Britain and poverty – a case of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
The covid pandemic didn’t cause poverty in Britain – though it didn’t help. However, many thousands of people would have been pushed over the established line and many thousands of others would have been forced into debt which makes their future prospects looking rather bleak.
What the pandemic has certainly done is to expose what had been previously hidden, by government intention and a general reluctance in Britain for too many of the population to accept that poverty exists – as they would then have to face the moral dilemma about what to do about it.
Anecdotal evidence shows that donations to food banks have increased in the last 18 months or so and it will be interesting to see how those levels are maintained now that there is a general sense that Britain is returning to ‘normal’ with those who can returning to work. But the changes that are taking place at the beginning of October 2021 also have a sting. The furlough scheme is coming to an end and in a few days the extra £20 given to those on Universal Credit will also be withdrawn.
(An interesting statistic from the past year is that under the furlough scheme people could claim up to £2,500 per month. Those on Universal Credit are now set to lose £1,040 PER YEAR. Even in the worst days of the pandemic, when millions were not able to work, it was the most wealthy in the population who were getting the greatest percentage of government assistance.)
Much has been said, by many, that once the country is out of the pandemic that it should ‘build back better’. If we take this (which I think is a meaningless sound bite) at face value what will it mean when it comes to poverty in Britain, with all that goes with it such as homelessness/expensive and poor rental accommodation? What track record do any of the parties that seek power in Westminster have to make us think that there will be anything radical that will seek to eliminate poverty?
The answer to that question is none.
Poverty is a direct consequence of capitalism. Capitalism needs poverty in order to be able to frighten, manipulate and control the working masses.
As this is the ‘Conference Season’ (when all the major political parties have their annual get-togethers) many promises will be made to be conveniently forgotten at the first opportunity or when ‘reality’ kicks in.
The very recent publication of the millions of leaked papers about how the ‘super-rich’ are able to maintain their wealth (and the political control that goes with it) in the so-called Pandora Papers (which, amazingly, have seemed to dropped out of the news very quickly) only goes to show what has been obvious for years (if not decades) and that is that the rich and powerful are becoming more so. With that increase in wealth comes an ‘entitlement’ for them to control so much wealth they could never really spend it. Some of the comments that were made by those exposed by the investigation over the last two years demonstrate that none of the respondents think they had done anything wrong.
And, legally they probably haven’t. They come from and create the sort of society which forces the vast majority to pay their ‘fair share’ of the tax burden but which provides ‘loopholes’ so that if you have enough to buy an accountant/lawyer or other form of shyster what you pay is vastly disproportionate to the amounts involved. This all comes after a number of years where major companies have been shifting addresses around the world so that they pay the minimum to stay ‘within the law’.
None of these individuals or companies will ever be prosecuted and they won’t even feel any shame of being caught out.
However, ordinary people have to wake up to the facts and realise that they are as much part of the problem as they are of the solution.
One of the first posts on this blog, when Left side of the road was started in the summer of 2012, was about food banks. That post was prompted by an article in which the Trussell Trust, the charity which runs the biggest number of food banks in the UK, stated that it wanted to see food banks in every city and town in the country. That, to me, was a ludicrous goal to set. Surely the aim is to see no food banks as society is sufficiently developed and cultured to have abolished poverty and the need for such charity.
Within Britain, and the same goes for much of the rest of the world, there seems to be an acceptance of the existence of poverty (dire and extreme as it is in some countries) and that the rich and the powerful have the right to accumulate vast fortunes and live an obscenely wasteful lifestyle – right next to people who never know where the next meal is coming from.
The only reason I can see for this acceptance of such an unjust system is that people who have the ability to change the situation somehow get a kick out of the existence of poverty, can make themselves fell good if they are in the fortunate position of having a bit of slack they can give in the form of charity and continue to look up to the celebrities, whether they be ‘royalty’ or just some pop singer.
This is akin to the mental disease, Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy.
Vaccination programme in Britain …..
Freshers’ week drive to give covid jabs to students in England.
Compulsory vaccination: what does human rights law say?
Covid vaccine effects wane over time but still prevent death and severe illness.
Covid vaccine boosters – who will receive them and why are they being given?
Trials begin on Covid booster jab hoped to protect against new variants – but will these new ‘super’ vaccines be given to those who have already been vaccinated or to those still to receive the first dose?
….. and in the rest of the world (or not)
Covax misses its 2021 delivery target – what’s gone wrong in the fight against vaccine nationalism?
In hindsight there was no foresight: how Australia bungled its Pfizer Covid deal.
England’s Covid travel rules spark outrage around the world. Refusal to recognise vaccines given across Latin America, Africa and south Asia has been denounced as ‘discriminatory’.
‘Vaccine Apartheid’: Africans tell UN they need vaccines.
Hospital admissions – September 2021
‘A bit of a mystery’: why hospital admissions for covid in England are going down.
The wearing of masks
Evidence shows that, yes, masks prevent covid-19 – and surgical masks are the way to go [although these researchers have obviously never observed the manner that people, in all countries, don’t wear the masks as they ‘are supposed to’. If they don’t follow correct practice does not mask wearing cause a potential threat rather than a preventative in transmission?
The future of covid
Coronavirus unlikely to become more deadly because it’s run out of ‘places to go’.
Following the science?
No 10 [Downing Street – the office of the Buffoon] accused of side-lining behaviour experts on latest Covid measures.
Technical article: Updated estimates of the prevalence of post-acute symptoms among people with coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK: 26 April 2020 to 1 August 2021.
Double vaccination halves risk of developing long-lasting symptoms’
Britain’s covid-era university students may suffer ‘impostor syndrome’.
NHS backlog disproportionately affecting England’s most deprived.
Resolution Foundation warns of cost of living crisis.
Who is benefiting from the pandemic?
Private hospitals profit from NHS waiting lists as people without insurance pay out.
A year that changed the world – and medical companies’ fortunes.
Evil Doers: The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Pandemic – written about the US context but applicable anywhere in the world.
The world gone mad
If the world was working in concert it would have been a different matter.
Russia slams New York’s vaccine requirement for UN general assembly.
Ministers told to bar European Union from UK trial data in vaccines row.
Poverty in Britain
Who’s paying for the government’s plan to fix social care? A podcast.
Universal credit cut will push 800,000 people into poverty.
Child poverty now costs Britain £38 billion a year.
Social care plan will help just a tenth of UK’s older people in need.
The next three articles are mainly focussed on Scotland – but the figures will be mirrored in the rest of the UK.
Almost 300,000 people missed rent or mortgage payment in last year.
Child Winter Heating Assistance eligibility extended.
Energy crisis and price cap rise ‘could force 150,000 more Scots into fuel poverty’.
Buffoon refuses to say if he could live on basic universal credit pay.
Ending universal credit boost will hit sickest areas the hardest.
How (if) will it all end?
What kind of inquiry do we need to learn the right lessons?