At the launch of The World We'll Leave Behind last week, Paul asked those attending what sort of topics would have been included in such a book written in the 1780s which were just as 'interesting times' as ours are today. We might have asked which of the 17 sustainable development goals would have had to have been written – although we didn't. The responses were revealing.
- No one mentioned slavery although (to me) it would have been to top of my list of issues to be resolved. What a tragedy that we've not seen the back of it, even in the UK.
- The democratic deficit is another rather obvious issue, and the disempowerment of the mass of the population was then extreme and it came with a remoteness of governed from government which we have not got rid of either.
- Poverty, of course, and the conditions of life of the labouring poor was extreme – much much more so that the UK today.
- Then there's social protection of all kinds which was, by-and-large. missing.
What would you add?