In 2007 the analysis of health inequalities in London by Professor Darzi indicated a 10-year life expectancy gap between West and East London. This led to a health equalities strategy for London, a strategy that was promptly dumped by Boris Johnson on taking office as Mayor of London.
A report from NHS England (London) now shows that the gap in life expectancy between West and East London has now deteriorated an average 17 years. Worse, a report by Professor Sir Michael Marmot of the Institute of Health Equity at University College London puts the figure at 25 years.
Where do these figures come from? They come from analyses of housing, employment, education and diet. What they don’t speak of is the influx of massive wealth into West London, especially of rich foreign residents in recent years.
They do not acknowledge the political and social engineering which is driving working class families and residents from West to East. They do not recognise that the question of life expectancy, when the social and economic factors are analysed, is a question of class.
Health inequality is a question of class, and life expectancy is a question of class. Capitalism shortens workers’ lives. ■