25 April 2008
Individualism, greed and the breakdown of family and community are among today's top ten social evils, according to a survey by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
The British public blames government, media, big business and religion, as well as the loss of shared common values and a moral compass, the social policy charity reported on April 20.
Many of the problems identified were linked with the decline of community, leading to increasing isolation. Relationships were seen as being 'eclipsed by an excessive desire for money and consumer goods'.
Poor parenting and family breakdown were felt to be at the root of many other social problems, leaving young people particularly vulnerable. Poverty was viewed as a corrosive social evil in an affluent society, underpinning other social problems such as homelessness.
The report said that people felt government to be 'out of touch with the real issues people face' and 'ineffective at tackling social problems'.
Julia Unwin, director of the JRF, said: 'This consultation will help the foundation to further Joseph Rowntree's mission: to search, demonstrate and influence by undertaking programmes of work on key social policy issues and through our practical housing and care work.'
The findings were based on an initial online consultation in which 3,500 people named their top three social evils.
Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband said: 'Tackling social evils, such as poverty and drug and alcohol abuse, is at the heart of our mission.'