James Forsyth

Social breakdown by numbers

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At the Demos event on character this morning, Frank Field came out with a quite remarkable statistic: that for the last year for which there are records, two years ago, there were more violent crimes against the person in his constituency, Birkenhead, than there were in the entire country 50 years ago or 100 years ago.  It's one of those statistics which shows just how much the social fabric has frayed over the past fifty years. The key question is whether any politician has the determination and insight to accept that these changes are not irreversible. Analysis of Cameron's speech, and what it says about him, to come soon.

Update: James Crabtree has an interesting post on Field's numbers over at Prospect's blog