The Crisis Of Daily Life in Britain As Thousands Lose Their Lives
By Truepublica: What has Thatcher’s neoliberal dream brought us four decades later? With hindsight, frankly, not much. Anything that did work was offset when it played a huge and catastrophic role in bringing a crisis of daily life to millions with the financial meltdown of 2007‑8. This was a direct result of extreme capitalism (estimated total economic losses $30trillion in US alone). The offshoring of wealth (approx $32 trillion) is another symptom, of which the Panama Papers offers up a mere glimpse through a filthy window of globalised corruption and mass money laundering by those least in need fostered by a culture of greed and individualism. The end result was inevitable: resurgent family breakdown, child poverty, food poverty, the painful slow collapse of both public health and education through austerity measures, all of which, is more than just evident to ordinary people.
Neoliberal capitalism depends on an irrational non-stop growth model and so it has also brought an anticipated and imminent collapse of ecosystems. Along the way, with rising divisions of civil society, populists and extremists have emerged. The destabilisation of the world order we knew is underway. All this is in the backdrop of another inevitability – rapidly rising inequality. We blame those at the centre of each crisis as they occur, but the reality is that they are all linked to a flawed financial ideology. In the meantime, we should not forget the true cost, which is a human one, one that sees tens of thousands of those less fortunate in Britain dying needlessly. Listed below is the inescapable result of privatisation, austerity, waste, mis-management and plain greed.
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It is estimated that about 20,000 people die unnecessarily in the colder winter months, typically between December and March, because they were living in homes they couldn’t afford to heat. Society has given this a tag – fuel poverty, in reality just poverty. Since 2010, there has been a 77 percent increase in the number of these deaths over the previous five year average.
The government promised at the last election to insulate another one million homes as they clearly recognised excess winter deaths was directly correlated to the escalating price of fuel in Britain. However, even if the government had in fact reached that goal it would have been 80 percent lower than was actually achieved in the previous five year period.
“The Conservative pledge is shocking,” Mr Matthew, Director of Energy Bill Revolution said. “It would lead to a crash in the delivery of life-saving insulation measures and leave millions of people to freeze in their homes. Given most fuel poor are working families this strikes me as an election own goal.”
In 2015, 14.3 million households turned off heating at some point in the winter to cut energy bills – today that figure will likely rise substantially.
Some two-fifths of consumers said they left their oven door open after cooking and a quarter wore a coat, scarf or hat indoors to keep warm rather than turning on their heating, according to a uSwitch survey.
Deaths spike as desperately needed benefits pulled
Statistics released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) in 2015 revealed that during the period December 2011 and February 2014 2,380 people died after their claim for employment and support allowance (ESA) ended because a work capability assessment (WCA) found they were found fit for work.
There is nothing to suggest that the figure of about 90 deaths per month due to the withdrawal of desperately needed benefits has changed.
The Government’s fit-to-work tests for access to disability benefits are now also causing permanent damage to some claimants’ mental health, from which they are not recovering, a new study has warned.
The Independent reports that the research, conducted by academics at Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt and Napier universities, found that the Work Capability Assessment experience “for many, caused a deterioration in people’s mental health which individuals did not recover from”.
It also established, through in-depth interviews of people who had been through the tests, that “in the worst cases, the WCA experience led to thoughts of suicide”.
Unprecedented rise in mortality linked to NHS cuts
An unprecedented rise in mortality in England and Wales, where 30,000 excess deaths occurred in 2015, is likely to be linked to cuts to the NHS and social care, according to research published back in 2015. This figure is now likely to be considerably worse as well, especially as it is hard to deny the NHS crisis is real with 21 trusts on ‘black alert‘ right now – meaning they cannot guarantee patient safety.
The research came from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Oxford University and Blackburn with Darwen council, who say the increase in mortality took place against a backdrop of “severe cuts” to the NHS and social care, compromising their performance.
The rise in deaths from 2014 to 529,655 in 2015 was the biggest in percentage terms in almost 50 years and the mortality rate was the highest since the financial crash descended upon us in 2008.
The authors confirmed that the most dependent on health and social care experienced by far, the most casualties.
The research further warned that the “spike” was showing signs of becoming an established pattern, with provisional official weekly mortality data from 2016 showing deaths from October onwards increasing by 7% compared with the five-year average.
The researchers also observed that the increase in mortality came as waiting times rose in NHS accident and emergency – despite unexceptional attendances or admissions.
Ambulance response times also increased as did operations cancelled for non-clinical reasons, which all added to the death toll.
The result of privatisation attempts with the ambulance service has proven to be a disaster. Hundreds of patients including people with cancer and kidney failure have missed important appointments for treatment because ambulances did not arrive to take them to hospital after privatisation of NHS non-urgent transport services – in just one hospital alone in Sussex.
Murder on the increase
In 2010, Theresa May went ahead against all advice and cut the police budget by a whopping 18 percent. Over the following five years, police numbers plummeted in England and Wales by 22,000 and at the same time the number of specialist armed police officers fell from a peak of 6,796 in 2010 to 5,639 in 2016 just at the time we needed them most, as terror related incidents has soared.
Government claims that crime is down is a lie. The Guardian reports that the rise in crime in Britain is accelerating, with the latest figures showing a 13% increase in all police-recorded offences across England and Wales, and even greater rises for violent offences including knife crime, sexual offences and violence against the person.
The acceleration from a 5% rise in the 12 months to June 2015, to 7% the following year, and 13% in the 12 months to June this year, together with even larger increases in violent crime, says quite a lot when the murder rate in most western democracies has continued to decline.
The crime figures show an underlying 8% rise in the murder rate.
The increasingly violent nature of England and Wales is underlined by double-digit increases in types of violent crime that cause significant harm and alarm. They include a 27% rise in gun crime to 6,696 offences, a 26% increase in knife crime to 36,998 offences, robberies up 25% to 64,499, sexual offences up 19% to 129,700, and stalking and harassment up 36% to 243,086 reported incidents.
In the twenty tears up to 2001 before Britain’s disastrous involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria, there were officially just five prevented, failed or aborted serious terrorism attacks in Britain. Since then the number has escalated. In 2017, it was reported that one serious plot was foiled every six weeks.
MI5’s Director General Andrew Parker briefed Theresa May and her senior team on the planned attacks at the beginning of December and confirmed that ISIS, having been beaten in Iraq and Syria were planning to continue their efforts in Britain where 80 percent of all terrorism related incidents is put down to this one group.
If Tony Blair and David Cameron had listened to the millions of outraged Britons who campaigned to stop Britain being involved in the killing of millions in the Middle East, there is little doubt that many lives would have been saved back at home.
2017 was a deadly year where 381 innocents were injured and 41 were killed on British soil. All were related to the Mid-East conflicts in one way or another. In addition, there has been a serious increase in arrests, detentions and other terror related incidents just in the last five years, for the very same reasons.
The Independent reported just three months ago that the UK lost almost £11bn to cyber criminals in the year. The latest figure equates to approximately £210 per person over the age of 16 living in the UK, but is only based on incidents registered with the national reporting centre Action Fraud.
The fact that nearly 40 percent of cybercrime was not reported at all is confirmation that the cost is far greater.
And what their report omitted was that a rapidly rising amount of online crime is conducted through hackers who stole software or private data and information of individuals from our government or their agencies.
Tens of millions of pieces of data relating to individuals has been lost. From the NHS, Insolvency Service, HMRC, the Home Office, Dept for Work and Pensions, to the Driving Standards Agency and even the Foreign Office, Serious Fraud Office and Ministry of Defence.
Cyberattacks on computers in more than 150 countries have been attributed to cyber-tools being stolen from GCHQ’s best buddy – the NSA. The ransomware that wreaked havoc on NHS computers was an American cyber-weapon leaked to the public earlier this year. The malware also prevented hospital staff from accessing medical records. Ultimately, it was outdated computer equipment that the government had failed to update or secure that was to blame.
Surveillance tools used to spy on every single one of us are created and managed by private corporations, many of them foreign. They too are relentlessly hacked and very often the general public are left in the dark as millions lose privacy, identity and other personal data that threatens their financial security.
According to the Samaritans – In England and the UK overall, female suicide rates are at their highest since 2007. Female suicide rates have decreased in Scotland (by 1.4%) – what does tell you about left and rightwing government in the same country.
In the period from 2010 onwards government has wasted tens of billions on projects it was unable to manage.
- The Department for Transport Shared Services Centre project ended in failure at a final cost of £81 million.
- The Common Agricultural Delivery Programme failed at a cost of £216 million
- The Libra System for Magistrates failed at a cost of £389 million
- The Defence Information Infrastructure project failed £7.1 billion
- The NHS National Programme for IT imploded at a final cost of over £10 billion.
In the meantime, whilst only 15 percent of the general public believe HS2 will be worth the effort, it should be remembered that at a cost of over £400 million a mile, ordinary people continue to die every day because of a lack of basic care. HS2, a vanity project of politicians will cost £8 billion for the first 6.6 miles. The first phase from London to Birmingham will be nearly £50bn and is known to be the most expensive rail project in the world – at 15 times the cost of France’s TGV. The final cost is now expected to be well over £100billion.