Austerity Is Killing People But You Won’t See Mass Protests

Homeless person affected by Austerity sitting in front of At Paul's Cathedral
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For a week now, the world has been talking about Extinction Rebellion and its efforts to force governments to act on climate change. While this goes on, the effects of austerity that even the United Nations condemned, continue to push people over the edge. Despite this, there’s no action to force the government change their ways.

What Extinction Rebellion have done to raise awareness is amazing. Climate change will undoubtedly affect everyone more and more unless something changes. I have no issue with the cause.

What I find staggering, is the lack of action to stop the effects of austerity.

14 million people in the United Kingdom are in poverty, foodbank use is increasing weekly and the number of rough sleepers dying on the streets is also up.

This isn’t new either. Over the last 12 months there’s barely been a week without a story detailing how Tory policies are pushing people to their limit both financially and mentally.

The tabloids have a poverty porn story almost daily, outling how done poor soul is struggling to cope or worse couldn’t cope.

There’s no denying people are outraged at some of the details that have been emerging. They’ll let it be known online in the comments section. But that’s as far as it goes.

Some groups like Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) do take to the streets but numbers are limited.

You won’t see mass disruption because of the 120,000 deaths linked to austerity. Nor will people risk arrest because disabled people are suffering from hostile government policies.

Hundreds of thousands also took to the streets calling for a People’s Vote (PV). They came from across the UK and beyond. You won’t hear about someone flying in to protest about the rise in survival sex because of Universal Credit.

Why No Outrage About Austerity?

The reason you won’t see the streets alive with chants of save the people is because we have a “I’m alright Jack” problem.

Poverty and disability are uncomfortable topics for some. Many don’t feel they’re affected so while they’re saddened by the situation, it’s not worthy of their time.

What they don’t realise is they ARE affected.

Our NHS is crumbling before us, police are stretched past breaking point and fire services across the country are facing cuts.

This puts us all at risk. That’s before you factor in how they’d be hit if they had an unexpected job loss or an accident causing disability.

We have teachers bringing in toilet paper because schools can’t afford it and still nothing happens.

It’s a disgrace when you stop and think about it.

The UK used to look after its vulnerable. Not anymore. Neo-liberal governments abandoned them long ago in favour of profits a d now the people have.

For those asking why those affected aren’t taking action I’ll say this;

For starters, they can barely afford a bus fare so travelling is out straight away.

For obvious reasons, those with disabilities can’t just pop to London to protest either.

If someone is on Universal Credit they have to be job searching every waking moment or lose what little money they have.

All in all, those directly affected need help. They need people to act on their behalf. That’s what a civilised society should do; stand up for its most vulnerable.

So while I applaud Extinction Rebellion for their actions, I feel frankly disgusted about the lack of action to tackle austerity and its effects.


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  • You share by this, as you do your other articles and Op-Eds a state of conditions and their effects. That a lack of good effect is as bad as, as lonely as the status quo. It is a good persons frustration.

    There are Demonstrations against austerity in various UK cities, though the corporate media reports more on those happening across Continental Europe, think Yellow Vests in France, most prominent. These are reported as having “vague” goals-aims but they are clearly denouncing many or most of the effects of austerity. But lets be clearer and call the problem what it is, the problems of citizen societies being made Kleptocracies.

    The problem, the insanity, as a growing number of human beings understand it, is that marching, we are appealing to Kleptomaniacs now running our institutions. Those making fortunes are NOT going to change the conditions which make their fortunes unless they have NO other choice and I throw up a little in my mouth when I read history and learn just how far an aristocracy will go to prevent that. Peterloo being just one example and while terrible not the worst.

    Yes, there must be a presence in the streets if only so we know we are not alone in any singular Hell and so that we build the sustaining energy we need to bring the changes so very desperately needed. The reformation should happen with the election of a good party but democracy is broken and even very good parties and their leaders are being made to kneel and prove they will change nothing.

    I, you and many of your readers know that the only effective means to a just society is limiting eco-Aristos influence on Government to a democratic standard and to that boycotting their stuff -services and taking the Politicians who pimp us for them to court, even to the international criminal courts, country-people by country-people and in union with each other.

    It is very dark, perhaps darker than it has ever been and the grinding of terrible machines may be all one hears and so one will believe she-he is alone but you lit a small light with this platform, I saw you and you saw me and many more and now we rise.

    I love you man. I love you all.

    I offer that anyone go to youtube and listen to the old union song “Bread and Roses”

    • I don’t think it’s an, I’m all right jack. I think a lot of people are struggling to keep their head above the water and a lot are failing and the others believe what they’ve been told for years about people on benefits being scroungers The people in the groups on FB for disability and benefits etc go down the route as well, that if they didn’t get awarded PIP or ESA and there’s all these people getting it and they shouldn’t because there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s unbelievable that the very people who should be understanding about others with a disability and on ESA or PIP want to gun them down. How can we change something that they believe is 100%, on one hand they don’t trust Westminster but on the other hand they believe them blindly when it comes to something that suits them to believe. I don’t think it’ll ever change because it’s been hammered into their heads, divide and conquer works a treat. The people that commit suicide, as my sister did, when they failed their assessment are thought to be down and out or one off. Sorry it’s so long