The article on schools in Finland (TESS, last week) made the point that "people trust each other".
As was made clear, Finland is an egalitarian society among the world's rich countries.
In their book The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett present their analysis of data from some 20 of the richest countries in the world and from each of the 50 states of the United States.
They find that rich countries with high levels of income inequality, such as the US, Portugal and the UK, perform less well on a range of key quality-of-life criteria, including education, than countries such as Japan and Finland where the level of income inequality is substantially lower.
As long as the levels of income inequality in the UK continue, the conclusion of the article that the Finnish model is inimitable will hold true.
Geoff Holmes, co-ordinator, The Equality Trust (North East Group).