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The 1999 Reith Lecture Runaway World - Part 2 Risk

Anthony Giddens

Presented from Hong Kong by Matt Fry


Matt Fry : Welcome ladies and gentleman to the second of this years Reith Lectures on Globalisation: Runaway World, here in Hong Kong,Today Anthony Giddens,eminent sociologist and Director of the London School of Economics will speak about risk [Ref:Video:BB14:RI 3; N30:The Numbers Game;OB4 Equinox {Living Dangerously}; Protext Files: Think1.txt; Analysis1.txt;SN3/2.txt;Green File: Mindfld.wri; Edge4.wri], and look at old worries and new anxieties.Hong Kong has plenty of those.In fact,Tony couldn't have chosen a more appropriate venue to deal with the subject of risk than this city.

When Captain Charles Elliot first presented Queen Victoria with her latest colony,in the far East,it was a risky venture. Tiny Hong Kong was dismissed as a barren rock,infested with malaria,and whipped by typhoons.Who could have predicted then that Hong Kong would become one of the most modern and exciting cities in the world? [Not a mystic that's for sure -LB]

Even this building,the new futuristic convention centre,is a monument to risk.It was completed just hours before the hand over ceremony in 1997,and about a hundred yards from here [I don't know about Hong Kong but we've gone metric! -LB],the Union Jack was lowered for the very last time on the stroke of midnight in Hong Kong on the 1st of July 1997.

At the time the dawn of Chinese sovereignty was seen by many as the biggest risk facing the territory,so far, so wrong.But while the fireworks still lit up Victoria Harbour,and people were recovering from their hangovers,no one took any notice of the events on the 2nd of July,the day that the Thai currency crashed [Ref: Green File: R.Savit "Chaos on the Trading Floor" ] triggering the domino effect of Asia's financial crisis.Rarely has the risk of Hong Kong seemed riskier .

So ladies and gentleman,it's from the International Capital of risk that I hand you over to Anthony Giddens.

(Applause)
Anthony Giddens : July 1998 was possibly the hottest month in world history.1998 as a whole may have been the hottest year.Heat waves caused havoc in many areas of the Northern Hemisphere.In Ailat in Isreal for example, temperatures rose to almost 50 degrees centigrade,while water consumption in the country went up by 40%.Texas in the US, experienced temperatures not far short of this.For the first 8 months of the year,each month topped the record for that month.A short while later however,in some areas affected by the heat waves,snow fell in places that had never seen it before.

Are temperature shifts like this the result of human interference with the world's climate? We can't be sure,but we have to admit the possibility they might be,together with the increased numbers of hurricanes [Ref :El Nino etc], typhoons,and storms,that have been noted in recent years.As a consequence of global industrial development,we may have altered the world's climate,and damaged a great deal more of our Earthly habitat besides.We don't know what further changes will result or the dangers they will bring in their train.

The theme of my lecture today is risk.I hope to persuade you that this apparently simple notion unlocks some of the most basic characteristics of the world in which we now live.

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At first sight,the concept of risk might seem to have no specific relevance to our times as compared to previous ages.After all,haven't people always had to face their fair share of risks? Life,for the majority in the European Middle Ages was nasty,brutish and short.As it is for many in poorer areas of the world now.

But here we come across something really interesting.Apart from some marginal contexts,in the Middle Ages there was no concept of risk.Nor,so far as I've been able to find out,was there in most other traditional cultures.The idea of risk seems to have taken hold in the 16th and 17th centuries,and was first coined by Western explorers,as they set of on their voyages across the world.

The word risk,seems to have come into English,through Spanish or Portuguese,where it was used to refer to sailing into uncharted waters.Originally,in other words,it had an orientation to space.Later it became transferred to time,as used in banking and investment.To mean calculation of the probable consequences of investment decisions, for borrowers and lenders.It subsequently came to refer to a wide range of other situations of uncertainty.

The notion of risk,I should point out,is inseparable from the ideas of probability and uncertainty.A person can't be said to running a risk where an outcome is 100% certain.There is an old joke that makes this point rather neatly:

A man jumps from the top of a hundred story sky-scraper.As he passes each floor,on his way down,the people inside hear him saying "So far so good....so far so good.....so far so good" (laughter).He acts as though he is making a risk calculation,but the outcome,is in fact determined.

Traditional cultures didn't have a concept of risk because they didn't need one.Risk isn't the same as hazard or danger.Risk refers to hazards that are actively assessed in elation to future possibilities.It only comes into wide usage,in a society that is future oriented,which sees the future precisely as a territory to be conquered or colonised. Risk presumes a society that actively tries to break away from its past.The prime characteristic,indeed,of modern industrial civilisation.All previous cultures,including the great early civilisations of the world,such as Rome or traditional China,have lived primarily in the past.They have used the ideas of fate,luck,or the will of the gods,where we now tend to substitute risk.

In traditional cultures,if someone meets with an accident,or conversely prospers,well,it is just one of those things,or it is what the gods and spirits intended.Such views of course,don't completely disappear with modernisation. Magical notions,concepts of fate and cosmology still have a hold [Tony's idea then is that they shouldn't -LB].But often they continue on,as superstitions,in which people only half believe,and follow in a somewhat embarrassed way.

They use them to back up decisions of a more calculative nature.Gamblers,and this includes gamblers on the stock exchange, mostly have rituals that psychologically paper over the uncertainties that they must confront.

The same applies to many risks that we can't help running,since being alive at all is by definition a risky business [Ref. PT4:Analysis1.txt; PT5:Think1.txt;Think2.txt {Risk};Green File: World9.wri; Video:OB4 Equinox; Toynbee2.html ].It isn't in any way surprising that people still consult astrologers,especially at vital points of their lives.

Yet,acceptance of risk,is also the condition of excitement and adventure.Think of the pleasures some people get from gambling,driving fast,sexual adventurism,or the plunge of a fairground roller coaster.Moreover a positive embrace of risk is the very source of that energy which creates wealth in a modern economy.The two aspects of risk,its negative and positive sides,appear from the early days of modern industrial society.Risk is the mobilising dynamic of a society bent on change,that wants to determine its own future,rather than leaving it to religion,tradition or the vagaries of nature.

Modern capitalism differs from all previous forms of economic system,in terms of its attitudes to the future.Previously types of market enterprise were irregular or partial.The activities of merchants and traders for example,never made much dent in the basic structure of traditional civilisations,which all remained heavily agricultural and rural.Modern capitalism embeds itself into the future by calculating profit and loss and therefore risk,as a a continuous process.This wasn't feasible until the invention of double entry book keeping in the 15th century in Europe, which made it possible to track in a precise way how money could be invested to make more money.

Many risks,of course,such as those affecting health,we do wish to reduce as far as possible. This is why,from its origins,the notion of risk is accompanied by the rise of insurance.We shouldn't think only of private or commercial insurance here.The welfare state whose development can be traced back to the Elizabethan poor laws in England is essentially a risk management system.It is designed to protect against hazards that were once treated as at the disposition of the gods;sickness,disablement,job loss and old age.Insurance is the base line against which people are prepared to take risks.It is the basis of security where fate has been ousted by an active engagement with the future.

Like the idea of risk,modern forms of insurance began with seafaring.The earliest marine insurances were written in the 16th century.A London company first underwrote an overseas risk in 1782.Lloyds of London took a leading position in the emerging insurance industry which it has sustained for two centuries.Insurance is only conceivable where we believe in a humanly engineered future.It is one of the means of doing that engineering.Insurance is about providing security,but it is actually parasitic upon risk,and people's attitudes towards it.

Those who provide insurance,whether in the shape of private insurance,or state welfare systems,are essentially simply redistributing risk.if someone takes out fire insurance against his or her house burning down,the risk doesn't go away,the householder trades off the risk to the insurer in exchange for payment.The trading and off loading of risk isn't just a casual feature of a capitalist economy.Capitalism is actually unthinkable and unworkable without it.

For these reasons the idea of risk has always been involved in modernity.But I want to argue that in the current period,risk assumes a new and peculiar importance for us.Risk was supposed to be a way of regulating the future,of normalising it and bringing it under our dominion.Things haven't turned out that way.Our very attempts to control the future tend to rebound on us forcing us to look for different ways of relating to uncertainty.

The best way to explain what is going on is to make a distinction between two types of risk. One I shall call "external risk".External risk is risk experienced as coming from the outside,from the fixaties of tradition or nature.I want to distinguish this from "manufactured risk" by which I mean,risk created by the very impact of our developing knowledge upon the world.

Manufactured risk refers to risk situations which we have very little historical experience for confronting.Most environmental risks such as those connected with global warming,fall into this category.They are directly influenced by the intensifying Globalisation I discussed in my opening lecture.

The best way I can clarify the distinction between the two kinds of risk is as follows: In all traditional cultures,one could say,and in industrial society right up to the threshold of the present day,human beings worried about the risks coming from external nature.From bad harvests,floods,plagues or famines.At a certain point,however,very recently in historical terms, we started worrying less about what nature can do to us,and more about what we have done to nature.This marks the transition from the predominance of external risk to that of manufactured risk.

Well who are the "we" here doing the worrying? I think now it is all of us.Regardless of whether we are in the richer or poorer areas of the world.At the same time,it is obvious that there is a division that by and large,separates the affluent regions from the rest.Many more traditional risks of the sort just mentioned,such as the risk of famine when the harvest is bad, still exist in poorer countries,overlapping with the new risks.

Our society lives after the end of nature.The end of nature,doesn't mean,obviously,that the physical world of physical processes ceased to exist.It refers to the fact,that there are few aspects of our surrounding material environment that haven't been in some way affected by human intervention.Much of what used to be natural isn't completely natural any more.

[That is only true if you see man as unnatural.If you don't,then anything he does is natural -LB]

Although we can't always be sure where the one stops and the other begins.

[If it is a self created mythical dichotomy then you'll always have that problem -LB]

Last year there were big floods in central China,in which many people lost their lives.The flooding of the major rivers has been a recurrent part of Chinese history.Were these particular floods more of the same or were they influenced by global climate change? No one knows.But there are some unusual features of the floods that suggest that there causes were not wholly natural.Manufactured risk doesn't only concern nature,or what used to be nature.It penetrates into other areas of life too.

Take for example marriage,and the family,now undergoing profound changes in the industrial countries,and to some extent world wide.Two or three generations ago,when people got married they knew what it was they were doing. Marriage,largely fixed by tradition and custom,was akin to a state of nature,as of course remains true in many countries.Where traditional cultures are dissolving however,when people marry or form relationships,there is an important sense in which they don't know what they are doing,because the institutions of marriage and the family have changed so much.

Here individuals are striking out afresh,like pioneers.It is inevitable in such situations,whether they know it or not,that people start thinking more and more in terms of risk.They have to confront personal futures that are much more open than in the past,with all the opportunities and hazards this brings.

As manufactured risk expands there is a new "riskiness" to risk.The rise of the idea of risk,as I pointed out earlier,was closely tied to the possibility of calculation.Most forms of insurance are based directly on this connection.Every time someone steps into a car for instance, one can calculate that persons chances of being involved in an accident.This is actuarial prediction,there is a long time series to go on.

Situations of manufactured risk aren't like this.We simply don't know what the level of risk is, and in many cases we won't know until it is too late.Not long ago,was the 10th anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear station in the Ukraine.No one knows what its long term consequences will be.There might or might not be a stored up disaster to health due to happen some while from now.

Exactly the same is true of the BSE episode in the UK.The outbreak of so-called "Mad Cow Disease" in terms of its implications for humans.At the moment we can't be sure,whether at some point,many more people than at present will fall ill.Or consider where we stand with world climate change.Most scientists well versed in the field,believe [Believe meaning they don't currently know,and so speculate on the basis of past experience,and current knowledge -LB] that global warming is occurring,and that measures should be taken against it.Yet only about 25 or so years ago,orthodox scientific opinion was that the world was in a phase of global cooling.Much the same evidence that was deployed to support the hypothesis of global cooling is now brought in to play to bolster that of global warming [This is the "what do I believe when experts can't make their minds up" question as per BSE safety -LB].

Heat waves,cold spells [Is that when you use a wand at below freezing? -LB],unusual types of weather.Is global warming occurring and does it have human origins? Probably,but we won't and can't be completely sure until it is too late.

In these circumstances there is a new moral climate of politics.Marked by a push and pull between accusations of scare mongering on the one hand and of cover-ups on the other.

[This is where he hits the nail on the head -LB] If anyone,government official scientific expert or researcher takes a given risk seriously,he or she must proclaim it.I must be widely publicised,because people must be persuaded that the risk is real.A fuss must be made about it.Yet if a fuss is indeed created,and the risk in the end turns out to be minimal,those involved will be accused of scare mongering.Suppose,on the other hand,that the authorities initially decide that the risk is not very great,as the British government did in the case of contaminated beef.In this instance,the government first of all said "We've got the backing of the scientists here,there isn't a significant risk,we can continue eating beef without any worries".In such situations,if events turn out otherwise,as in fact they did,the authorities will be accused of a cover-up [In other words whatever they do,they can't win -LB],as indeed they were.

Things are even more complex than these examples suggest. Paradoxically, scare mongering maybe necessary to reduce risks we face.Yet if it is successful,it appears as just that, scare mongering.The case of AIDS provides an example.Governments and experts made great public play with the risks associated with unsafe sex,to get people to change their sexual behaviour.Partly as a consequence,in the developed countries AIDS did not spread as much as was originally predicted.Then the response was "Why were you scaring every one like that?".Yet as we know from its continuing global spread they were and are entirely right to do so.

[In other words if an estimation is made of risk and action is taken upon it,then the result looks like it wasn't so risky in the first place.There is no way of telling the after-action effect from what would have been otherwise since the future is changed by the action.There is no placebo group to compare with,so once again the experts are charged with making mountains out of molehills when in fact there is no way to discriminate that they may have alerted a dangerous situation and relevant action was taken to avoid it,from something that wasn't so dangerous in the first place,unless you accept the way that risk is calculated -LB]

This sort of paradox becomes routine in contemporary society.But there is no easily available way of dealing with it.For as I mentioned earlier,in most situations of manufactured risk,even whether there are risks at all,is likely to be disputed.We cannot know beforehand, when we are actually scare mongering and when we are not.

Our relationship to science and technology today is different from that characteristic of earlier times.In Western society for some two centuries,science functioned as a sort of tradition. Scientific knowledge was supposed to overcome tradition,but actually,in a way became one,in its own right.It was something that most people respected but was external to their activities.Lay people took opinions from the experts.The more science and technology intrude into our lives and do so on a global level,the less this perspective holds.Most of us, including government authorities and politicians have,and have to have,a much more active or engaged relationship with science and technology than used to be the case.We cannot simply accept the findings which scientists produce,if only because,scientists so frequently disagree with one another,particularly in situations of manufactured risk,and everyone now recognises the essentially sceptical character of science.

Whenever someone decides what to eat,what to have for breakfast,whether to drink decaffeinated or ordinary coffee,that person takes a decision in the context of conflicting and changeable scientific and technological information.Consider for instance red wine.As with other alcoholic drinks,red wine was once thought harmful to health.Research then indicated that drinking red wine in reasonable quantities protects against heart disease.Subsequently it was found that any form of alcohol will do,but it is only protective for people aged above 40. Who knows what the next set of findings will show.

[The point is that there isn't a single immutable truth that lasts for all time in a changing dynamic society,so if current scientific knowledge is later superseded as later knowledge is uncovered it makes it look like science doesn't know anything or forever contradicts itself,and "can't be trusted" to make up its mind.Of course the myth is that science should make up its mind and as Tony has said thence make up the lay publics mind for them.

It also leads to the idea that in lieu of sciences experts being able to conclude anything,the individual is then free to say anything they please because their is only their subjective view,and their own opinion.In other words that they should "make up their own minds".

This is what Tony is advocating,but he is suggesting healthy scepticism and the capacity of the lay person to scrutinise scientific information before making a a conclusion.That is the right thing to do.The wrong thing to do is ignore what science says altogether as being invalid because it doesn't hand you the answer on a plate.The idea is to think for yourself about the evidence presented to you.In order to do that you have to understand the evidence,and to do that you have to be conversant with the language that the evidence is written in -LB]

Some say that the way to cope with the rise of manufactured risk is to limit responsibility,by adopting the so-called "precautionary principle".The notion of the precautionary principle first emerged in Germany about 15 years ago,in the context of the ecological debates.

At its simplest,it proposes that action on environmental issues,and by inference other forms of risk,should be taken even though there is insecure scientific evidence about them.Thus,in the 1980s in several continental countries, programmes were initiated to counter acid rain. Whereas in Britain lack of conclusive evidence was used to justify inactivity about this and other pollution problems too.Yet the precautionary principle isn't always helpful or even applicable as a means of coping with problems of risk and responsibility.The precept of staying close to nature,or limiting innovation,rather than embracing it,can't always apply.

The reason is that the balance of benefits and dangers from scientific and technological advance and other forms of social change too,is imponderable.We may need quite often to be bold rather than cautious,in supporting scientific innovation or other forms of change.After all, one root of the term risk,in the original Portuguese,means to dare.

[Thus,if you play the lottery and have a wide capacity for accommodating risk,it follows that the same person should be accepting of the risks that science brings with it when advancing new changes.At the very least it makes sense to be aware of the relative risks and benefits in order to make good decisions.Ford apparently calculated the likely number of deaths form Ford Pinto fuel tank explosions and court costs and how much it would cost to re engineer the car to make it safe and discovered it was cheaper to let people burn in their cars.If the axiom was saving money then that would have been the most salient thing to do.But because no financial limit is put on a human life,the case came to court and there was utter disbelief that such a calculation could ever have been made about human tragedy and misery.It made good business sense but there was poor regard for human life.It's ironic that the passengers of Ford's Pinto didn't do the same calculation based on the axiom of survival before buying and driving the car,perhaps some would still be alive today -LB]

Take as an example the controversy over genetically modified foods.GM crops are already growing on 35 million hectares [Oh so now we're metric! -LB] of land across the world,an area one and half times the size of Britain.Most are being grown in North America and China.Crops include Soya,Maize,Cotton and Potatoes.[Ref: Video N30: "The Sci Files" {Gene Raiders}]

No more obvious situation could be found where nature is no longer nature.The risks involve a number of unknowns [Not unbeliefs then? -LB],or if I can put it this way,"known unknowns", because the world has a pronounced tendency to surprise us.There may be other consequences that no one has as yet,anticipated.One type of risk is that the crops may carry medium or long term health hazards.After all a good deal of gene technology is essentially new,different from older methods of cross - breeding.

Another possibility is that genes incorporated into crops to increase resistance to pests might spread to other plants,creating "super weeds" [How does a gene "spread" in this fashion? Tomatoes with fish genes are hardly likely to combine with apples in the environment.If that was true how come nature hasn't made the flying tomato,or a dog with zebra stripes? Well we have got potatoes with eyes! Isn't it more likely that built in resistance to pests,will have a domino effect on the food chain? If the pests can't eat then the animals that eat them can't and so on up the chain,that surely is a greater danger than genes "spreading" -LB].This in turn could pose a threat to biodiversity in the environment.

Since pressure to grow and consume GM crops is partly driven by sheer commercial interests, wouldn't it be sensible to impose a global ban on them? But even supposing such a ban were feasible,things as ever are not so simple.The intensive agriculture widely practised today is not indefinitely sustainable.It uses large amounts of chemical fertilisers and insecticides destructive of the environment. We can't go back to more traditional modes of farming and still hope to feed the worlds population.Bioengineered crops could reduce the use of chemical pollutants and hence resolve these problems.

Whichever way you look at it,we are caught up in risk management.With the spread of manufactured risk, governments can't pretend such management isn't their business,and they need to collaborate,since very few new style risks have anything to do with the borders of nations [Which is why old territorialism and xenophobia are antiquated themes -LB].

But neither as ordinary individuals can we ignore these new risks,or wait for definitive scientific evidence to arrive.As consumers,each of us has to decide whether to try to avoid GM products or not.

[Thus it is incumbent for the lay person to take personal responsibility for their own lives,and in order to make a good decision,it has to be an informed decision,requiring the individual to understand the pros and cons before forming an opinion -LB]

These risks and the dilemmas surrounding them have entered deeply into our everyday life. Let me move towards some conclusions,and at the same time try to make sure my arguments are clear.

Our age is not more dangerous,not more risky,than those of earlier generations.But the balance of risks and dangers has shifted.We live in a world where hazards created by ourselves are as or more threatening than those that come from the outside.Some of these are genuinely catastrophic,such as global ecological risk,nuclear proliferation,or the melt down of the world economy.

Others affect us as individuals much more directly.For instance those involved in diet, medicine or even marriage.An era such as ours will inevitably breed religious revivalism and diverse New Age philosophies which turn against a scientific outlook.Some ecological thinkers have become hostile to science and even to rational thought more generally because of ecological risks.This isn't an attitude that makes much sense [What makes sense is DEFINED by it being rational,so it has no hope of making sense -LB].We wouldn't even know about these risks without scientific analysis.

However,our relationship to science,for reasons already given,won't and can't be the same as in previous times.We do not currently possess institutions which allow us to monitor technological change nationally or globally.The BSE debacle in Britain and elsewhere might have been avoided if a public dialogue had already been established about technological change and its problematic consequences.

[In order to establish such a dialogue,you first have to get the public to understand A)Why we need science and what it is for and B) Why it is necessary for science to speak in a language other than plain English and after that C) Why it is necessary for the public to learn that language in order to take part in a dialogue -LB]

More public means of engaging with science and technology wouldn't do away with a quandary of scare mongering versus cover-ups,but it might allow us to reduce some of its more damaging consequences.

Finally,there can be no question of merely taking a negative attitude towards risk.Risk always needs to be disciplined,but active risk taking is a core element of a dynamic economy and an innovative society [That's true,but needless and stupid risk taking is just as likely to be the downfall of the same.In order to have a good idea of when risk taking is an advantage,you have to understand how it works and that means thinking in mathematical terms and that is bad medicine for the populace -LB].What more appropriate place could there be to emphasise this than here in Hong Kong!

(Applause)

Matt Fry : I'd now like to open the discussion to the floor.Anyone here with a question please? A forest of hands,yes the lady in the front row please.

Rosanna Wong : Rosanna Wong,member of the Hong Kong Executive Council.Professor Giddens,in your lecture,you talk about "external" and "manufactured" risk.I wonder how you would assess the current economic crisis in Asia,in relation to risk?

Anthony Giddens : As I'm trying to stress in all of these lectures,we need to regulate what I'm calling our "runaway" world,and the Asian crisis is one aspect of that world,of our increasing mutual economic interdependence.What should we do? Two things I think. Each society,like Hong Kong,has too look at itself,and has to do so on a continuous basis to monitor its own institutions.How transparent are we? How democratic are we? How well structured are we? Because investors across the world will now use risk analysis to decide where to invest.

Second,I feel we need to regulate the world economy.I think it doesn't make any sense to suppose that you can have capital sloshing around the world,moving in and out of different regions causing havoc,when we could introduce systems to control it more effectively.

[The maths backs him up.The financial market is fundamentally unstable and given to crashes because of the way that it works. Ref: Green File: R.Savit "Chaos on the Trading Floor";Video N30: F.Dilke "The Numbers Game"]

At a minimum I think we need more discipline in the world monetary regime,and we need to try to prevent such situations happening in such an extreme way in the future.

[In order to do that it will be necessary to engineer CHAOS out of the system,which won't be so easy -LB]

Matt Fry : For the past couple of months the BBC has been running a whole web site linked to these Reith lectures,and people around the world have been Emailing us with their thoughts on all aspects of Globalisation.For instance Adecunlea Akinboyehwa from the UK logged on to say " You ask how I am coping with the globalised high tech,high risk economy.I personally", he says,"cope by not taking any risks at all" (laughter)

" I don't have a mortgage",good for him,"and I'm not planning a new career.I rejected the drive for money and success,instead focusing on leading an ethical good life.Thanks to technology,specifically the internet,I don't think I'm missing anything.There's no real challenge as long as the rent is paid and I'm personally satisfied." A man clearly living on the edge! (laughter)

[You may mock,but he's not the only one,and John Lennon wasn't either -LB]

A mister Max Farah contributed this after a trip abroad,he says,"I agree.Globalisation is new and is poorly understood culturally.For instance",he writes,"in Goa last month I watched men,women and children using 19th century tools to cut channels beside the road for the installation of fibre optic cable.These are the lowest paid,most exploited workers delivering the highest technological infrastructure available today.Goa is going global.But what impact does this have on the cultures of those men,women and children who are digging in the hard Earth? Does anyone know? Does anyone care?"

Tony,do you have any answers to that one?
Anthony Giddens : I think people do....

[Tape ran out at this point -LB]

REPORT ATTACKS "COMPENSATION CULTURE"

Mon 19 April Ceefax News Report:

Risk-taking and innovation are at risk of being stifled by a compensation culture" which is costing Britain billions,a report has claimed.

The public sector alone pays out around £1.8 billion in damages,says the Centre for Policy Studies report.
The report's author,Dr Frank Furedi,says the trend has led to a boom for the legal profession.
But he claims it is undermining notions of trust and personal responsibility.


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