Tuesday 31 March 2015.
Dear Mr Cameron,
According to the Rowntree Trust, in 2013 there were 13 million people in poverty in the UK, over half of them in work ‘having suffered a sustained and ‘unprecedented’ fall in their living standards’. Poverty is not a lifestyle choice, it is an unrelenting fact. Poverty is also ideological, certainly in Britain, one of the richest countries in the world. It exists because it is allowed and enabled to exist.
I have known only one person who chose poverty as a lifestyle choice, you might call him a ‘professional’ tramp, but he was, in fact, a tramp and he had chosen to live that way because he couldn’t cope with the world in any other way. Such were the terms with which he could live and survive in a world that he found difficult. I have no memory pictures of him, though he was well known, he was largely invisible. Perhaps he had wisdom and knowledge that he might have shared, perhaps as a lifestyle guru in some way, but I’ll never know as he was not given to long discourses on life, the universe and everything nor of making a ‘business’ of life. I remember him only as a quiet man, someone I have thought of often in my own struggles with life over the years.
Qatar, the richest country in the world, is built on imposed poverty, in near slave (forced labour) or actual slave conditions. Did you know that? I strongly suspect you do as poverty is good for those who drive it and exploit it. In the building of the World Cup infrastructure in 2012 migrant workers were reckoned to be dying at more than one a day. If Qatar is not bothered about whether workers are paid or not, why would they be bothered if they die? In Britain, if companies are rewarded for using forced labour on your workfare pogrom, like Tesco, why pay wages? If you can sell people off as free labour or sanction them, taking away their means of survival, to balance the economy (apparently), why care that they die? It’s good for the economy.
Capitalism and the, so called ‘free markets’ thrive on inequality and poverty, therein lie huge profits. What Marx called surplus value, the difference between the price of labour and the value of what labour produces, is labour laying the golden egg of profit. As long as the chickens keep laying the eggs, by force if necessary, who cares if some of them die? Profit is god and to hell with life. Capitalism loves socialism, tax payers paying the price for poor health, housing, education, hunger and want. Capitalism thrives on welfare, but Iain Duncan Smith has discovered that welfare denial for the poor is even better for business, privatise the state and abandon the poor completely and always, always, always blame the poor for everything. Poverty is a lifestyle choice so make war on the poor, vote Tory, eh Mr Cameron?