According to the report Britain's kids are the most neglected and found to be most seriously deprived in areas of poverty, happiness, relationships, and bad behaviour.
The way a country deals with its children must be a key indicator of the state of society in general. The fact that children are the real investment in our future reveals this latest Unicef report as a damming reflection of the short-sightedness of 30 years of Tory and Blairite government.
Some reports have pointed to the fact that "money cannot buy you happiness", citing that some of the countries with the highest GDP appear to have some of the worst-off young people. Yet GDP does not say anything about the distribution of wealth, and that the likes of Britain and the US, which came second to bottom in the report, are among the leading nations when it comes to the growing gap between rich and poor.
The report analysed 40 separate indicators. It found that British kids were more likely to feel left out, awkward and lonely than nearly all their peers in other developed countries, and consequently found escape from their depressing situation buy drinking more alcohol and taking more drugs than those overseas. The report also found Britain to be one of the most likely places for kids to be living in a single-parent family and said there was a well-established link between family breakdown, educational failure, poor health and reduced life chances.
In purely economic terms Britain was next to bottom, only the United States having more children living in a household where the income was less than 50 per cent of the national median.
Professor Jonathan Bradshaw from York University, who collaborated on the report, put the UK's poor ratings down to long term under-investment and a "dog-eat-dog" society. He is correct.
How will building Britain's biggest casino invest in the social well-being of our society? It is the poor and those living on the margins who are suckered into gambling. The government reports massive investment in education and hospitals, yet a chunk of this cash is being absorbed by sub-contractors who merely delegate jobs to other companies and reward themselves with large buckets of cash for their troubles. Trust hospitals are reportedly going bust. Amicus has just announced the number of health visitors, key workers in the field of domestic abuse and post-natal depression, is at a 12-year low. Last year hospital super-bugs MRSA and Clostridium claimed 5,400 lives while the privatised hospital cleaning business is thriving.
What an inheritance young people have to look forward to. The bible states that "the meek shall inherit the earth", and according to this latest report our kids are certainly emaciated. Only a socialist society with a democratically planned economy can ensure a future for our children free from the poverty, alcoholism, disease, global pestilence - in short - the profit motive of capitalism.