Hunger in Britain

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As the crisis of global capitalism deepens, more and more working people in the centres of imperialism, a lot of whom have been living relatively secure (although not necessarily fulfilling) lives, are being pushed down further into real poverty once again. A parliamentary inquiry has just brought to light the extent of the effects of the economic crisis and rising food prices on some of the most poor sections of the working class of Britain. Among other things they found that:

“The rising costs of housing, food and fuel have had an adverse impact on households’ ability to buy and cook meals. Since 2003 food, fuel and housing costs have all increased at a greater rate than earnings, with food (46.4%) and fuel costs (154%) increasing by a significantly greater amount than both earnings (27.9%)and overall inflation (37.7%). Oil and food price spikes will have contributed disproportionately to these increases. This is likely to have had a greater negative impact on living standards for the poorest households.”

Some key stats from the report:

  • 4 million people at risk of going hungry
  • 272 food banks across big cities and towns
  • 500,000 children live in families that can’t afford to feed them
  • 3.5 million adults cannot afford to eat properly

(Source: All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry into Hunger in the UK, Poverty and Social Exclusion project)

And it is the youth of the country who will come to suffer most, as many are not even provided with a decent present let alone any hope for the future.


Out of Touch

Meanwhile the political representatives of the ruling class how out of touch and indifferent they are to the working people of the country. Below are some comments made by Tory politicians (which is of course not to say that the other mainstream parties are any better):

  1. Michael Gove MP claimed Food Bank users were “Not able to manage their finances”
  2. A former Tory Minister claimed “the moment they [Food Bank users] have got a bit of spare cash they are off getting another ­tattoo”
  3. David Cameron PM said Food Banks are “Part of what I call the Big Society”
  4. One Tory MP claimed that Food Bank usage can “become a habit”
  5. Another Tory MP said people use Food Banks because of an “inability to manage money and to budget, addiction to alcohol or substance misuse…”
  6. Tory Minister, Lord Freud, suggested “food from a food bank is by definition a free good and there’s almost infinite demand”
  7. A senior Tory Councillor said Food Banks enabled poor budgeters to “have more money to spend on alcohol, cigarettes”
  8. A Tory MP jibed “how many folks can still find funds to pay for alcohol and cigarettes but not food”
  9. West Oxfordshire Conservative Future chairman  “I have seen some ‘food bank users’ in the pubs of Witney… #priorities.”
  10. Iain Duncan Smith MP accused the Trussell Trust of “Scaremongering”

(Source: http://www.greenbenchesuk.com/2014/01/10-appalling-comments-by-tory.html)


Waste

Another thing this inquiry has laid bare is the amount of irrational waste that is produced by the anarchy of capitalist production and its focus on profit rather than need:

“Just 2% of edible surplus food generated by food retailers, manufacturers and suppliers that is fit for consumption, is currently redistributed. 98% of this surplus food is currently turned into compost or energy, or disposed of in landfill.”

Capitalism is proving once again that it is incapable of providing humanity with its basic needs — it merely gives us increasing impoverishment, homelessness and hunger at home, and continued misery, starvation, lack of clean water and shelter for hundreds of millions more around the globe.


The Future

To quote from a CPGB-ML leaflet:

It is clear that capitalism has outlived its usefulness. The longer working people allow it to linger on, the more we will suffer.

That is why those who profit from the system are trying to convince the working masses that there is nothing wrong with capitalism; that the only problem is the greed of a few ‘fat cats’. But this is like trying to blame blowflies and maggots for the rotten flesh off which they are feeding. Instead, our attention needs to be focussed on getting rid of the stinking corpse of the capitalist system itself.

Working people must take possession of all means of production now owned by the capitalist class (factories, machines, raw materials etc) in order to start producing goods that directly meet the needs of the people, as opposed to the current system, in which even the most basic necessities of life are only produced or distributed if there is a profit to be made.

The capitalist state has been perfected as a machine to prevent us challenging capitalist relations of production and it must be smashed. In its place we need to build a workers’ state, whose main jobs will be to plan production rationally and to stop the old exploiters returning to continue their reign of misery and war. This is the only way out of the mists of darkness.

The financial crisis is not of our making; our work can and will create sufficient wealth for everybody to be able to live well. If capitalism will not produce or distribute because there’s no profit to be made, then the working class must step into the breach to take over production for itself.

By spreading understanding about the real nature of the crisis among workers, our party seeks to help empower our class to fulfil its historic mission of killing off capitalism once and for all and building a new socialist society and a bright future for all our children – free of war and free of want.

Help make it happen, join now!

Imperialism and Africa

Red Youth recommends watching this documentary!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WNYemuiAOfU]

Obama’s formation of an Africa Corps, and the renewed determination of the Nato imperialist powers to dominate the continent of Africa, remind us how important it is to mark this occasion, and to renew our struggle to rid the world of the scourge of imperialism – the enemy of all working and oppressed people.

At this moment, millions of African workers, like all the oppressed masses of humanity, are struggling against aggressive imperialist plunder – whether it takes the form of economic domination, IMF ‘restructuring’ and slow starvation, or of political destabilisation and direct military intervention in those countries where the path of independence has been boldly taken.

Nato’s genocidal campaign against Libya, and recent imperialist interventions in Cote D’Ivoire, Mali, and Sierra Leone, as well as the ongoing imperialist intrigue and manipulation in other states – Uganda, Rwanda, Egypt, Tunisia, etc – remind us of this harsh reality.

As imperialism’s economic, diplomatic and military might falls on the brave and independent people of Syria, where in the media do we read of the USA’s ongoing genocidal proxy war for the plunder of coltan (without which Silicon Valley, and the entire computer and mobile phone industries, would grind to a halt) from the long-suffering Congolese people?

The 5 million Congolese victims of this war apparently warrant no moral outrage; they are the everyday sacrifice made on the high altar of capitalist profit, and highlighting their plight does not serve the imperial strategic agenda.

Imperialism seeks domination, not democracy! Let us never forget it.

Lenin said that the struggle against imperialism would be a sham and a fraud unless it was inseparably bound up with the struggles for national liberation of the toiling millions of ‘colonial slaves’.

In our allegedly ‘post-colonial’ era, following the fall of the Soviet Union and the renewed aggression and arrogance of Anglo-American imperialism in particular, the pressure of imperialism on its former colonies is greater than ever.

Let us then remember the words of Amilcar Cabral, founder of the PAIGC (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde):

“I should just like to make one last point about solidarity between the international working class movement and our national-liberation struggle. There are two alternatives: either we admit that there really is a struggle against imperialism which interests everybody, or we deny it.

“If, as would seem from all the evidence, imperialism exists and is trying simultaneously to dominate the working class in all the advanced countries and smother the national-liberation movements in all the underdeveloped countries, then there is only one enemy against whom we are fighting. If we are fighting together, then I think the main aspect of our solidarity is extremely simple: it is to fight.” (‘Brief analysis of the social structure in Guinea’, Seminar given in Milan, 1-3 May 1964)

Let us resolve to build unity in our struggle against capitalist imperialism, against neo-colonialism, and admit that if a better world is possible, it is our duty to forge the means for bringing it into being.

Workers of all countries, unite! We have nothing to lose but our chains! We have a world to win!