By Peter Mills.
The BBC, with unerring accuracy, has referred to the policies of Chancellor George Osborne as representing a ‘manifesto plank’ (1). One cannot disagree with the BBC in this instance. Mr. Osborne’s policies have ‘plank’ written all over them!
The Tory Party is spreading misery and – yes – mass death in its wake! Mass death? Oh yes – as reported in The Guardian as long ago as June 2012 – senior management of Jobcentre offices have had to brief staff that suicides are likely to occur as a direct result of government cuts to benefits (2).
The callous and ill-informed may perhaps think: “Well, that only applies to scroungers and cheats! Serves them right!” However, the poor victims who are taking their own lives as a direct result of unconscionable and draconian DWP decisions are mainly the genuinely poor and disabled.
The statistics are difficult to find in the ordinary newspapers, but an alarming set of facts and figures was published in the respected medical journal The Lancet as long ago as 2011. Even in that year, the Lancet report contains the horrific statistic that between 2009 and 2011 every country in the EU has experienced a massive increase in poverty-related suicides in people below 64! (3).
The Lancet article includes a significant graph based on the suicide figures. The whole world has recently been aghast at the climate change graph, which shows what is called a ‘hockey-stick’ temperature increase in the last few decades. Whether or not you believe in climate change, the EU poverty-related suicide graph shows a similar ‘hockey-stick’ rise which is based on actual unarguable figures.
The University of Salford, in its website magazine ‘The Conversation’, published facts in June 2013 (4) which illustrate the effect upon society brought about by the current Tory Government, and Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State of Work and Pensions. The university magazine article is headed: ‘The link between benefit cuts and suicide cannot be ignored’.
It makes heartbreaking reading for anyone who retains a grain of decency and humanity – which rules out the “I’m All Right Jack” brigade, including many Tory voters.
In an announcement, Mr. Osborne has stated that another £25 billion in spending cuts will be needed after the next election.
If the incompetents who now dictate UK finances want to cut expenditure, why won’t they abandon the absurd HS2 rail link, now estimated to cost a minimum £80 billion? (5) (6) The cancellation of this entirely unnecessary nation-crippling project would provide his extra £25 billion, while the rest of the saving (at least £55 billion and probably more) would repair the catastrophic damage the government has inflicted on Britain’s once world-class social security system, transforming the DWP from being its current ghoulish spectre! After all, ‘benefits’ are supposed to benefit people, not destroy them.
Put simply, the next British government needs to get its priorities right – support the genuinely poor and crippled not just the wealthy and privileged. It is consistently demonstrated by those who now sit in parliament that the Tory-Labour-LibDem tripartite system has outlived its relevance and usefulness to British society.
More desperately than ever before, we need a Nationalist government! Please God…!