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Austerity measures are causing avoidable illness and death on a major scale, public health experts have shown. In the UK and internationally, harsh cuts in public services and social services are damaging child and adult health and hindering economic recovery, yet some governments are pressing ahead.
Politicians tend to become grandiose when they are trying to sell us an idea. The rhetorical use of the concept of 'nation' to corral us together under a conveniently high-sounding label has, in recent months, tried to sign us up to being both 'one nation' and an 'aspiration nation.'
Quaker Meetings are not hotbeds of the competitive instinct and in most Meeting Houses you will probably find a poster depicting two donkeys tethered to each other, straining in opposite directions to reach bundles of hay. In the second frame, the animals have realised the futility of their actions and are standing side by side munching contentedly from the same manger. 'Co-operation is better than conflict' is the caption.