29_september_2015A letter a day to number 10. No 1,215

Tuesday 29 September 2015.

Dear Mr Cameron,

Precariat: “In sociology and economics, the precariat is a social class formed by people suffering from precarity, which is a condition of existence without predictability or security, affecting material or psychological welfare as well as being a member of a proletariat class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labour to live. Specifically, it is applied to the condition of lack of job security, in other words intermittent employment or underemployment and the resultant precarious existence. The emergence of this class has been ascribed to the entrenchment of neoliberal capitalism.”

The Precariat are an emerging class and new factors are also emerging, such as homelessness, rootlessness (through social cleansing and unaffordable living), sanctions which are now a major cause of a precarious existence, deteriorating mental well being and even lacking a coherent social identity.

Those entrapped in such a precarious existence are deprived of any future vision, locked, as they are, in an endlessly precarious now in which future hope is simply absent.

The Precariat are a product of the 21st century as neoliberalism reduces people to objects (stock) without human value. They are the result of unrestrained ‘free’ markets and a fundamental betrayal of even basic humanity and humanitarian concerns. The emergence of the Precariat is as a result of the unrestrained greed of the few at the expense of the many.

Global inequality is constantly rising, according to Oxfam, ‘the share of the world’s wealth owned by the best-off 1% has increased from 44% in 2009 to 48% in 2014, while the least well-off 80% currently own just 5.5%. Oxfam added that on current trends the richest 1% would own more than 50% of the world’s wealth by 2016’.

The Precariat has emerged through policy from ever more authoritarian governments and markets which have no restraint on the pursuit of profit regardless of the human cost.

It is, of course, in the self interest of government to lay the blame for rising poverty and precariousness on the poor and to set one group against another in order to hide the real elephant in the room, the policies (or lack of preventative policies) which drive poverty and precarious living. Poverty wages and insecure hours, dismantling the social safety net, rising prices and rents, a property market completely out of control and, as the Telegraph put it, ‘Renting your way to poverty’.

This is the mountain of destitution and misery that sits outside parliament, those MPs who challenge the policies that are driving it are mocked and jeered. This is brutality handed out by the greedy. The criminality of the wealthy is nurtured, protected and rewarded whilst the poor are beaten into the ground. Of course it cannot last, such greed plants the seeds of its own destruction and the tragedy is that this is perpetrated by the least among us, people who have sold their souls for greed, so whatever happens, you have no one but yourselves to blame.