Peter Bradshaw reviews The Divide here:
There is a certain type of pundit who will elaborately explain that he believes in equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome – but is in reality deeply uninterested in both. It is perfectly natural for the self-made businessmen and bootstrap entrepreneurs to feel that their grinding hard work entitles them to hard-won privileges, like unequal opportunities for their children.
Katharine Round’s documentary The Divide is a short, sharp, shock of a film, based on Richard G Wilkinson and Kate Pickett’s book The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better. It briefly argues that the boisterous egalitarianism of the 80s radical right and the big bang of Thatcherism and Reaganism created a monster in the present day: a super-rich, supra-managerial class whose earnings are so stratospheric, so out of proportion to anything their companies are achieving, so deeply barricaded in gated communities and offshore holdings, that their existence is almost beyond our ken. And they enjoy what Milton Friedman called socialism for the rich and free enterprise for the poor: their prestige is guaranteed by the state, whose grandest politicians yearn to enjoy corporate super-wealth in retirement. Meanwhile, the humbler strivers are stuck with zero-hours contracts and no job security. And it is the very spectacle of inequality that is toxic. Even the rich are unhappy on their solid-gold hamster wheel.
Read the full review here