Friday, August 31, 2007

Death Valleys

During the 1960s the cultural revolution removed the moral foundations, but it was not until the economic scaffolding was taken down during the 1980s that the house actually collapsed. (During the 1920s and 30s the economic scaffolding had also been removed, but the moral foundation remained). Places like the mining villages of Yorkshire, the South Wales Valleys, or the heavy industrial areas of the North East, went from tight-knit, self-reliant communities to smack-ridden disaster zones in a generation. - this blog, February 2005.

People in former coalfields are nearly twice as likely to take heroin than elsewhere in Wales, research has shown. The study reveals 2.8 people per thousand in the valleys had asked for treatment for heroin use compared with 1.5 per thousand in the rest of Wales.

Plaid AM Leanne Wood, who commissioned the research, wants a review of problem drug and alcohol users' services. Ministers said spending on substance misuse had risen by 660% in five years and a new strategy was being developed. But Ms Wood, a former probation officer, warned that existing services were "not dealing with this worsening problem".
- BBC News, August 2007.


Anonymous said...

"the economic scaffolding had also been removed": trouble was, 'economic' isn't the right word. The mines had been given ludicrously high subsidies for decades so the whole thing was bound to end in tears as soon as Scargill revealed that the use that the subsidy was to be put to was the nearest thing to a fascist revolution in my lifetime. It's nice to think that some alternative, more intelligent, policy over those decades might have lessened the harsh blow of exposure to reality, but which government would have had a motive even to attempt it? Anyway, having once seen an Orange parade swagger through an East Lothian mining village, I don't much incline to take a sentimental view of the miners. Kin of mine did more dangerous jobs without basking in the miners' public self-regard.

Anonymous said...

Could this substance abuse be linked to the increasingly feminised service industry world of work and the fact that men can't be men anymore through physical work, but have to sit in warehouses manning phones and answering queries on broadband connections?

Anonymous said...

I recall a Dutch specialist saying "heroin was the drug of despair"....I wonder if that is true.

The destruction of the industrial base was okay so long as North Sea Oil cushioned it...but now the erconomy runs on financial services and property speculation through asset-backed lending.

It is a Ponzi Scheme and only works so long as Asia has surpluses to recycle - if China ever revalued countries like Britain would get rampant inflation in consumer goods sectors and not merely raw materials