How else would you describe the way the UK’s Tory government threw away austerity the instant the well-being of the rich was threatened?
Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, made a good point when he pointed out that the harm caused by austerity policies of the last 10 years cannot be undone – but the policy itself was reversed the instant it seemed likely to harm the rich.
He told The Guardian:
“My thoughts of course hark back to the sense of how utterly hypocritical it is now to abandon ‘austerity’ with such alacrity, after all the harm and misery caused to individuals and the fatal weakening of the community’s capacity to cope and respond over the past 10 years.
“And of course, many of the worst and most damaging aspects of ‘austerity’ cannot and will not be undone. The damage caused to community cohesion and to the social infrastructure are likely to prove permanent.
He said that globally “the most vulnerable have been short-changed or excluded” by official responses to the disease:
“The policies of many states reflect a social Darwinism philosophy that prioritises the economic interests of the wealthiest while doing little for those who are hard at work providing essential services or unable to support themselves.
“Governments have shut down entire countries without making even minimal efforts to ensure people can get by.”
The Tories would undoubtedly argue that they have indeed made efforts to ensure people can get by… but some would argue that those efforts have indeed been minimal.
Across the UK, people who claimed Universal Credit because their income dried up in the lockdown have found their five-week wait for benefit cash has culminated in a cheque for no money at all.
Others have been unable to claim the benefit because they don’t meet the government’s criteria.
And of course Boris Johnson won’t agree to a Universal Basic Income that will help everybody – and will be cheaper to administer than UC. Why? Because he likes to keep people poor and – if possible – push them into debt.
Look at the other coronavirus-related policies and you’ll find that most of them aren’t working – at least, not the way we were led to expect.
And now there’s huge pressure to sway public opinion in favour of lifting the lockdown so we can all go back to work, making profits for the rich again – before their income is harmed as that of the poor has been.
Put it altogether and it seems Mr Alston has a very good point.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:
Here are four ways to be sure you’re among the first to know what’s going on.
1) Register with us by clicking on ‘Subscribe’ (in the left margin). You can then receive notifications of every new article that is posted here.
2) Follow VP on Twitter @VoxPolitical
3) Like the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VoxPolitical/
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
4) You could even make Vox Political your homepage at http://voxpoliticalonline.com
And do share with your family and friends – so they don’t miss out!
If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.
The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here: