Thu May 23rd, 2019 at 08:56:34 AM EST
The offspring in name of Theresa May - Tories - and rightwing Donald Trump, the personification of American Capitalism ...
Amber Rudd to lodge complaint over UN's austerity report | The Guardian |
Rudd will argue that Alston is politically biased and did not do enough research. The minister is seeking guidance from the Foreign Office on the best way to respond after Alston compared her department's welfare policies to the creation of Victorian workhouses.
Alston quoted the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes to warn that unless austerity was ended and welfare cuts were reversed, millions of poorer Britons faced lives that would be "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short".
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The 21-page report said the government appeared unwilling to debate the impact of its austerity policies since 2010, which it said were "in clear violation of the country's human rights obligations".
The UN has condemned Tory welfare policies. Labour must end this shame | The Guardian - Opinion |
How did Britain in 2019 - one of the wealthiest societies that has ever existed - end up being damned by a United Nations report for condemning the poor to lives that are "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"? These are the words of the 17th-century philosopher Thomas Hobbes; another British literary great conjured up by Prof Philip Alston - the UN's special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, and a bete noir of our crumbling government - is Charles Dickens and his vivid description of the 19th-century workhouse now being brought back in "a digital and sanitised version".
The government, he contended, was guilty of the "systematic immiseration of a significant part of the British population", and that "much of the glue that has held British society together since the second world war has been deliberately removed and replaced with a harsh and uncaring ethos".
That ethos, and its collision with reality, lies at the root of our present turmoil. This week, the BBC broadcast the first instalment of Thatcher: A Very British Revolution. It begins with a speech from 1985, just weeks after the defeat of the miners' strike, and near the zenith of her powers. "With capitalism and free enterprise, there are no boundaries of class or creed or colour," she declared. "Everyone can climb the ladder as high as their talents will take them."
Here was Thatcherism in its populist iteration: the individual would be freed from the stifling constraints of the state and collectivism, and through grit, determination and ability, one could rise to the very top. But this philosophy would prove all too convenient when it came to rationalising exploding levels of inequality. Those whose bank balances boomed in the 1980s just happened to the best, the most talented, hard-working go-getters; those at the bottom of the pecking order were lazy, lacking in aspiration and ambition - stupid, even.
How Britain changed under Margaret Thatcher in 15 charts
One in every 200 people in UK are homeless, according to Shelter | The Guardian - Nov. 2017 |
Using official government data and freedom of information returns from local authorities, it estimates that 307,000 people are sleeping rough, or accommodated in temporary housing, bed and breakfast rooms, or hostels - an increase of 13,000 over the past year.
Shelter said the figures were an underestimate as they did not include people trapped in so-called "hidden homelessness", who have nowhere to live but are not recorded as needing housing assistance, and end up "sofa surfing".
London, where one in every 59 people are homeless, remains Britain's homelessness centre. Of the top 50 local authority homelessness "hotspots", 18 were in Greater London, with Newham, where one in 27 residents are homeless, worst hit.
However, while London's homeless rates have remained largely stable over the past year, the figures show the problem is becoming worse in leafier commuter areas bordering the capital, such as Broxbourne, Luton, and Chelmsford.
Big regional cities have also seen substantial year-on-year increases in the rate of homelessness. In Manchester, one in 154 people are homeless (compared with one in 266 in 2016); in Birmingham one in 88 are homeless (119); in Bristol one in 170 are affected (199).