Sunday, 27 May 2012

Postcode Lottery

We hear about the postcode lottery all the time. "I can't get the same health care as those people in a different area - it's a postcode lottery." or "My child can't go to a school that's higher in the league tables  - it's a postcode lottery." As if the problem is the fact that their postcode is the wrong one.

The argument is in reality an argument for sameness. Don't have any differences, diversity or experimentation anywhere, because the risk is it might turn out to be too good, and then people in other areas will complain that they are victims of the postcode lottery.

This is a stupid argument and symbolises a lot of what is wrong with our "choice" based public service culture.

The ability to develop different types of services and to experiment locally is vital. Indeed if we eliminate the "postcode lottery" there can be no such thing as localism.

But I'm going to use this postcode lottery argument, for I feel I have a higher calling.

I am a victim of the postcode lottery and it's affecting my life chances and social status.

My postcode is not SW1 1AA!

The woman  who currently lives there has the advantage of this postcode. If I had her postcode - I would be the Queen. But I don't, so I'm not.

It's a postcode lottery!


  1. Great post. I always knew the postcode lottery argument was bonkers but I wasn't sure why. Thanks for articulating it so well. I can't wait to argue with my dad about this again now. Thanks!

  2. Go easy on your dad now.

  3. The postcode is a lottery where my balls never get picked.