Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/450/5384
Class - a matter of life and death
"NINE YEAR gap between social groups. Why class dictates how long you live". This was the front page, not of the socialist but of the right-wing newspaper - the Daily Express!
"Poverty and disease are not the only reasons why manual workers are more at risk", it stated. "Researchers have discovered that the stress and insecurity of society's strict hierarchy will also take its toll by up to nine years".
As if to back up socialist arguments, the scientists based at St. Thomas' Hospital London say in their report, published in the medical journal 'Ageing Cell', that the stress of being in jobs with low social status and self-esteem and of "having lots of bosses and areas in your life you cannot control" is responsible for prematurely ageing people.
Then, as if to back up the entirely feasible story in the musical 'Blood Brothers', they compared the situation for 17 identical twins, born in the same social category and then separated by one moving up and the other down in the social scale. They found their research about the stress of being working class was entirely confirmed!
A Transport and General Workers' Union spokesperson commented to the Daily Express: "This tells us in scientific terms what we already know... Only two in 100 bus drivers make it to retirement because of the stress of their jobs".
The research team leader, Professor Tim Spector, inadvertently confirms that socialism seems to be the only way of getting rid of this huge injustice based on class when he says, "I don't think we'll ever be in a socialist utopia where everyone is equal and has the same level of stress". But the evidence which he provides must precisely spur us to fight harder for a society where opportunities are equal for all, and where control and management of the economy are in the hands of directly elected representatives who can be recalled at a moment's notice. An end to bosses, classes and orders from above!
In The Socialist 27 July 2006:
Invasion of Lebanon
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns