyone old enough to remember the CSA ?My Son is married to his Wife but when she recently gave birth, he was counted as one of the two visitors at the bedside. Fair enough, but when his Wife went to the bathroom, he picked up his Daughter and walked about the ward. Immediately there was panic amongst the nursing staff and he was questioned about his relationship to the child ! If officialdom does not recognise old-fashioned families, how can surveys like this possibly be acted upon ?Sad that we have to be so over-protective and yet achieve less than before the legislation arrived. Relationships are very hard work (hope my Wife doesn't read this!) but opting out in favour of future loneliness is not the answer.Bob Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:54:55 GMT+1 TheresOnly1Soupey http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=9#comment6 This situation is merely the continued social breakdown of society created by the Capitalist beast.Although I agree with the previous point that these statistics prove very little. It's clear the effect capitalism is having on our social structure.Most of the stats above are derived from 'mobility' which is ultimately a product of capitalism. Due to the increase 'specialism' required from our workforce, more and more people are having to move to find work in their field as that work is not available locally.This will continue until it reaches a point where the people have had enough and total social breakdown will occur. At that point it's not clear if it will result in revolution or extinction for humanity. Neither is pleasant but both are inevitable at some point.I saw a BBC programme once which demonstrated that the most influential human trait is the ability to pass on knowledge from one generation to the next. Something which makes humans unique in the animal kingdom, and is ultimately responsible for all human advances, speaking, writing, invention. The loss of this skill has already started, with parents not knowing how to bring up children, with adults never getting out of childhood and with the best solution for conflict being rage rather than reason. Once humans stop interacting with each other, knowledge like this is lost and has to be re-learnt.Don't believe me? Well take a look at Jamies Kitchen for a social example. If there was a major power crisis in this country wiping out electricity and gas - how many people would die because they have never cooked anything that didn't use a microwave or wasn't pre-prepared?Capitalism has and is producing a race of automatons who can only perform one function well (through specialism), like any machine, if one cog goes then the whole machine grinds to a halt and there are no 'hot fix' spares whereas in a society that is not driven by specialism there is a much smaller impact if society needs to make a dramatic change in direction. Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:52:45 GMT+1 DisgustedOfMitcham2 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=7#comment5 #2 makes some very valid points.The trouble with something like measuring a sense of belonging and strength of communities is that it's actually quite hard to measure. What the researchers here seem to have done is to pick some extremely crude proxy measures and used them instead.I'm quite prepared to believe communities are less strong than they were in 1971, but I don't think you can prove it by showing that fewer people are married now than they were then, for example.And the availability of the internet now makes a huge difference. I have no idea how I would even define my own "community", but there are people on the other side of the world I have much more interaction with than people on the other side of my street. Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:26:27 GMT+1 buckeridge http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=6#comment4 But surely there's no such thing as society, only individual men and women? That's what we've all been led to believe, right? Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:25:05 GMT+1 Brian_NE37 http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=4#comment3 My immediate reaction on reading your piece was that for two of the four measures used the changing social environment has surely rendered them invalid to some degree: • numbers of non-married adults multiplied by a weight of 0.18;In 1971 if people wanted to live together they got married - now they commonly don't. This doesn't necessarily mean any less commitment by the people concerned. • number of people renting privately multiplied by 0.80.I'm assuming the researchers exclude what used to be called Council housing from this?The number of people renting privately is surely just moving towards what is the norm in continental countries such as Germany. Whereas in 1971 it would havebeen a valid comparator between geographical areas, like non-married adults its validity over time is surely questionable. Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:21:25 GMT+1 Wyrdtimes http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=3#comment2 I have zero sense of belonging to the UK mainly because the British Government and British establishments like the British Brainwashing Corps are doing their utmost to eradicate my country - England - from the map.We have English regions despite the fact the only time we had a vote on the matter the idea of regional government for England was soundly rejected.Yet we get the BBC and their master Brown talking of the UK being made of nations and regions. Mon 01 Dec 2008 13:09:04 GMT+1 jon112uk http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=1#comment1 It may well be the case that our communities have collapsed (personal oppinion - yes they have), but I'm not sure these statistics prove it.For example "number of people renting privately" - is that a measure of anomie? For example the French have much higher levels of renting as opposed to buying homes - does that mean they have much lower social belonging than us?"number of people who have moved in their current address within the last year" Isn't that just a measure of mobility? For example the huge number of students created by government targets will create lots of people matching these first two criteria, but are they 'isolated' from a community? Surely many are part of the university community?"Non-married adults" could also be questioned. Many young people now live together, sometimes for many years and even raise families without a formal marriage. How are they counted?Sorry, I acccept the underlying point but not sure this acts as evidence to prove it. Mon 01 Dec 2008 12:49:48 GMT+1 Tony Kennick http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markeaston/2008/12/are_we_watching_britains_commu.html?page=0#comment0 "Perhaps the internet makes geographical location less important for social capital"It would be very interesting to pursue this premise. Although I think it may be less an effect of the internet and more that the internet as a tool has amplified a trend to wards non-geographical social groups."Friends are the new family" is a very believable aphorism and I will admit that in any given year I make more trips away to visit friends than I do family. This is mostly more to do with people I met in real life, mostly at university, moving away; rather than me meeting new people for the first time via the internet. Mon 01 Dec 2008 12:48:55 GMT+1