The title refers to today’s comments by comedy Prime Minister David Cameron, who has stated that the United Nations needs a new set of international development goals to eradicate extreme poverty.
If he believes in this so fervently, why is he hell-bent on reinstating extreme poverty here, in his home country?
Before I go on, I should make it clear that I know poverty – as defined in the UK – is very much different from poverty in, for example, Africa. I know there are some in this country who would be very quick to get on their soapbox and warn that going without food indefinitely isn’t the same as going without a computer.
That’s all very well, but the fact is that changes made by the currently government will increase poverty massively, pushing hundreds of thousands of people below our extremely arbitrary poverty line. We will see increased malnutrition, and we will see a huge increase in diseases caused by lack of food, such as rickets (which is, itself, already on the rise).
People have already died – here in the UK – from the effects of changes wrought by Mr Cameron’s regime.
The BBC website’s report quotes Mr Cameron, who apparently said the UN must focus on ending factors that contribute to poverty, including “corruption [and] lack of justice”.
I bow to his knowledge and experience of corruption, because I believe he leads one of the most corrupt regimes the UK has had to endure in many a year.
Look at last week’s stories about the accounting firms that run the most tax avoidance schemes being allowed to write the law on tax avoidance (could this be because Mr Cameron and his part-time chancellor are well-versed in making money from such schemes? I think it could).
Look at the number of firms benefiting from Andrew Lansley’s changes to the National Health Service – how many Parliamentarians have a financial interest in those companies? (Hint: Many).
This is why I started the petition to ban MPs from speaking or voting on matters in which they have a financial interest* – and I think I touched a nerve there. It was the top-trending e-petition on the government’s website yesterday. From a standing start on Wednesday, it now totals more than 2,000 signatures, with more being added all the time.
As for lack of justice, let’s just remember this is the same David Cameron who is ending the right to Legal Aid for issues including debt, benefits, redundancy and landlord problems. If you’re poor and you end up with these problems, you won’t be able to rely on British justice.
He later added “conflict” and “lack of the rule of law” to his list. For conflict, let’s look at the riots of August 2011 – and hope that we don’t have similar scenes this year, after the effects of his buddy Iain Duncan Smith’s social security changes kick us all in the stomach.
As for the rule of law, I don’t think we’ve had that since the Coalition came into power and started writing laws that allowed its members and their friends to get their snouts in the trough at the expense of those of us who actually support the British economy.
How can cutting Corporation Tax by a quarter, or cutting the top rate of Income Tax by a tenth help our system? The people who benefit from that won’t be spending the extra money they’ll be keeping – they will bank it, most probably in the tax havens that part-time Chancellor
Gideon Osborne has been busily creating while telling us he’s doing the exact opposite. This administration is exceptionally well-versed in doublespeak – saying one thing, meaning the opposite – but dismally slow at realising that we all understand exactly what’s really going on.
So: Corruption, conflict, lack of justice, lack of the rule of law. I do, in fact, agree that fighting these scourges on society – preferably by removing the regimes responsible – would greatly benefit the fight against poverty.
Perhaps the UN would like to start right here, in the UK?