In the run up to Christmas we are seeing the usual desperate appeals
from charities to raise money but the recession has meant that even
their income is now falling. At the same time, the Tory-led Coalition’s
programme of cuts, combined with job-losses and pay freezes are forcing
more and more people to rely on hand-outs from charities.
In the run up to Christmas we are seeing the usual desperate appeals from charities to raise money but the recession has meant that even their income is now falling. At the same time, the Tory-led Coalition’s programme of cuts, combined with job-losses and pay freezes are forcing more and more people to rely on hand-outs from charities.
Christmas, the season to be merry, is getting much tougher, especially for the weakest sections of society.
The Tory Grinch has stolen Christmas for many families struggling to survive in the face of falling living standards and increasing costs. Still spare a thought for those less fortunate. City Xmas bonuses may not be as big as usual this year, down to a mere £2.3bn, as remuneration for the rich is switched from bonuses to huge salary rises and deferred share options.
Of course, the loan-sharks are doing a roaring business as people get into debt simply to make ends meet.
Soup kitchens and food banks are being set up all over the country and our high streets are now blighted by boarded-up shop fronts, or littered with pound shops and pay-day outlets. In Coventry city centre for example, 14.7% of all shops, one in seven, are empty.
Tory Chancellor Osborne is busy looking at ways of reducing the budget deficit by picking our pockets and stealing from children’s Christmas stockings.
Nick Clegg, the rear end of the Coalition’s pantomime horse, supports cuts in welfare as long as the “rich pay their share.” In a Cabinet dominated by millionaires, such words are as believable as those from a Grimm’s fairy tale.
The government are looking for £18bn more cuts this financial year, £10bn from benefits alone. Those who will be hit hardest will be the working poor. While their benefits will not rise in line with inflation, the directors of the top FT350 companies gave themselves a 49% salary rise. The Tories are also seeking £23bn more cuts next year and another £24bn the year after. This will certainly be followed by even more cuts as the crisis deepens.
Public services are facing a huge crisis in all areas. Moral in the NHS has never been lower with hospitals under threat and thousands of essential jobs being lost already with more under threat. Added to this is the disastrous fallout from the PFI fiasco where NHS trusts have found themselves buckling under the pressure of huge debts incurred by this rip-off scandal where private firms have made huge profits at our expense resulting in projects costing many time more than would have been the case in the past.
The ruling class is attempting to impose Dickensian workhouse conditions on Britain. This is at a time when more than 500,000 disabled people are facing massive cuts to their benefits.
According to a number of charities including Disability Rights UK, many children will go hungry with the introduction of Universal Credit. Around 100,000 disabled children stand to lose up to £28 a week. Another 230,000 severely disabled adults who live alone will lose up to £58 a week and up to 116,000 disabled people in work could each lose £40 a week in additional support.
One in ten people told reporters they would not be able to stay in their own homes and faced eviction, while two-thirds said they would have to cut back on food and more than half said they would have to go into debt.
In addition, a report from the Resolution Foundation found that nearly 1.2 million low-paid and part-time workers will lose out under Universal Credit unless they work longer hours, get an extra job or an unlikely pay rise.
When housing benefit caps are introduced next April, the reductions in benefits mean that some people will be faced with eviction. Last year, homelessness rose by 17%. With the new cuts, this is set to rise dramatically. London boroughs are presently looking at ways to unload their homeless families onto other authorities. At least 17 have already started sending people out of London. Authorities are even buying cheap properties in the Welsh valleys and Yorkshire to house London’s homeless!
At the same time millionaires are still busy buying up luxury apartments in the capital. According to the Land Registry, there were 262 transactions of such homes in London during the third quarter of this year, compared with 370 in the same period last year. In spite of the slowdown, the most expensive properties in London continued to attract widespread interest. In September, a London mansion went on sale for £300m – the highest price ever sought for a private UK residence. Another block of flats in Mayfair, by all accounts the most expensive such flats in the world, has attracted some buyers even though hardly anyone is actually registered as living there. At a time of rising homelessness, this is nothing short of a sick joke.
The government’s reassessment of those on incapacity benefit by the private company Atos has resulted in one-third being disqualified. Their benefits were stopped and they were forced to “seek work”. People who have since died from cancer were told they were fit for work. Not surprisingly, it has been estimated that welfare cuts kill 30 people every month.
At a time when the government is launching the biggest attack on living standards since the war, a whole series of scandals have exposed the real nature of the Establishment. There are those at the top who believe they are untouchable and can do as they please. They have covered up these scandals for years, but now this cess-pit has come to light.
First we had the MPs’ expenses scandal. This showed that many of our top politicians, including those in government and the parasites in the House of Lords, who were viciously attacking the poorest and most disadvantaged of society, were caught stuffing their pockets.
Then there was the phone hacking scandal. This included the hacking into the phone messages of a murdered girl, as well as hundreds of other people from all walks of life, in order to gain information for frontpage stories. Leading politicians, including Prime Ministers, had been fawning over the newspaper barons for decades. They were happily in league with these billionaire tycoons until this whole game was exposed and Cameron and the rest of Westminster had to pretend to be shocked and surprised. This again showed the intimate social and class ties between different wings of the Establishment in Britain, the real rotten powers-that-be.
Then we had the horrendous Hillsborough scandal. Police chiefs deliberately falsified and tampered with evidence so as to make it appear that unruly Liverpool fans were to blame for the Hillsborough tragedy. This went as far as taking blood samples of children to “prove” they were under the influence of alcohol. This was followed by the scandal over Orgreave, where during the miners’ strike of 1984/85 police chiefs again deliberately told lies, manufactured “evidence” and framed striking miners on a whole series of serious criminal charges.
This whole dirty business was conducted under the instigation and protection of the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher, that paragon of ‘free-market’ virtue.
It was the capitalist Establishment that framed Ricky Tomlinson and Des Warren, building workers from north Wales on strike in the early 1970s, on charges of conspiracy and jailed them as a warning to others in the trade union movement.
Now we have the Jimmy Savile paedophile scandal, which threatens to tarnish the reputations of top politicians, celebrities and even members of the Royal Family. The BBC, the traditional mouthpiece of the British Establishment, has also been engulfed in the cover-up, as have the police.
Sir Jimmy Savile was in fact part of the Thatcher Establishment, photographed many times with the former Prime Minister and was indeed knighted for his services. He was also friends with Prince Charles and acted as a kind of “marriage counsellor” between Charles and Princess Diana. On Savile’s 80th birthday Charles wrote: "Nobody will ever know what you have done for this country Jimmy. This is to go some way in thanking you for that.” Prince Charles also led tributes to Savile when he died last year.
A whole class of rich parasites make up the British Establishment. For them, the marketplace and profit-making are everything. They despise the rest of society.
These scandals have now exposed the rottenness of the ruling class, its lies and its corruption. They are a reflection of a deep malaise affecting society. Like a stinking fish, the head starts to rot first.
We have never had such a class-ridden society as now. This exposes the glaring difference between the lives of working people and the opulence of the rich.
There has never been a more urgent task than to put an end to this rotten system. There was never been a better argument for reorganising society on socialist lines where the production and distribution of wealth can be rationally planned for the benefit of all and not for the excesses of a parasitic and corrupt minority.