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Professor Philip Alston: He came to his conclusions by listening to people affected by Conservative policies on the poor, sick and disabled. Tories implemented those policies by ignoring the very same people – and now they have vowed to ignore Professor Alston.

The United Nations’ special rapporteur on poverty, Philip Alston, has said he believes the UK’s Conservative government deliberately increased poverty in the country, for ideological reasons.

He said the harm done to the poorest and most vulnerable could be reversed with very little investment; all that is needed is the political will. Sadly, we all know that a change of government will be required to achieve this.

The Tories themselves confirmed this, by stating that they do not recognise the findings of Professor Alston’s report. Clearly they will not act upon those findings either.

In an interview with Channel 4 News, he said the following:

And this is from his verbal report:

A wealth of material has appeared about this – mostly on the social media (and we’ll discuss the reasons for this below), so it is possible to put together a good summary of the report, the reaction to it, and wider issues from that. So here are the headlines:

Here’s the underlying implication – that the Tory government intended to create this problem for the people of the UK in order to achieve “radical social re-engineering”:

Professor Alston said the situation could change overnight with very little investment, if there was a different government:

But the current government is unlikely to do anything because it is in a “state of denial”:

It is well worth noting that Professor Alston used the words “hostile environment” to describe the Conservative government’s policies brings to mind the Windrush Scandal – and the Department for Work and Pensions, which is responsible for so many of the policies which have caused the harm, is now being run by the woman who took the rap for Windrush – Amber Rudd.

The effect of Tory policies on women was highlighted by the special rapporteur:

This Site suggested yesterday that Esther McVey resigned as Work and Pensions Secretary, not because of Brexit but because she did not want to face the criticism she would receive from Professor Alston. In his report, he revealed that he had met Ms McVey – and her comments were alarming:

One can see why she may not have wanted to stick around for the fallout from that. Instead, as Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell points out, they “manipulate statistics” and “refuse to accept responsibility”.

And how do they get away with it? The answer is obvious:

Excellent points. And if you think the BBC isn’t hiding important facts from you, were you aware of the following?

No? Then the BBC, together with other right-wing news organisations, has been hiding the facts from us all.

We need responsible news media, holding the government to account for its actions, and a cabinet minister willing to accept the facts and act on them in the national interest.

We have been given Amber Rudd.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: This would be a farce if not for the fact that people are dying.