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  • The Social Distance Between Us

  • How Remote Politics Wrecked Britain
  • By: Darren McGarvey
  • Narrated by: Darren McGarvey
  • Length: 15 hrs and 29 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Britain is in a long-distance relationship with reality....

From poverty and policing, homelessness and overrun prisons to Grenfell and hostile environments, Britain has long been failing those who need our help the most. There is arguably one unifying theme that links all these afflictions: proximity. Proximity is how close we are to the action and how that affects how we assess, relate to and address whatever that action happens to be. Almost every job requires a level of experience and training with the notable exception of the most powerful people in the country—our political class.

So this is a book about the distance, whether geographical, economic, or cultural, between those who make decisions and the people on the receiving end of them. The distance between the affluent and the poor, how their interests and values diverge, and the assumptions they make about each other's experiences and intentions in the absence of any meaningful interaction. How even those with the noblest aims, inadvertently cause harm as a result of their social remoteness and fail to advance anybody's interests but their own misguided ones.

Could Britain's problem be, not that there is a lot of inequality, but that for generations, a small group of people, who know little about it, have been charged with discussing, debating, and sorting it out? At what point do we look for answers, not to the people who are hardest up, but the apparently educated and sophisticated, whose dominance of Britain's institutions has been virtually unbroken for centuries?

©2022 Darren McGarvey (P)2022 Penguin Audio

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Should be read by all

As one that benefits from the current class divide in Britain, I found it really interesting how this book touched on concerns and observations I had over the last year, especially while working with the underprivileged who I serve in my professional capacity. Some uncomfortable truths are laid out for us to consider around our ways of thinking, entitlement and behaviours which have direct impact on those less fortunate than us.
I recommend this book for all, from every political persuasion and social and economical background.
It is time to look at our broken country and do something about it.

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Fantastic listen.

Loved this from start to finish. any questions or critique I may have had of the author, his working class background, the way he speaks and him taking a seat at the table were answered with great clarity for me at the end. Can't recommend this enough, will go down as a classic I'm sure. Well done Darren.

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Thanks for your insight on this subject

Helped me understand the issues and where I need to improve. Thanks for a fantastic book.

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Darren wields a pen as a surgeon wields a scalpel

Darren now wields a pen as a surgeon wields a scalpel

cutting
but in a way which is needed

a way in which hurts in the short term
but once the scars heal, we will appreciate the necessity

I implore people to absorb Darren's analysis.
let it percolate
then act

If everyone in the world did what they could, we would all tick along nicely


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Relatable

As a working class guy Darren manages to articulate the anger shame imposter syndrome ,& everything in an unfair society that causes them & act as an impenetrable barrier for most w/class people to escape & get on in life..

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Spot on analysis

Excellent listen, interesting thought provoking, well argued and entertaining. Just bought the hardback book to read again.

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The Social Distance - Between You and I

The book is insightful. There are poignant facts in this book (checked) that really do matter and should be considered. There are those also that should be actualised. Common decency should allow that.
My criticism only, was the book only read black and white. Rich or poor. The in between is the decline. The opportunities from poor to mid and the mid to rich.
It’s the middle class that takes the brunt of the economic failure. Once that has been successfully removed, there will be no relationship between those who have it and them that don’t have anything.
It’s not Tory Vs Labour. They’re both inept. Tony Blair wasn’t mentioned. Corbyn was, and left to rescue.
The system, which ever way it goes is broken. Something new is required. Italy, France, Austria, Sweden….Norway, it’s all going hard right. It’s a global movement. Labour, Conservative or the Green Party will not stop it. Greed is the power. We’re debating what is right, whilst under our noses democracy is being exchanged and replaced with plutonomy. Even when you get the sense of it…terror attack and Putin wants nuclear war.

This book is domestic, scratching upon much bigger issues

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A compelling & brutally insightful view of the UK

The topics covered in this book are as wide ranging as education, healthcare, welfare state, politics, addiction and homelessness, and they are all seamlessly intertwined by the core pillar of proximity gaps. Based on personal experience and getting face to face with people suffering due to the abysmal condition of modern Britain, Darren McGarvey is an authentic voice here, and it's made even better by his narration.
There are topics in this book which I don't have direct experience of, but the detail and honesty portrayed in this book have enlightened my world view, and I now want to learn more about how to help and how to become an agent for change.
Essential listening for anyone interested in digging the UK out of the abyss.
The suggested solutions in the Coda are all possible but we need to act now to effect those changes.

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Awesome

This is a hard hitting true explanation of what is wrong with our society today. I would definitely recommend it to anyone and especially recommend it to people who make decisions in this country. Well done Darren it was extremely thought provoking and honest

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Epic! A Changemaker. Please listen and join the movement for change.

I’ve been recommending Darren’s previous Orwell prize winning book, Poverty Safari for the last year because it was so personal and revealing. I’ve just finished The Social Distance Between Us, and whilst not so personal, it’s incredible. It felt like a degree level learning experience. The wide scope, intelligence and perception is incredible, because it starts from the in-depth research and preparation that came through his TV series. It is brilliant. It hits the nail on the head, where university professors leave me confused and flummoxed. I’ve bought the hard copy too, so I can study in detail.

We should all now learn the language and think about how we can start to put things right.